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Abdul-Aziz-Khan

Abdul-Aziz-Khan, Sultan of Turkey, thirty-second of the Ottoman dynasty, the second son of the Sultan Mahomed II. He was born 1830, and succeeded his brother Abdul-Medjid 1861. According to Turkish precedent he had lived up to that time in great retirement; but his education had been conducted under French guidance, and he showed an interest in agriculture, having founded a school at Scutari. His reign began with considerable promise. Riza Pasha, the Finance Minister, suspected of embezzlement, was arrested; the civil list was reduced by four-fifths; the harem depopulated; the Sultan himself looked industriously into the working of all administrative departments; foreigners were permitted to hold landed estates; and it really appeared as if Turkey were about to be brought within the pale of European civilisation. Omar Pasha succeeded in crushing the Montenegrins (1862), and after a more troublesome series of operations, an insurrection in Crete, fomented by Greece, was temporarily subdued (1866-68). Abdul-Aziz visited the French Exhibition (1867), and extended his tour to London, creating in both capitals a favourable impression. On his return he established a Council of State, a college open to Mussulmans and Christians alike, and published the first instalment of a Code of Civil Law. All these innovations were not undertaken without strong opposition from the conservative Turks. Ignatieff, the Russian ambassador, was omnipotent at the palace, national bankruptcy was imminent, Bosnia and Herzegovina revolted, and finally the Sultan was deposed May, 1876. Shortly afterwards he died from the bleeding of a wound in the arm, said to have been self-inflicted. His successor, Murad II., the imbecile son of Abdul-Medjid, only reigned a few weeks when he was set aside in favour of his brother, Abdul-Hamid II.

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