1819, Ottoman Empire, Sultan Mahmud II. Tiny Gold 1/4 Zeri Mahbub Coin. 0.79gm!
Condition: Pierced VF+
Denomination: 1/4 Zeri Mahbub
Mint Date: 1819 (1223AH + Regnal Year 12)
Mint Place: Constantinople (Qustantiniyah)
Obverse: Tughra (state seal) of Mahmud II beneath rose.
Reverse: Regnal Year (12) above mint name (Qustantiniyah), accession date (1223) below. All within rope-like border.
Mahmud II (Ottoman Turkish: ????? ???? Mahmud-i sani) (July 20, 1785 – July 1, 1839) was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death. He was the son of Sultan Abdül Hamid I. His reign is notable mostly for the extensive legal and military reforms he instituted.
In 1808, Mahmud II's predecessor (and half-brother) Mustafa IV (1807–08) ordered his execution along with his cousin, the deposed Sultan Selim III (1789–1807), in order to defuse a rebellion. Selim III was killed, but Mahmud was safely kept hidden by his mother and was placed on the throne after the rebels deposed Mustafa IV. The leader of this rebellion, Mustafa Bayrakdar, then became Mahmud II's vizier.
There are many stories surrounding the circumstances of the attempted murder on him. A version by the 19th century Ottoman historian Cevdet Pasha gives following account: one of his slaves, a Georgian girl named Cevri, gathered ashes when she heard the commotion in the palace of the murder of Selim III. When the assassins approached the Harem chambers where Mahmud was staying, she was able to keep them away for a while by throwing ashes into their faces, temporary blinding them. This allowed Mahmud to escape through a window and climb onto the roof of the Harem. He apparently ran to the roof of the Third Court where other pages saw him and helped him come down with pieces of clothes that were quickly tied together as a ladder. By this time one of the leaders of the rebellion, Alemdar Pasha arrived with hisarmed men and upon seeing the dead body of Selim III proclaimed Mahmud as padishah. The slave girl Cevri Kalfa was awarded for her bravery and loyalty and appointed haznedar usta, the chief treasurer of the imperialHarem, which was the second most important position in the hierarchy. A plain stone staircase at the Altinyol (Golden Way) of the Harem is called Staircase of Cevri (Jevri) Kalfa, since the events apparently happened around there and are associated with her.
The vizier took the initiative in resuming reforms that had been terminated by the conservative coup of 1807 that had brought Mustafa IV to power. However, soon the vizier was killed by Ibrahim's army, and Mahmud II temporarily abandoned the reforms. Mahmud II's later reformation efforts were more successful.
During the early years of Mahmud II's reign, his Egyptian viceroy Mehmet Ali Pasa successfully reconquered the holy cities of Medina (1812) and Mecca (1813) from the Nejdi rebels.
His reign also marked the first breakaway from the Ottoman Empire, with Greece gaining its independence following a rebellion that started in 1821. In 1827 the combined British, French and Russian navies defeated the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Navarino; in the aftermath, the Ottoman Empire was forced to recognize Greece with the Treaty of Constantinople in July 1832. This event, together with the occupation of the Ottoman province of Algeria by France in 1830, marked the beginning of the gradual break-up of the Ottoman Empire. Non-Turkish ethnic groups living in the empire's territories, especially in Europe, started their own independence movements.
Among Mahmud II's most notable achievements, the Janissary corps was abolished in 1826, permitting the establishment of amodern Ottoman Army; Mahmud was also responsible for the subjugation of the Iraqi Mamluks in 1831 and the preparation of the Tanzimat reforms in 1839. The Tanzimat marked the beginning of modernization in Turkey, and had immediate effects on social and legal aspects of life in the Empire, such as European style clothing, architecture, legislation, institutional organization and land reform.
Mahmud II died of tuberculosis in 1839. His funeral was attended by crowds of people who came to bid the Sultan farewell. His son Abdülmecid succeeded him.