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| The Sultan of Turkey |
|Position|| Sultan of Turkey|
Caliph of Islam
|Behind the scenes|
|Appearances||"The Blanched Soldier" (mentioned)|
The Sultan of Turkey was the monarch of the Ottoman Empire, Caliph of Islam, and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Though ruler of one of the oldest empires in history, the Sultan nevertheless reigned over the weakest of the Great Powers, marked by prolonged economic stagnation, political instability, and continual nationalist uprisings. The support of the British government was critical in preventing the Sultan's lands from falling prey to Russian and Austrian designs. In 1903 Sherlock Holmes performed some services for this ruler on an issue of immediate and critical importance, the neglect of which would have serious political consequences: this caused him to suspend the investigation chronicled in "The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier" for some time.
Based on the date given for Holmes' interaction with the Sultan, the sultan Holmes assisted would have been Abdul Hamid II, who reigned from 1876-1909. Abdul Hamid's reign saw the Ottoman Empire enter its final decline, and he was the last sultan to govern with absolute authority after a brief experiment with constitutional rule. A tyrannical leader who ruled with an iron fist, he suppressed political dissent ruthlessly and sanctioned numerous massacres of restive minority groups such as the Armenians, Kurds and Bulgarians. He was eventually overthrown in 1909 by the Young Turk Revolution, which deposed him and instituted a constitutional monarchy.