Abdur Rehman Peshawri

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Abdur Rehman Peshawari an Indian Muslim motivated by Pan-Islamism left education and reached the Ottoman Empire, initially as team member of Medical Mission. At end of Mission he chose to stay in the Ottoman Empire. He paritcipated in First World War and War of Independence for Turkey. He served as Turkey's ambassador to Afghanistan during Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's reign.

Early life[edit]

Abdur Rehman was born in Peshawar, Pakistan in the 1880/90’s. He belonged to a prominent family from Peshawar and was the son of Haji Ghulam Samdani.

Dr. Ansari's mission[edit]

While he was studying at Aligarh University, a mission was put together by Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari to go to Turkey in support of the ailing Ottoman Caliphate. As military support of the Caliphate was not allowed by the British government, a medical team comprising 24 doctors and male nurses was assembled. Abdur Rehman left his studies and volunteered for this mission as a stretcher bearer / Nurse.

As he was uncertain of his father’s approval; to generate funds for his journey he sold all his belongings.

Stay in Turkey[edit]

After the end of the war, Rehman was the only team member to stay on in Turkey where he played an active role in the upcoming events.

He decided to enlist in the Army and began his training in Istanbul. Later he was sent to Beirut, until the First World War started. He began his active service as a Lieutenant in the regular army and he saw his first action in the Dardanelles. He served with honor in a number of campaigns throughout the war.

After the defeat of Germany and Turkey at the end of WWI, the Allied Powers occupied Istanbul. Mustafa Kamal Pasha established a provisional government in Angora [Ankara] to oppose the Allies and the Caliphate. Abdur Rehman joined these forces in their struggle for the restoration of Turkish sovereignty.


In 1921, he was sent by Attaturk as Turkey's ambassador to Afghanistan.


His career in the future of the newly created Turkish nation ended prematurely when he was shot and killed in Istanbul. His death is supposed to have been a case of mistaken identity. Rauf Bay, a prominent Turkish politician (later the prime minister of Turkey) was rumored to be the actual target. Unfortunately for Abdur Rehman, he bore a close resemblance to Rauf Bay which lead to his death. He is buried in Istanbul.