Diplomatic and Social Functions of the Veladet-i Humayun Ceremonies in the Hamidian Era


AMME IDARESI DERGISI, vol.54, no.2, pp.75-91, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-91
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: Yes


Some indispensible elements of the Turkish state tradition like the royal tent, throne, plume and drum symbolized the supremacy and they were regarded as the symbols of royalty and established tradition. Some other similar symbol and rituals emerged later and they were described as the elements of an invented tradition. One of such symbols is the royal birth ceremonies known as veladet-i humayun. The birth of heirs in the Ottoman palace was called as veladet-i humayun (royal birth). The meaning of veladet-i humayun in the classical age changed in time and gained a different meaning since the midst of the 19th Century. A new ceremony tradition was invented during the reign of Mahmud II and this reached to a peak during the reign of Abdulhamid II. The term of veladet-i humayun lost its original meaning and transformed to annual celebration of the reigning sultan's birthday. The celebrations organized in the palace began to be practiced in the provinces and they were also used as a way of improving diplomatic relations in the external representations. The rulers of other countries like Britain, Russia and France also sent letters to the sultan for celebration and these letters were responded in return to thank. Thus the birthdays were seen as an opportunity for warm diplomatic relations. In this study, the new meanings of the mentioned birthdays in the 19th Century will be evaluated. It will be revealed by relying on correspondence samples that attendance to the ceremonies were regarded as a demonstration of loyalty and the opposite was seen as a disloyalty. Information will be provided about the diplomatic and social functions of the ceremonies.