Relying on primary documents from the Ottoman archives and relevant secondary sources, this article traces the destiny of late Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II’s wealth in the aftermath of his removal from power in 1909. For centuries the Ottoman rules were never clear on the boundaries between the Ottoman dynasty’s and the state’s assets. The Ottoman dynasty ruled under a de facto understanding that all public lands and the state properties were of the property of sultan and his family. Without a challenge to this status quo, the sultans did not need to formalize this traditional idea. Legal ambiguity worked for the benefits of sultan but once sultans were side lined in the constitutional monarchy period, lack of legal coverage caused irreparable damages to deposed sultan and his heirs.
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Abdülhamid II, Committee of Union and Progress, Young Turks, Wealth of the Abdulhamid II, Yildiz Palace