Weighing around 250 pounds, very fond of wrestling and caring little for the reforms instigated by his brother, the only quality they seemed to share was a love of extravagance.

Abdül Aziz was thirty one years old when he became sultan.  He was a different man to his predecessor weighing around 250 pounds, very fond of wrestling and caring little for the reforms instigated by his brother.  Indeed, the only quality they seemed to share was a love of extravagance. Abdül Aziz built several new palaces on the Bosphorus and in other parts of Istanbul.

In 1867 he became the first Ottoman sultan to leave the empire for any other purpose than to go to war.  He visited the Great Universal Exhibition in Paris at the invitation of Louis Napoleon.  From there the sultan and his entourage continued to London where Queen Victoria, persuaded out of retirement for the occasion, invested the sultan with the Order of the Garter.  From England they went on to visit King Leopold in Brussels, Kaiser Wilhelm in Koblenz and the Emperor Franz Joseph in Vienna.  The imperial party left Vienna on the royal yacht Sultaniye, sailing down the Danube and thence to Istanbul.

The sultan had really been impressed with progress in Western Europe and immediately set about introducing the railway to Turkey.  His greatest achievement was the reorganisation of the Turkish Navy completed in 1875.

By 1876 he had effectively bankrupted the Empire and public unrest was high.  On 30 May 1876 he was deposed by his ministers and committed suicide a few days later by slashing his wrists with a pair of scissors.

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