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Abd al-Aziz

Abd al-Aziz (äb´däl-äzēz´) or Abdülaziz (Turk. äbdül´äzēz´), 1830–76, Ottoman sultan (1861–76), brother and successor of Abd al-Majid. The economic and political reforms enacted under his rule could not outpace the decline of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). In 1875 his bankrupt government repudiated the interest on the huge loans raised in Western Europe; this act led to foreign control over part of the Ottoman revenues. Romania, Serbia, and Egypt gained virtual independence, and revolts broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria. Political decay was paralleled, however, by cultural rebirth. Many important schools were founded, and newspapers helped to educate the Turks politically. In 1876, Midhat Pasha, foremost among the liberals, overthrew Abd al-Aziz, who died a few days later, probably by suicide. He was succeeded by his nephew, Murad V.

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