Abdulmejid II

Abdulmejid II (Ottoman Turkish: عبد المجید ثانی‎, romanized: `Abdü’l-Mecîd-i-sânî, Turkish: Abdülmecid Efendi, 29 May 1868 – 23 August 1944) was the last Caliph of the Ottoman Dynasty, nominally the 37th Head of the Ottoman Imperial House from 1922 to 1924.

Abdulmejid II
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
Head of the Osmanoğlu family
29th Ottoman Caliph
Tenure19 November 1922 – 3 March 1924
PredecessorMehmed VI
SuccessorOttoman Caliphate abolished
Head of the House of Osman
(in exile)
Pretence16 May 1926 – 23 August 1944
PredecessorMehmed VI
SuccessorAhmed Nihad
Born29/30 May 1868[1][2]
Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died23 August 1944(1944-08-23) (aged 76)
Paris, France
(m. 1896; his d. 1944)
Mihrimah Hanım
(died 1899)
Hayrünissa Hanım
(m. before 1912)
(m. 1912; his d. 1944)
Abdul Mecid bin Abdul Aziz
MotherHayranidil Kadın
ReligionSunni Islam

Early yearsEdit

On 30 May 1868,[1][2] he was born at Dolmabahçe Palace, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, to then Sultan Abdulaziz and his wife Hayranidil Kadın. He was younger full brother of Nazime Sultan. He was educated privately.

In accordance with late Ottoman custom, Abdulmejid was confined to the palace until he was 40. On 4 July 1918, his first cousin Mehmed VI became Sultan and Abdulmejid was named Crown Prince.[1] When his cousin was deposed on 1 November 1922, the Ottoman Sultanate was abolished. But on 19 November 1922, the Crown Prince was elected Caliph by the Turkish National Assembly at Ankara.[1] He established himself in Istanbul[4][5] on 24 November 1922.

On 3 March 1924, six months after the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished and the Ottoman dynasty was deposed and expelled from Turkey.[6][7]

As artistEdit

Abdulmejid's painting of his wife.

Abdulmejid was given the title of General in the Ottoman Army, but did not have strong military inclinations. He had a more significant role as Chairman of the Ottoman Artists' Society.

He is considered as one of the most important painters of late period Ottoman art. His paintings of the Harem, showing a modern musical gathering, and of his wife, Şehsuvar Hanım, reading Goethe's novel Faust, express the influence of western Europe in his elite circle.[8] These were displayed at a 1918 exhibition of Ottoman paintings in Vienna. His personal self-portrait can be seen at Istanbul Modern.

Abdulmejid was also an avid collector of butterflies, an activity that he pursued during the last 20 years of his life. His favourite magazine was Revue des deux Mondes.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Portrait of Abdulmejid II
Portrait of Abdulmejid II in Topkapı Palace Museum
Abdulmejid and his daughter Dürrüşehvar
Princess Dürrüşehvar Sultan, Princess of Berar; Caliph Abdulmejid II of the Ottoman Empire, and Nawab Azam Jah, Prince of Berar

Abdülmecid's first wife was Şehsuvar Hanım, a Turkish.[3] They married on 23 December 1896. She was the mother of Şehzade Ömer Faruk,[9] born in 1898.[10] She died in Paris in 1945,[9] and was buried in Bobigny cemetery. His second wife was Mihrimah Hanım. She died at the Nakkaştepe Palace, on 23 May 1899, and was buried in Nuhkuyusu Mosque, Istanbul.[11][12]

His third wife[3] was Hayrünissa Hanım,[13] a Circassian.[3] She was childless.[13][14] His fourth wife was Mehisti Hanım. She was an Abkhazian. Her father was Akalsba Hacımaf Bey, and her mother was Safiye Hanım. They married on 16 April 1912.[11] She was the mother of Dürrüşehvar Sultan, born in 1914.[15] She died in MiddlesexLondon in 1964, and was buried in Brookwood cemetery.[16]


On 23 August 1944, Abdulmejid II died at his house in the Boulevard Suchet, Paris. His death coincided with the Liberation of Paris from the German occupation. He was buried in Medina on the recommendation of King Saud of Saudi Arabia.


Ottoman honours
Foreign honours


Name Birth Death Notes
By Şehsuvar Hanım (married 22 December 1896; 2 May 1881 – c. 1945)
Şehzade Ömer Faruk  27 February 1898[21][22][10] 28 March 1969[21][22] married twice, and had issue, three daughters
By Mehisti Hanım (married 16 April 1912; 7 January 1892 – c. 1964)
Dürrüşehvar Sultan 26 January 1914 [21][23][15] 7 February 2006[21][23] married once, and had issue, two sons



  1. ^ a b c d Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abdümecid II". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. pp. 23. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
  2. ^ a b There are sources that give the 29th as the day of his birth.
  3. ^ a b c d Moralı, Seniha Sami (1978). Meşrutiyet, Dolmabahçe Sarayı ve Ankara'nın İlk Günlerine Dair. p. 60.
  4. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, Edited by Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire...
  5. ^ Inc, Encyclopaedia Britannica (1 May 2008). Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. p. 966. ISBN 9781593394929.
  6. ^ Finkel, Caroline (2007). Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire. Basic Books. p. 546. ISBN 9780465008506.
  7. ^ Özoğlu, Hakan (2011). From Caliphate to Secular State: Power Struggle in the Early Turkish Republic. ABC-CLIO. p. 6. ISBN 9780313379567.
  8. ^ a b "The Ottoman caliphate: Worldly, pluralist, hedonistic—and Muslim, too". The Economist. 19 December 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  9. ^ a b Uçan 2019, p. 256-57.
  10. ^ a b Uçan 2019, p. 261.
  11. ^ a b Uçan 2019, p. 258.
  12. ^ Haskan, Mehmet Nermi (2001). Yüzyıllar boyunca Üsküdar - Volume 1. Üsküdar Belediyesi. p. 298. ISBN 978-9-759-76062-5.
  13. ^ a b Uçan 2019, p. 259.
  14. ^ Bardakçı, Murat (2017). Neslishah: The Last Ottoman Princess. Oxford University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-9-774-16837-6.
  15. ^ a b Uçan 2019, p. 267.
  16. ^ Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2008). Bu Mülkün Kadın Sultanları: Vâlide Sultanlar, Hâtunlar, Hasekiler, Kandınefendiler, Sultanefendiler. Oğlak Yayıncılık. p. 713. ISBN 978-6-051-71079-2.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Yılmaz Öztuna (1978). Başlangıcından zamanımıza kadar büyük Türkiye tarihi: Türkiye'nin siyasî, medenî, kültür, teşkilât ve san'at tarihi. Ötüken Yayınevi. p. 164.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Alp, Ruhat (2018). Osmanlı Devleti'nde Veliahtlık Kurumu (1908-1922). p. 324.
  19. ^ Uçan 2019, p. 59.
  20. ^ Uçan 2019, p. 83-84.
  21. ^ a b c d Adra, Jamil (2005). Genealogy of the Imperial Ottoman Family 2005. pp. 37-38.
  22. ^ a b Bardakçı 2017, p. xvi.
  23. ^ a b Bardakçı 2017, p. xiv.


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Abdulmejid II
Born: 29 May 1868 Died: 23 August 1944
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Mehmed VI
Last Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
19 November 1922 – 3 March 1924
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Mehmed VI
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
19 November 1922 – 23 August 1944
Reason for succession failure:
Empire abolished in 1922
Succeeded by
Ahmed Nihad
Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
3 March 1924 – 23 August 1944
Reason for succession failure:
Caliphate abolished on March 3, 1924
Caliphate abolished in 1924
(The religious position and the official representation of the caliph's powers was transferred to Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı)