The first modern coup in Turkish history is usually considered the one that saw the deposition of Sultan Abdülaziz in 1876. The coup plotters, i.e., Midhat Pasha (head of the Committee of the New Ottomans), Hüseyin Avni Pasha (Chief of Staff), and Süleyman Pasha (Minister of War), deposed the Sultan and brought Murat V to power instead. As would be the case throughout the Republican period, military students were used for the coup. Ten days later, Sultan Abdülaziz was martyred, which was clumsily made to look like a suicide.
In 1876, the Ottoman Empire was the world’s most powerful fourth state; it had the world’s fourth biggest army and the third biggest fleet. In 1876, it encompassed a territory of 12 million sq. km with a total population of 64 million people. The 1876 territory of the Ottoman Empire included what are today 35 different countries. During those days, Istanbul was the world’s fifth biggest city.
Sultan Abdülaziz was a brave sultan that took a clear stance against the British deep state. He didn’t allow the spread of Darwinism, and removed the British deep state spies from his immediate circle. He removed Hüseyin Avni Pasha from his duties for being a Darwinist and for his pro-British stance, who would in return act as one of the plotters of the coup against Sultan Abdülaziz. Hüseyin Avni Pasha prepared the assassination plan against the Sultan.
Abdülaziz also immediately shut down Mecmua-i Fünûn (Journal of Sciences) as it started Darwinist propaganda. His order to dismiss pro-British Ahmed Midhat, one of the most fervent Darwinist propagandists in the Ottoman Empire, was as follows:
From now on, no printing house will ever print anything about Midhat Efendi’s monkeys.(SOURCE)
Sultan Abdülaziz was a devout Muslim, who desired a united Islamic world. During his rule, he made the Ottoman Army a formidable power with the state-of-art weapons, which included 25 ironclads and 175 regular warships. As soon as he ascended to the throne, he tripled the length of the previously 450 km railways. The last Caliph of Islam Abdulmejid II described his father Abdülaziz with the following words in the booklet he wrote in 1920s:
Thank God, my father Abdülaziz Khan was not addicted to any moral weaknesses. In fact, not only did he never drink any alcohol throughout his life, but also he didn’t smoke. Even coffee was something he drank only on rare occasions. That’s why he had a very strong build. He never got ill during his fifteen-year rule. However, he was martyred after facing the disaster of being deposed because he didn’t have a single person that could help him with the great works he initiated.(SOURCE)
The plotters of this vile coup tried to slander Abdülaziz Khan with claims that he committed suicide. However, the examination of his body revealed that both of his wrists had been slit, one side of his beard had been completely ripped off, his teeth had been knocked out and there was a large bruise on his chest.
Hüseyin Avni Pasha, the instigator of the murder, went to the Palace to see how his murder plan went. When he saw that Abdülaziz Khan was still alive after the scuffle, he ordered that the Sultan be taken to kitchen of the police station on palace grounds. This is why medical help was delayed for the Sultan, and why he bled to martyrdom.
To conceal the traces of a fight, Hüseyin Avni Pasha tore off the curtains in the station and covered the Sultan’s body with the exception of his arms. He asked physician Marko Pasha, the director of the Military School of Medicine, to examine his wrists only and write a report of suicide. However, Marko Pasha declined. Then another military doctor, Colonel Dr. Ömer Bey, was summoned, but when he refused to sign the report as well, his medals were ripped off his uniform on the spot and he was exiled to Libya.
Sultan Abdülaziz was buried hastily the same day in the Sultan Mahmud II Shrine at Divanyolu.
Turkish historian İsmail Hami Danişmend, in his five-volume İzahlı Osmanlı Tarihi Kronolojisi (A Detailed Chronology of Ottoman History), listed thirty one pieces of evidence proving why the Sultan did not commit suicide. The physician of the British Embassy also said that no one would be able to cut one’s wrists like that, after seeing the body himself.(SOURCE)
The account of Nazime Sultan, Sultan Abdülaziz’s daughter, leaves no room to doubt as to what happened:
Any claims that my father committed suicide are deceitful. I saw it with my own eyes that they murdered my father.(SOURCE)
No one believed the suicide lie, because one of the wrestlers that committed the murder confessed after a while:
Fahri Bey went from behind and held back his [Sultan Abdülaziz’s] arms. Haji Mehmet and Algerian Mustafa sat on his knees. And I cut his veins in his left arm as deep as I could with a pocketknife. I even pierced his right arm at several places with the knife …(SOURCE)
When an investigation was launched after the bloody attack, anglophile Midhat Pasha sought refuge in the British Consulate, predicting how events could unfold against him.
Historians report that prior to the coup, Midhat Pasha was constantly over-praised by the European media, most notably by the British papers. Indeed, during his first term as grand vizier before the coup, which lasted eighty days, Midhat Pasha allowed Egypt and Tunisia to borrow independently, which caused Egypt to come under British – and Tunisia under French – rule. After the coup, he was again appointed grand vizier and he convened the ‘Constantinople Conference’ (aka the Shipyard Conference), together with the participation of British officials. This conference was a milestone because Midhat Pasha, primed by the British deep state, decided to drag the Ottomans into war with the Russians, which played a big part in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.