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1874, Turkey (Ottoman), Abdul Aziz.  Silver 20 Kurush (Mecidi) Coin. PCGS AU+

Reference: KM-693. Mint Place: Constantinople  Mint Date: 1874 (1277AH + 14)  Denomination: Mecidi (20 Kurush)  Condition: Certified and graded by PCGS as AU (Details: Cleaned!) Material: Silver (.830)  Diameter: 37mm Weight: 24gm

Obverse: Tughra (seal) of the Sultan above regnal year (14). All within a decorative border with 12 stars.   Reverse: Mint formula (Constantinople) and accession year (1277) below within decorative border with 12 stars. Comment:"Al-Mahrusa" ("the divinely protected and guarded"...city of Constantinople) epithet added to mint name!

The biggest achievement of Abdülaziz was to modernize the Ottoman Navy.  In 1875, the Ottoman Navy had 21 battleships and 173 other types of  warships, ranking as the third largest navy in the world after the  British and French navies. He also established the first Ottoman railroad network and Sirkeci Train Station in Istanbul, terminus of the Orient Express. Impressed by the museums in London, Paris and Vienna, he established the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Under Abdülaziz's reign, Turkey's first postage stamps were issued in 1863, and Turkey joined the Universal Postal Union in 1875 as a founding member.

Abdülaziz (Ottoman Turkish: ??? ??????) (February 9, 1830 – June 4, 1876) was the 32nd sultan of the Ottoman Empire and reigned between June 25, 1861 and May 30, 1876. He was the son of Sultan Mahmud II and succeeded his brother Abdülmecid I in 1861.

Born in Istanbul on February 9, 1830, Abdülaziz received an Ottoman education but was  nevertheless an ardent admirer of the material progress that was made  in the West. He was interested in literature and was also a classical  music composer. Some of his compositions have been collected in the  album "European Music at the Ottoman Court" by the London Academy of Ottoman Court Music.

Between 1861 and 1871, the Tanzimat reforms which began during the reign of his brother Abdülmecid were continued under the leadership of his able chief ministers, Keçecizade Mehmed Fuad Pasha and Mehmed Emin Aali Pasha. New administrative districts (vilayets) were set up in 1864 and a Council of State was established in 1868. Public education was organized on the French model and the Istanbul University was reorganized as a modern institution in 1861.

Abdülaziz cultivated good relations with the Second French Empire and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and was the first Ottoman sultan to visit Western Europe, in 1867, which included a visit to England, where he was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria and shown a Royal Navy Fleet Review with his Khedive of Egypt. He travelled by a private rail car, which today can be found in the RMK Museum in Istanbul. His fellow Knights of the Garter created in 1867 were Charles Gordon-Lennox, 6th Duke of Richmond, Charles Manners, 6th Duke of Rutland, Henry Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Franz Joseph I of Austria and Alexander II of Russia.

In 1869, Abdülaziz received visits from Eugénie de Montijo, Empress consort of Napoleon III of France and other foreign monarchs on their way to the opening of the Suez Canal. The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII of the United Kingdom, twice visited Istanbul.

By 1871 both Aali Pasha and Fuad Pasha were dead. The Second French  Empire, his Western European model, had been defeated in the Franco-Prussian War by the North German Confederation under the leadership of the Kingdom of Prussia. In foreign policy, Abdülaziz turned to the Russian Empire for friendship, as turmoil in the Balkan provinces continued. In 1875, the Herzegovinian rebellion was the beginning of further unrest in the Balkan provinces. In 1876, the April Uprising saw insurrection spreading among the Bulgarians. Ill feeling mounted against Russia for its encouragement of the rebellions.

The crop failure of 1873, the sultan's lavish expenditures for the Ottoman Navy and the new palaces which he built, and the mounting public debt had  also heightened public discontent. Abdülaziz was deposed by his  ministers on May 30, 1876; his death a few days later was attributed to  suicide.

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2019-04-04
 
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