ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Turgut Subaşı

Keywords: Abdülmecid, Canning, Knight of the Garter, Ottoman Empire, Great Britain


Sultan Abdülmecid believed in the importance of gaining the support of Great Britain in order to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ottoman Empire, to minimize the interference of Russia, and to restructure the state that is selfsufficient. Therefore he developed a close friendship and established a close dialogue with ambassador of Great Britain in Istanbul, Stratford Canning, who was accepted as one of the most talented diplomats of 19th century. Abdülmecid wanted to take advantage of his vast diplomatic experiences. On the other hand, Great Britain was aware that it would cost Britain highly to remain unresponsive to the change of political status and balance of power in Europe against her interest. Those mutual expectations developed the bilateral relations and those relations peaked with the Crimean War. The key person in the Anglo-Ottoman relations was Stratford Canning. His dealing with Ottoman Empire's domestic and foreign problems and having some effects on their results made him more than a diplomat. Knight of the Garter was a good chance for Great Britain to enhance its dominance on Ottoman Sultan. Thus, by honoring Sultan Abdulmecid with the Knight of the Garter in 1856, the highest noble title of Great Britain, the British and Ottoman relationship reached its zenith. The Knight of the Garter was presented by Stratford Canning on behalf of the Queen in Istanbul. That was an extraordinary practice. For the first time, the highest order of the British Empire was given to a Muslim sovereign and also the Caliph of the Muslims