Abdülmecid II

This is an Ottoman Turkish style name. Abdülmecid is the given name, and there is no family name.
Abdülmecid II
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin

Caliph Abdülmecid II
29th and last Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
Tenure 19 November 1922 – 3 March 1924
Predecessor Mehmed VI
Successor Caliphate abolished
Head of the House of Osman
Pretence 16 May 1926 – 23 August 1944
Predecessor Mehmed VI
Successor Ahmed Nihad
Born (1868-05-30)30 May 1868[1][2]
Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 23 August 1944(1944-08-23) (aged 76)[1]
Paris, France
Consort Şehsuvar Kadın
Hayrünissa Kadın
Mehisti Kadın
Behruze Kadın
Issue Şehzade Omer Faruk
Dürrüşehvar Sultan
Full name
Abdul Mecid bin Abdul Aziz
House Osmanli (Ottoman)
Father Abdülaziz
Mother Hayranidil Kadın
Religion Sunni Islam

Abdülmecid II (Ottoman Turkish: عبد المجید الثانی, Abd al-Madjeed al-Thâni Turkish: Halife İkinci Abdülmecit Efendi (29 May 1868 23 August 1944)) was the last Caliph of Islam from the Ottoman dynasty, nominally the 37th Head of the Ottoman Imperial House from 1922 to 1924.

His name has various alternate spellings, including Abdul Mejid Effendi, Aakhir Khalifatul Muslimeen Abd-ul-Madjeed bin Abd-al-Aziz Khan.


On 30 May 1868,[1][2] he was born at Dolmabahçe Palace or at Beşiktaş Palace, Beşiktaş, in Islam Pole, Osman's Dream,[3] to then Sultan Abdülaziz and his wife Hayranidil Kadın Efendi. He was educated privately.

According to custom, Abdulmecid was confined to the palace until he was 40. On 4 July 1918, his first cousin Mehmed VI became Sultan and Abdul Mejid was named Crown Prince.[1] Following the deposition of his cousin on 1 November 1922, the Sultanate was abolished. But on 18 November 1922, the Crown Prince was elected Caliph by the Turkish National Assembly at Ankara.[1] He established himself in Constantinople[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]


Abdülmecid's painting of his wife.

Abdülmecid was given the title of General in the Ottoman Army, but did not in fact have strong military inclinations, and his more significant role was 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 Kadınefendi, reading Goethe's Faust.[7] were displayed at an exhibition of Ottoman paintings in Vienna in 1918. His personal self-portrait can be seen at Istanbul Modern.

Abdülmecid was an avid collector of butterflies, an activity that he occupied himself with during the last 20 years of his life. His favourite magazine was Revue des deux Mondes.[7]


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


Princess Dürrühsehvar, Princess of Berar; Caliph Abdulmecid II of the Ottoman Empire, and Nawab Azam Jah, Prince of Berar.

First marriage and issue

He married firstly at Constantinople, Ortaköy, Ortaköy Palace, on 22/23 December 1896 to HH Şehsuvar Kadın (Constantinople, 2 May 1881 – Paris, 1945, buried there at Bobigny Cemetery), daughter of a Circassian court attendant, and had:

Standard of Abdülmecid II.

Second marriage

He married secondly at Constantinople, Ortaköy, Ortaköy Palace, on 18 June 1902 to HH Hayrünissa Kadın (Bandırma, 2 March 1876 – Nice, 3 September 1936), without issue.

Third marriage and issue

He married thirdly at Constantinople, Üsküdar, Çamlıca Palace, on 16 April 1912 to HH Mehisti Kadın (Adapazarı, 27 January 1892 – London, Middlesex, 1964), daughter of Akalsba Hacımaf Bey, by his wife Safiye Hanım, and had:

Fourth Marriage

He married fourthly at Constantinople, Üsküdar, Çamlıca Palace, on 21 March 1921 to HH Behruze Kadın (Izmir, 24 May 1903 - c. 1955, Istanbul, Turkey), without issue.

Photo of Abdülmecid II during his exile

Titles and styles


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abdümecid II". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
  2. 1 2 There are sources that give the 29th as the day of his birth.
  3. (Basic Books, 2005), 57.
  4. The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, Edited by Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire...
  5. Britannica, Istanbul:When the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923, the capital was moved to Ankara, and Constantinople was officially renamed Istanbul in 1930.
  6. Caroline Finkel (2007). "Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire". Basic Books. p. 546. ISBN 9780465008506.
  7. 1 2 "The Ottoman caliphate: Worldly, pluralist, hedonistic—and Muslim, too". The Economist. 19 December 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2015.

External links

Abdülmecid II
Born: 29 May 1868 Died: 23 August 1944
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Mehmed VI
Last Caliph of Islam
Ottoman Caliph

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 Islam
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)


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