Research Article

DOI :10.26650/iutd.1140788   IUP :10.26650/iutd.1140788    Full Text (PDF)

The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire

Cemil Kutlutürk

The Nizams of Hyderabad (1724-1948) were established in the Deccan region of India as an Islamic State that had maintained its independence until the middle of the 20th century. Religious, historical, and cultural ties enabled the Nizams of Hyderabad to establish warm relations with the Ottoman Empire. For instance, aid campaigns were organized in order to fulfill the basic needs of Ottoman soldiers, financial support was provided for the completion of the Hejaz Railway Project, and support was given to the last caliph Abdulmejid II, who was having financial difficulties while abroad. Moreover, an edict was issued on August 2, 1923 right after the Treaty of Lausanne, and a one-day public holiday was declared in Hyderabad due to the victory of Turkey as a result of its war of independence. Although valuable studies are found on Indo-Ottoman relations in the Turkish literature, as far as can be determined, no study is found to have dealt with this issue in the context of the Nizams of Hyderabad and the Hyderabad region. Therefore, this study examines the material and non-physical support given by the Nizams of Hyderabad and the Muslim people of the Hyderabad region to the Ottoman Empire by making use of the documents obtained as a result of the field research.

DOI :10.26650/iutd.1140788   IUP :10.26650/iutd.1140788    Full Text (PDF)

Hindistan’da Kurulan Haydarabad Nizamlığı’nın Osmanlı Devleti’ne Verdiği Destek

Cemil Kutlutürk

Hindistan’ın Dekken bölgesinde kurulmuş olan Haydarabad Nizamlığı (1724- 1948), yirminci yüzyılın ortalarına kadar bağımsızlığını sürdürmüş bir İslam Devleti’dir. Dini, tarihi ve kültürel bağlar, Haydarabad Nizamlığı’nın Osmanlı Devleti’yle sıcak ilişkiler kurmasını sağlamıştır. Gerek devleti yönetenler gerekse bölgedeki Müslümanlar, çetin bir süreçten geçen Osmanlı’ya ve Türk halkına destek olmuşlardır. Osmanlı askerleri için bağış toplanması, Hicaz Demiryolu Projesi için yardım kampanyaları düzenlenmesi, son halife Abdülmecid Efendi’ye maddi destek sağlanması, Lozan Antlaşması’nın hemen ardından 2 Ağustos 1923 tarihinde bir ferman yayımlanarak Türkiye’nin mili mücadele sonucu elde ettiği zafer nedeniyle Haydarabad genelinde bir günlük resmi tatil ilan edilmesi, bu durumu yansıtmaktadır. Türkçe literatürde Hint-Osmanlı ilişkilerine dair kıymetli çalışmalar bulunmakla birlikte tespit edebildiğimiz kadarıyla meseleyi Haydarabad Nizamlığı bağlamında müstakil olarak ele alan bir araştırma bulunmamaktadır. Dolayısıyla bu makalede saha araştırması sonucu elde edilen belge ve dokümanlardan da yararlanılarak Haydarabad Nizamlığı’nın ve bölgede yaşayan Müslüman halkın Osmanlı Devleti’ne verdiği maddi ve manevi destek inceleme konusu yapılmaktadır.


Remarkable historical events such as the conquest of Istanbul and the transfer of the caliphate to the Ottomans enabled the political and diplomatic relations between the Ottoman Empire and Indian dynasties to increase. One of the prominent political actors in this process was undoubtedly the Nizams of Hyderabad. They maintained their existence as an independent Islamic state in the region until 1948, when India gained its independence from the British. Due to this feature, a more systematic and long-term contact had been established between the Nizams of Hyderabad and the Ottoman Empire.

Mutual interactions occurred between the two regions in the fields of politics, culture, art, and education. For example, Fazluddin Khan Bahadur was the prime minister of the sixth Nizam and in 1898 asked the Ottoman administration to send samples of manuscripts and printed books found in Istanbul libraries. Some books on tafsir, hadith and history were copied by competent people for this purpose.

The intense contact between the two regions was experienced during the Ottomans’ struggles against foreign forces. The people of Hyderabad prayed for the victory of the Turkish army and made calls for help. Common religious and cultural values and the respect shown to the institution of the caliphate had an undeniable impact on the emergence of such an attitude. The funds collected through the efforts of many influential figures, including leaders such as Salar Junk and Muhammed Badi, who served at the highest level of the Hyderabad Nizam, were sent to the Ottoman Empire to be delivered to the wounded Turkish soldiers and the orphaned children of the soldiers.

Regular telegrams were received from the war zone regarding Ottoman soldiers’ conditions through the special organizations established in Hyderabad, thereby informing the public. Through such efforts carried out under the leadership of the Nizams of Hyderabad, an awareness is understood to have been created in the eyes of the people of the region toward the Ottomans. This is why the Nizam of Hyderabad provided financial support to Al-Akhtar, a newspaper published by the Ottoman Empire, so that it could continue its publishing life.

The Hejaz Railway project was one of the significant events that strengthened the relations between Hyderabad and the Ottoman Empire. Some of the Indian Muslim intellectuals came together and established a society called Anjuman Khuddam-i-Kaaba [Society of the Servants of Kaaba] to support the project. The fact that a person such as Molla Abdulqayyum with important administrative duties in education and transportation in the Hyderabad State had assumed the position of honorary secretariat of the Hejaz Railway project in South India concretely reflects this support. Meanwhile, the capital of Istanbul showed sensitivity toward this noble behavior and decided to give the Hamidiya Hejaz Railway Medal to the people from Hyderabad who’d sent aid.

The Ottoman Empire’s involvement in the Balkan Wars and then World War I was closely followed in the Hyderabad region. Muslim leaders living in Hyderabad and the surrounding regions forwarded messages of support to the Ottoman Empire. One article written in Arabic in 1913 is a concrete piece of data reflecting this situation. This article stated that Muslims should give their full support to the Ottomans and also mentioned that the Ottoman Empire should make a military expedition to take back the pieces of land that had been lost, especially the Balkans. Warnings were also given to some of the Muslim people who were trying to leave the Ottoman Empire with their feelings of nationalism. The article emphasized that Turks should be vigilant against the insidious ambitions of foreign powers.

The Hyderabad Red Crescent Society performed an important function in the process of conveying information on the health status of the Ottoman Empire to the people of the Hyderabad region. The society also undertook the task of conveying the financial aid collected from Indian volunteers to the Ottoman Empire. The people of Hyderabad demanded that this aid should be spent to fulfill the basic needs of the relatives of martyrs and veterans, orphaned children, and the Turkish soldiers fighting at the front. The society transferred the donations to the London branch of the National Bank of India to be delivered to the Grand Viziership. The documents found in the Ottoman Achieves testify that whether these donations had reached the relevant authority and whether it had been spent right away were closely followed.

The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and the occupation of Istanbul by the Allied Forces on March 16, 1920 were met with sadness in the Hyderabad region as well as in the rest of India. Some of the meetings held by the pioneers of the Indian Khilafat Movement were organized in Hyderabad. However, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, is understood from the historical records to have cautiously approached the activities of such organizations, which had a religious-political appearance, and to have evaluated these kinds of activities from multiple perspectives.

Mir Osman Ali Khan closely followed Turkey’s successful and selfless struggle against the occupying states. He issued an edict in 1923 regarding financial aid to the needy people in Turkey. He appointed the editor of Sahifa, Muhammed Akbar Ali, to organize drives for this support. The available documents show Mir Osman Ali Khan to have issued an edict on August 2, 1923 right after the Treaty of Lausanne, an edict that established a one-day official holiday in Hyderabad due to the victory of Turkey as a result of the war of independence. Moreover, in order to celebrate this victory of the Turks, he gave orders to distribute various awards to his people and to illuminate the prominent mosques of the city with oil lamps. Another concrete indication of the close interest the Nizam of Hyderabad had with the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish people is the financial support it provided to the last Caliph Abdulmejid II who’d been forced to go abroad after the abolition of the caliphate in 1924.

Mir Osman Ali Khan expressed his decision with these words: “Sultan Abdulmejid’s financial situation is not very good these days, and since he currently resides in Europe, his expenses there are quite high. I consider it a religious duty to help him as much as I can, in accordance with the religious principle of one Muslim is the sibling to another Muslim.” In response to Mir Osman Ali Khan’s positive attitude, Abdulmejid II wrote a letter saying, “Your noble decision has reached me through Nawaz Junk Bahadur. I express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to you for supporting Muslims.” All these data demonstrate that the Nizam had deep sympathy for the Turkish people and the diplomatic and cultural relations between the two regions with their strong historical background that has continued up to recent times. 

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Kutlutürk, C. (2022). The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire. Turkish Journal of History, 0(78), 73-99.


Kutlutürk C. The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire. Turkish Journal of History. 2022;0(78):73-99.


Kutlutürk, C. The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire. Turkish Journal of History, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 78, p. 73-99, 2022.

Chicago: Author-Date Style

Kutlutürk, Cemil,. 2022. “The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire.” Turkish Journal of History 0, no. 78: 73-99.

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Kutlutürk, Cemil,. The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire.” Turkish Journal of History 0, no. 78 (Jul. 2024): 73-99.

Harvard: Australian Style

Kutlutürk, C 2022, 'The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire', Turkish Journal of History, vol. 0, no. 78, pp. 73-99, viewed 17 Jul. 2024,

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Kutlutürk, C. (2022) ‘The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire’, Turkish Journal of History, 0(78), pp. 73-99. (17 Jul. 2024).


Kutlutürk, Cemil,. The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire.” Turkish Journal of History, vol. 0, no. 78, 2022, pp. 73-99. [Database Container],


Kutlutürk C. The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire. Turkish Journal of History [Internet]. 17 Jul. 2024 [cited 17 Jul. 2024];0(78):73-99. Available from: doi: 10.26650/iutd.1140788


Kutlutürk, Cemil. The Nizams of Hyderabad in India and the Support They Provided the Ottoman Empire”. Turkish Journal of History 0/78 (Jul. 2024): 73-99.


Published Online21.11.2022


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