The international Conference which met at Constantinople towards the end of 1876 was, indeed, startled by the salvo of guns heralding the promulgation of a constitution, but the demands of the Conference were rejected, in spite of the solemn warnings addressed to the sultan by the Powers; Midhat Pasha, the author of the constitution, was exiled; and soon afterwards his work was suspended, though figuring to this day on the Statute-Book.
Under Midhat Pasha, governor-general of Bagdad from 1866 to 1871, an attempt was made by the Turkish authorities to establish regular steam navigation on the Euphrates.
Midhat caused many of the dams to be destroyed and for some years occasional steamers were run between Meskene and Hillah in flood time, from April to August.
But with the transfer of Midhat this feeble attempt at navigation was abandoned.
So also did the " Midhat Constitution " promulgated by Abd-ul-Hamid almost immediately after his accession to the throne, owing largely to the reactionary spirit at that time of the' Ulema and of the sultan's immediate advisers, but almost, if not quite, in equal measure to the scornful reception of the Constitution by the European powers.
A conspiracy to bring about a change was hereupon formed by certain prominent statesmen, whose leaders were Midhat Pasha, Mehemed Rushdi Pasha and Mahmud Damad Pasha, the husband of a princess of the blood, sister to Prince Murad.
These walls all fell into decay long since; at places they were used as brick quarries, and finally the great reforming governor, (1868-1872), Midhat Pasha, following the example set by many European cities, undertook to destroy them altogether and utilize the free space thus obtained as a public park and esplanade.
The former of these is connected with western Bagdad by a very primitive horse-tramway, also a relic of Midhat Pasha's reforms. The two parts of the city are joined by pontoon bridges, one in the suburbs and one in the main city.
Midhat Pasha, then governor-general, seized the occasion of asserting Turkish dominion on the Persian Gulf coast, and in 1875, in spite of British protests, occupied El Hasa and established a new province under the title of Nejd, with its headquarters at Hofuf, of which Abdallah was appointed governor.
MIDHAT PASHA (1822-1884), Turkish statesman, the son of a civil judge, was born at Constantinople in 1822.
On his return to Constantinople Midhat was appointed chief director of confidential reports, and after a new financial mission in Syria was made second secretary of the grand council.
In 1871 the anti-reform influence of the grand vizier, Mahmoud Nedim, seemed to Midhat a danger to the country, and in a personal interview he boldly stated his views to the sultan, who was so struck with their force and entire disinterestedness that he appointed Midhat grand vizier in place of Mahmoud.
Too independent, however, for the court, Midhat remained in power only three months, and after a short governorship of Salonica he lived apart from affairs at Constantinople until 1875.
From this time forward, however, Midhat Pasha's career resolved itself into a series of strange and almost romantic adventures.
While sympathizing with the ideas and aims of the "Young Turkey" party, he was anxious to restrain its impatience, but the sultan's obduracy led to a coalition between the grand vizier, the war minister and Midhat Pasha, which deposed him in May 1876, and he was murdered in the following month.
Midhat Pasha now became grand vizier, reforms were freely promised, and the Ottoman parliament was inaugurated with a great flourish.
In the following February, however, Midhat was dismissed and banished for supposed complicity in the murder of Abdul Aziz.
The trial accordingly took place in June, when Midhat and the others were sentenced to death.
Since the time (1868-1872) of Midhat Pasha, who did much to bring the independent Arab tribes under control, the Turkish government has been, however, gradually strengthening its grip on the country and extending the area of conscription and taxation.