Sultan as Caliph

Sultan Abdulhamid II of the Ottoman Empire came to power deposing his brother. Sultan Murad V, who had been crowned sultan on 30 May 1876. Murad himself had deposed his uncle,  Abdülaziz, calling him “mad”. Three months later, Murad met the same fate, and his brother Abdulhamid was now Sultan.

Abdulhamid lasted far longer than either of his two predecessors, over forty years, but was deposed on February 10, 1918, ironically by the Young Turks that his brother Murad V had created. By the time they dethroned Abdulhamid, the Empire, with all its faults, was now so well identified with his persona that the six-hundred-year rule of the Ottomans ended as well.

Perhaps though, that was meant to be, fulfilling the Berber (North African) Sufi philosopher Ibn Khaldun’s belief that nothing lasts more than a half century or so. Though upon reflection, that cannot be quite right, as the English Monarchy spans nearly a thousand.

Auspicious Beginnings

Abdulhamid was the second son of Sultan Abdülmecid I (25 April 1823—25 June 1861). His predecessor Murad was eldest but became a pariah to his people because of a series of expensive wars and lost. This made Turkey open to foreign intervention, as European monarchs looked to Ottoman extensive holdings for further gain. With Hamid’s ascension, someone brought peaceably both Serbia and Montenegro back into the fold, which was a major boon, but Tsar Alexander II of Russia agitated revolts the Orthodox portions of these countries. Eventually, this led to the Russo-Turkish War — 24 April 1877 where Turkey lost  once again.

After that disastrous war, Abdulhamid dismissed the Parliament suspending the constitution and installed a secret police to enforce his control. He ruled from his seclusion at Yıldız Palace, Constantinople, assisted by an expanded telegraph network (Uranus in the fourth) , severe censorship (Neptune in the fourth square Mercury in the twelfth) and countless civil infractions with the attendant monetary fees (fines & taxes, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the second house of earned income). He slowly lost the love of his people, and foment at home eventually took root.

While the Sultan had lots of children, Pluto yet to be discovered highlights how they will never see the sultanship of their patrimony, but square the Moon will long for what would never be. His own chart, shown below, is no better than Dark Moon Lilith in the fifth house and hints at the disturbances his progeny will face. His father, Sultan Abdulmecid I, fared far better in that regard than having the fixed star Regulus on the fifth house cusp, foretelling his sons would attain the sultany for however long. Indeed, all four did.


Valis and cantonization are other mistakes

The French-Swiss system of provinces, arrondissements and cantons was the basis for the Turkish parliamentary system. The sultan chose a vali, or governor general, and all work to the members of the canton flowed through him. There was no idea of free enterprise and independent businessmen who made their own money independent of the state — everyone looked to the Vali for income and wellbeing, much like feudal Europe. But as the Empire grew more invasive in the populace’s life, and the rise of nationalism took hold, Armenian separatists attempted an assassination coup on July 21, 1905. The chart below is an event chart that should be used as a transit against the Sultan’s — either his Progression to the Crown or his Natal, your choice.

Then in July 1908 the Young Turks, aided by foreign money, deposed the Hamid a year later & installed his brother as sultan Mehmed V.


They sent Hamid to Salonika, Greece (the historical home of Alexander the Great) as a state prisoner. When the Greeks during the 1902 Balkan War reclaimed the town, Abdul Hamid returned to Constantinople. but his presence was problematic and caused many internal rebellions of adherents who wanted to reestablish his regime. So, they moved Abdul Hamid to his final home in Smyrna, Anatolia, Greece (now Turkey) where he died on February 10, 1918, and with him, the Ottoman Empire died, too.

Marc Jones, in his 1000, has the wrong date, and states 22 September 1842 instead of the 21st.



  • Pears, Sir Edin, Life of Abdul Hamid, London: Constable & Co., 1917
    • This book is part of the makers of the Nineteenth Century Series, ed. by Basil Williams
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica: A dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and Information. Eleventh edition. Cambridge, England, University Press c. 1911.


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