Imperial anthems of the Ottoman Empire

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The Ottoman Empire used anthems since its foundation in the late 13th century, but did not use a specific imperial or national anthem until the 19th century. During the reign of Mahmud II, when the military and imperial band were re-organized along Western lines, Giuseppe Donizetti was invited to head the process. Donizetti Pasha, as he was known in the Ottoman Empire, composed the first Western-style imperial anthem, the Mahmudiye Marşı.

Like in many other monarchies of its time, the anthem of the Ottoman Empire was an imperial anthem, not a national one. Hence it paid homage to a specific ruler and a new anthem was composed at each imperial succession. However, in 1844, with the Tanzimat reforms, the Mecidiye Marşı was recognized as the first official Ottoman national anthem. The first official Ottoman national flag (which was in essence identical to the present-day Turkish flag) was also adopted in 1844.

Necip Pasha composed the Hamidiye Marşı (March of Abdulhamid)

After the start of the imperial anthem tradition, two Sultans did not have specific anthems composed. The first is Murad V, who reigned for 3 months in 1876 and the second is the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed VI, who used the Mahmudiye Marşı anthem.

Only the Hamidiye Marşı and Reşadiye Marşı have lyrics, the first three anthems being instrumental.


Hamidiye Marşı

Ey velîni'met-i âlem şehinşâh-ı cihan
Taht-ı âlî baht-ı Osmaniye verdin izz ü şan
Sâye-i lûtf-i hümayûnunla âlem kâm-ran
Saltanatta çok zaman Sultan Hamid zevk et heman
Çok yaşa ey padişahım devletinle çok yaşa
Çok yaşa ey padişahım şevketinle çok yaşa

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