Abdul Karim Effendi.. the grandson of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who was supported by Japan and was killed in New York


Since the ouster of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in April 1909 AD, Turkey has entered with the Young Turk movement and at the heart of it the Union and Progress group in a whirlpool of wars and battles on various fronts, which began with the first and second Balkan wars and the occupation of Libya, and ended with the defeat of the First World War, that war that Among its disastrous consequences was the occupation of Istanbul by the British, western Anatolia by the Greeks, southern Anatolia by the Italians and the French, and the fall of eastern Anatolia in the grip of the Armenians supported by the Russians.

These setbacks occurred at a time when the Ottoman sultans were at the height of their weakness, as they were mere subordinates to the governments of union and promotion such as Sultan Rashad, Sultan Muhammad Wahid al-Din V, and then the last Sultan Abd al-Majid II, and it was these same governments that signed the agreements of the defeated, such as “Monders” and “” Sefer” in the years 1918 and 1920, which are the agreements that the patriotic military, nationalists, and the people of Anatolia saw in the liberated areas as a disgrace that must be washed away with resistance. Mustafa Kemal, Ismet Inonu, Fawzi Jaqmaq, and others who fought over the course of 4 years the wars of independence that eliminated the foreign presence in Anatolia, and then in Istanbul and Thrace later, and they saw that the continued existence of the Ottoman Caliphate is a matter that no longer has value after the international reality changed.

The Ottoman family in the diaspora

Prince Muhammad Abdul Karim Effendi
Prince Muhammad Abdul Karim Effendi, grandson of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. (communication Web-sites)

For this reason, and after the proclamation of the Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923 AD, the National Assembly (Parliament) led by Ataturk and Inonu decided to issue Resolution 431 on March 3, 1924 AD, which stipulated the official abolition of the caliphate and the banishment of all members of the Ottoman family, their relatives, in-laws, and descendants, headed by the last Sultan. Abdul Majeed II, and also withdraw Turkish citizenship from them.

The decision stipulated the need for these people to leave Turkish territory within hours, and to withdraw all their money and homes from them, except for what they were able to sell in terms of furniture and movables, with an amount not exceeding a thousand pounds. Aisha, the daughter of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, recounts what happened to the family’s children at that time in her memoirs, saying: “We did not give money a value. Shelter? And what is our fate? Our only sin is that we are members of the Ottoman family. We started opening our doors and auctioning the furniture of our homes in preparation for our departure. Of course, we could not sell the furniture at its real value.”[1]. Everyone went out wandering towards different countries. The last Sultan, Abd al-Majid, and some of his sons and nephews set out for France, while others traveled to the Levant, Beirut, Egypt, India, America, and others.

Among those deported was the son of Sultan Abd al-Hamid II, Prince Muhammad Selim Effendi, the eldest son of his third wife and his young children, as they headed to Damascus, which was under French occupation at the time. And when they did not like living there, they decided to go to the Jounieh region near Beirut in Lebanon, and they made it a home until they passed away, and Salim Effendi did not leave it to others. But the grandson, Prince Muhammad Abdul Karim bin Muhammad Salim, son of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, decided to go through the midst of trials, and looked forward to adventure around the earth, in the hope that he would restore the biography of his Ottoman fathers and grandfathers in the homeland of the ancient ancestors in Turkestan.

Prince Muhammad Abdul Karim and the Japanese project

This experience has a story that is indispensable to be told from its inception. This Ottoman prince (Abdul Karim) was born in the capital, Istanbul, in the last years of the sultanate of his grandfather, Abdul Hamid II, specifically in 1906 AD, then he received his initial education there until he entered the military technical school in the secondary stage. But when Ataturk and his companions decided to abolish the caliphate and banish the Ottoman family, his father, Muhammad Selim, decided to go to their summer house in the Jounieh district of Beirut, and there his son Abdul Karim Effendi entered secondary school, then he fell in love with a Maronite Christian girl and wanted to marry her, but his father categorically refused. In the end, Abd al-Karim and his beloved decided to flee to Damascus, and there the girl converted to Islam and became her new name, “Nemat Hanim”, and then they decided to marry and live together, so they had Harun in 1930 AD, then Dandar in 1932 AD, and due to this behavior Muhammad Salim Effendi boycotted his son Abd Karim until his death, and on the other hand, the couple faced hardship and poverty in the city of Damascus[2].

Prince Abdel Karim and his wife, Nemat Hanem
Prince Abdel Karim and his wife, Nemat Hanem. (communication Web-sites)

Muhammad Abd al-Karim Effendi was famous for his pride and self-esteem, and he never accepted help from his Arab friends, so he decided to travel to the Hyderabad region in India, and from there he set off to Singapore and then to the Japanese Empire, which had a huge project in Asia based on confronting Russia and Western influence. . At the same time, Japan was working on rapprochement with the Turks of Central Asia to achieve this project, and accordingly, the Japanese ambassador in Damascus met with Muhammad Abd al-Karim Effendi at that time and offered him the presidency of the government that would be established in East Turkistan and Mongolia. Abdul Karim felt the possibility of the success of this plan and even the revival of the Ottoman Caliphate from a new spot in the world, so he accepted the offer and moved to implement it under the auspices of the Japanese Empire.[3].

But we have to shed more light on the reality of this project, which Japan described as the “Great Asian”. The Japanese Empire had started since 1868 AD in an accelerated modernization process inspired by that Western and European model, and it reached the peak of its political and military power in the late nineteenth century until the Second World War, and it became one of the most important and powerful countries in the world, as its population increased to the point that it embarked on The search for fertile agricultural lands, raw materials, control of the main roads, and the establishment of a buffer zone belonging to it between China and Russia in the Asian continent. Japan has found what it needs in China, Manchuria, East Turkistan and Mongolia to achieve its ambitious geopolitical project.

Driven by this ambition, Japan entered the first Japanese-Chinese war in the years 1894-1895 AD and won, then defeated Russia in 1905 AD. On Russia, starting from East Turkestan and extending to the rest of the Turks’ countries and provinces in these regions, in addition to Mongolia[4]. And since Japan had a strong relationship with the Ottoman Empire during the time of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, and the two sides agreed on the seriousness of Western ambitions in Asia and the Ottoman Empire, the relations between them became closer.

In order to rapprochement with the Turks, the Japanese claimed at that time that they were from the Turkish “Turanian” dynasties, and they also claimed that they were seeking to help their oppressed brothers from the Uyghurs, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and others. To free them from the Chinese and Russian occupation. In order to unify these Turkish ethnicities within their project; The Japanese saw Prince Muhammad Abd al-Karim Effendi as a suitable choice for this task, as his grandfather was a caliph and his uncle was the last of the Ottoman caliphs. The prince is important in the context of their Asian strategy, which they sought at the time[5].

The prince’s adventure and the tragic end

When Prince Abd al-Karim Effendi landed in Tokyo in the beginning of 1933 AD to meet senior Japanese leaders and politicians, Japanese intelligence learned that a Turk had tracked the Prince’s path from Singapore until his descent to Japan. After examining and investigating this person, who claimed that he came to collect a large amount of money that he lent to Prince Abdul Karim while he was in Singapore, it was proven that he had a previous connection with the Turkish intelligence before he was later dismissed from his work, and he also had a relationship with the Soviets, where he worked in Moscow for six years. , which is the thread from which the Japanese inferred that the Soviets and the Turks, led by Ataturk, were aware of the movements and intentions of Emir Abdul Karim. For this reason, the will of the two parties coincided and their interests united at that time to eliminate his movements. The Russians aimed to prevent him from establishing a Turkish empire in Central Asia on their borders that would later lead to the uprising of the Turks and Tatars of the Soviet Union, while Ataturk and his men sought to prevent the resurgence of the Ottoman Empire again.[6].

For this reason, the researcher Ali Dundar analyzed the documents of the Japanese security reports that he found in the Japanese archives regarding the person who pursued Prince Abdul Karim in Japan, and concluded that it was a bait from the Soviet intelligence at the time. Indeed, he gave him a large sum of money, not to help him on his way, but rather to prevent him from continuing on his way to East Turkistan, under the pretext of the need to recover his money when he brought cases against him before the Japanese courts. As for Turkey, it provided this agent and supported him because they saw Prince Abdul Karim Effendi as a direct threat to the new leaders, starting from Ataturk and without him, and for these reasons they organized a joint intelligence operation to thwart his mission.[7].

Abdul Karim Effendi surrounded by Japanese soldiers in Tokyo before setting out for East Turkestan
Abdul Karim Effendi surrounded by Japanese soldiers in Tokyo before setting out for East Turkestan. (communication Web-sites)

In any case, Prince Abdul Karim set out to East Turkistan, and there he met a major challenge, which is that the Turks of East Turkestan were divided among themselves between the republicans who supported the ideas of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in establishing a modern republic, and the supporters of the Ottoman Empire and its long legacy. In this atmosphere, the young prince assumed command of the military operations against China from the front and the Russians from the rear. However, his mission was almost impossible in light of the weak capabilities of the Uyghur people, whose population at that time was less than 10 million, especially in front of the hundreds of millions of Chinese supported by the British. And the Americans to thwart the expansionist plans of the Japanese, not to mention the power of the Soviet Russians from behind[8].

As expected, and following the failure to manage these battles in front of the Chinese and a request for his life, Abdul Karim Effendi managed to flee from East Turkistan to India, then decided to flee to the United States seeking asylum there. He succeeded in reaching New York City and stayed in one of its hotels, and on August 3, 1935, Abd al-Karim Effendi committed suicide with his personal pistol while he was still a young man at the age of twenty-nine due to financial hardship, and the loss of his dream of achieving the resurrection of the Ottoman Empire again, and the liberation of East Turkistan from the Chinese grip.

American newspapers publish the news of the suicide of Prince Abdul Karim in New York
American newspapers publish the news of the suicide of Prince Abdul Karim in New York. (communication Web-sites)

This is the official story presented by eyewitnesses, newspapers, and the American authorities, but his cousin, Prince Orkhan bin Abdul Qadir, accompanied him on this trip, and he used to live with him in the next room. He confirmed that he had never left Abdul Karim, and that things were fine that day. But at the time of the accident, he went out for only five minutes to buy cigarettes, and when he came back, he found Abdul Karim soaked in his own blood. For this reason, the sons and relatives of the slain prince are suspicious of this incident and do not accept the idea of ​​suicide easily, and we can also accept this skepticism after we have seen the activity of the Soviet and Turkish intelligence services in tracing the steps of Prince Abdul Karim since he set foot in Singapore and then Japan and trying to obstruct him from going to East Turkestan, not It is unlikely that these same agencies have been monitoring his movements even within America itself.

This is the adventure of Prince Muhammad Abdul Karim Effendi, the grandson of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who tried to liberate the land of the Uyghurs in East Turkestan and revive the Ottoman Empire, but the facts on the ground were stronger than his dreams, and the capabilities were weaker than the challenges and the power of the enemies. His short life ended with the event of his death or suicide, leaving behind two young sons, Harun and Dandar. Presidency of the Ottoman dynasty in the world to Dundar Who met his Lord in January 2021 AD in the city of Damascus, where his father left him with his brother and his mother, Nemat Hanim, eight decades ago, and he never returned to them.



[1] Memoirs of Prince Aisha Othman Oli, “My Father, Sultan Abdul Hamid II,” p. 356.

[2] K. Mısıroğlu, Osmanlıoğullarının Dramı, s316.

[3] Agk

[4] Miwa, Kimitada (2007). “Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History”. Pan-Asianism in modern Japan: nationalism, regionalism and universalism. Ed. Sven Saaler, J. Victor Koschmann. NewYork: Routledge: 21-33.

[5] Ali Merthan Dundar, Şehzade Abdülkerim Efendi’nin Japonya’nın Desteğiyle Türkistan İmparatoru Olma Meselesi Üzerine, s 80.

[6] A. Merthan Dundar, Ag, s83.

[7] A. Merthan Dundar, Ag, S86.

[8] K. Mısıroğlu, Osmanlıoğullarının Dramı, s323.


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Abdul Karim Effendi.. the grandson of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who was supported by Japan and was killed in New York

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