Large nineteenth century map of the Ottoman Empire

[Map of the Ottoman Empire].

Asia Europe Turkey
  • Publication place: [Istanbul
  • Publication date: 1887].
  • Physical description: Lithograph map, dissected and mounted on linen.
  • Dimensions: 960 by 1580mm (37.75 by 62.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1603


The date is given in the Islamic calendar as 1305, which is 1887 in the Gregorian calendar. The sultan at the time was Abdulhamid II, who is remembered now for his part in the Hamidian Massacres, often seen as a precursor to the Armenian Genocide. He was known in Europe as the ‘Red Sultan’. Abdulhamid had ended the first short-lived constituional period of politics in Ottoman history, and his rule became increasingly autocratic as he attempted to hold the Empire together. A decade earlier, the first Ottoman constitution had been drawn up, which was also the first constitution in any Islamic country. The constitution allowed for the creation of a bicameral parliament, which would supposedly act as a check to the formerly unbridled powers of the sultan, as part of an effort towards centralized government in the Empire. However, the new parliament only lasted a year, and was not recalled until the deposition of Abdulhamid in the Young Turk Rebellion in 1908.