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Tobacco Factories Open during the Reign of Abdul Hamid II

Tobacco Factories Open during the Reign of Abdul Hamid II

Tobacco entered Ottoman society in the 1600s. However, almost every Sultan showed considerable effort to block its spread. The measures they took against this substance, which has been shown by medical research to be highly toxic to human body, were necessary and rational. However, things changed when Abdul Hamid II took over. Since he was under intense pressure from the British deep state, he stopped the anti-tobacco measures. Many tobacco factories were opened during his reign. Before his reign, only small shops were producing tobacco, but as soon as the new factories were opened, tobacco use spread quickly. The increased consumption sped up the physical and spiritual breakdown of the Ottoman Empire, especially after the aforementioned mistakes made during Abdul Hamid II’s reign.

During his reign, the Cibali and Samsun tobacco factories were opened in 1884 and 1887 respectively. Samsun tobacco factory produced 60,000 kg of cigarettes and 400,000 kg of tobacco every year between 1887 and 1897. By 1905, the production capacity of the factory has reached one million kg. After a while, Izmir, Adana, Samsun and Istanbul became the most important tobacco production and processing centers.(SOURCE)

Instead of fighting to prevent the production and use of this substance, which is lethal for humans, which caused physical and spiritual degeneracy in Turkish youth and wasted away the energy of the nation, Abdul Hamid II continuously encouraged its use. He himself was a tobacco addict. This harmful habit of his is a well-known historical fact, confirmed by many accounts. So much so, his infamous smoking habit was known in even as far away as America. His favorite cigarette was the American ‘Ateshian‘. This prompted the company to use in its advertisements the slogan ‘The cigarret smoked by His Imperial Majesty Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of Turkey’.

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İbrahim Peçevi, one of the most prominent chroniclers of the Ottoman Empire, explained how the British introduced tobacco to the Ottoman Empire in his two-volume book Tarih-i Peçevi (Peçevi’s History):

The British brought [tobacco] to the Ottoman Empire around 1900 [1600 in Gregorian calendar] and sold it with the claim that it could heal some ailments. Some pleasure-seeker friends became addicts. However, in time, even those people who weren’t pleasure-seekers started to consume it. Even many great scholars and statesmen got addicted to smoking… Coffee houses were thick with smoke because all the wasted people and womanizers were there chain-smoking. Even on the streets and marketplaces, they were smoking.(SOURCE)

As one can see, it was the British deep state that first introduced tobacco and spread its use in the Ottoman Empire. The members of the deep state made the people addicted to this poison with lies that it would help cure ailments. When the rule of Abdul Hamid II started, another step was made that would help the British deep state. Abdul Hamid II transferred the tobacco revenues to the ‘Régie Company’, owned by French and British for 30 years, starting in 1883. So, not only were tobacco factories were opened to produce products that would poison Turkish people, the profit from the poison sold went to the British deep state. Again in his reign, the Régie Company was allowed to have its own armed guards, who heavily oppressed the Turkish people.


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