Payitaht: Abdülhamid

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Payitaht: Abdülhamid
Payitaht Abdülhamid logo.jpg
Also known asThe Last Emperor
Written byOsman Bodur
Uğur Uzunok
Directed bySerdar Akar
Emre Konuk
Doğan Ümit Karaca
StarringBülent İnal
Country of originTurkey
Original languageTurkish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes138
ProducerES Film
Production locationTurkey
Running time150 min.
Original networkTRT 1
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV )
1080i ( HDTV )
Audio formatStereo
Original release24 February 2017 (2017-02-24) –
External links

Payitaht: Abdülhamid (lit. "The Capital: Abdul Hamid"), named The Last Emperor in English, is a Turkish historical television drama series starring Bülent İnal and Özlem Conker depicting historical events during the reign of the 34th Ottoman Sultan, Abdul Hamid II.[1][2]

Alex Ritman and Mia Galuppo of The Hollywood Reporter described it as a "follow-up" to the previous television series Filinta Mustafa.[3] The series gained support in Turkey.


The series follows important events that marked the last 13 years of the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid. It includes a war that resulted in the victory of the Ottoman Empire, the Greek War. It also shows the request for lands from Palestine and 1st Zionist Congress. Another important project that the Sultan succeeded is the work of Hejaz railway. The main theme of the series is struggle and fight till the end.

Season 1[edit]

The series starts during the 20th year of the sultan's reign. They are planning a big project, the Hejaz Railway. However, the Sultan's brother-in-law, Mahmut Paşa, the Brits, and Theodore Herzl are trying to sabotage this project. In the harem, on the other hand, a strong rivalry between Bidar Sultan and Seniha Sultan extends to their family. Also, the sultan's brother Murad's daughters come to the palace. His eldest daughter, Hatice Sultan, falls in love with Kemalettin Paşa and plans to marry him while on the other hand Naime Sultan, the Sultan's daughter, also is in love with Kemalettin and tries to win his heart, eventually getting ill. Hatice Sultan with her love for Naime pretends that Kemalettin loves Naime by giving a Naime a letter which Kemalettin had written to Hatice. Mahmut Paşa, Seniha Sultan's husband, piles slander upon slander on Mehmet Paşa, Bidar Sultan's brother, eventually getting him exiled. Abdülkadir, the sultan's son, is consistently manipulated by Mahmut Paşa and his son Sabahattin, and while trying to ruin their game gets himself into a deeper mess, getting stuck in a burning room with his mother at the end of the season which was started by Esma, a traitor servant girl, at Sabahattin's order. Also in the last episode of the season is the Ottoman Empire declaring war on Greece.

Season 2[edit]

The new century begins. Sultan Abdülhamid changed the fortune of the Ottoman, who had not been victorious in the last two centuries, and won the Greek War. The war that ended at the front continues at the table now. Parvus, the vizier of the Global Monarchy, pretends to be an engineer and gets into the palace. The sultan is preparing the state for a great war with his development moves and launches the oil move that starts wars for the new century after the railway move. While Parvus is struggling to end Payitaht with agents spread all over Istanbul under the leadership of Marco, his right-hand man, Sultan Abdülhamid's extraordinary and successful nephew, Murad, fights with his team at the expense of their lives. Sultan Abdülhamid is unaware of the storms in his harem while fighting to protect Payitaht. Entering to avenge the her mother, who was fired from the palace, Firuze helps the enemies in their war against the Ottoman Family. She gets Abdülkadir to fall in love with her. She causes all the balances to turn upside down between Bidar Sultan and Seniha Sultan. At the end of the season, Bidar Sultan, who left the palace, has an accident and her carriage falls down a cliff, severely injuring her. Parvus, although in a cage, makes a plan to kill the entire palace; using a man named Mr. Crowly, he gets poison gas into the palace by using a new invention, the radiator, and poisons everyone during a ceremony. But at the end, Fehim Paşa, risking his life, shot Mr. Crowly, dying in the process.

Season 3[edit]

In the palace, the wounds of the last serious incident are tried to be healed, and the death of Fehim Paşa is mourned. Sultan Abdülhamid ensured Parvus was thrown into the dungeon in England. The partner of this plan, Crowly, is found where he is hiding in Egypt and punished by Halil Halid. Fuat Efendi, the son of a former Khedive of Egypt, comes to Payitaht. Bidar Sultan cannot forget what has happened to her. Moreover, she cannot make anyone believe what he remembers about her accident, which is that it was deliberate and that she was kidnapped and taken to someone's house; everyone just calls it nightmares. Meanwhile, Şivenaz, fiancé of Fuad Efendi and daughter of Mr. Rothschild, comes to the palace and makes problems in harem. The Young Turks become a true organization when Sabahattin goes to Paris and becomes a leader. Sultan Abdülhamid sends Zühtü Paşa, who everyone thinks is a traitor, to Paris as a spy. However, when he gets information that one of the Paşas actually is a spy, he calls the head of intelligence, Ahmet Celalettin Paşa, to find the traitor. Around the end of the season, Fuat Efendi's betrayal is uncovered and he is shot by Ahmet Paşa, while at the end of the season his fiancée Şivenaz gets killed by Şehzade Abdülkadir and the Young Turks start a revolution, attacking the palace. Tahsin Paşa, Mahmut Paşa, and Ahmet Paşa all get shot and the sultan and his family are stuck inside the burning palace.

Season 4[edit]

The revolution was suppressed and the fire in the palace was extinguished. However, its consequences and destruction continue. Sultan Abdülhamid makes veladet-i humayun celebrations to show that the Ottoman Empire was not destroyed and cannot be destroyed easily. The news of victory from Payitaht brings together the adversaries of Abdülhamid once again. They bring Bay Zalman to Payitaht. Cemile Sultan, who came to Payitaht for Veladet-i humayun celebrations, manages to disturb everyone in harem. While Bidar Sultan and Seniha Sultan think that she will go in a few days, she decides to stay when Abdülhamid commissions Mehmet, her son, in the palace. Even though Bidar Sultan tries to be patient in this situation, Seniha Sultan cannot bear the domination of Cemile Sultan any more and leaves the palace. They defeat Zalman eventually, so the Brits send William Hechler as an ambassador; he is quickly defeated as well. However, one of his men arranges an assassination for the sultan and shoots at him with a sniper which injures Ahmet Paşa (not shown) and the season ends there.

Season 5[edit]

Season 5 begins with Ferit Paşa becoming the grand vizier. Meanwhile, in the harem, Bidar Sultan becomes extra cautious and suspicious of each and every person in the harem. Sultan Abdülhamid's older brother Murat Efendi passes away, leaving behind an heir that will take his place in the Freemasons, which he left in his will in the form of a composition. The sultan sends Ahmet Paşa, Selim Paşa, and Zuluflu İsmail Paşa to follow someone who decoded the composition, but the man is killed inside the train he and the three Paşas board, meaning that one of the three is a traitor, so they are questioned by Tahsin Paşa and Mahmut Paşa. William Hechler is released with the help of the Masons and is again sent as British Ambassador to Payitaht. Meanwhile, Murat Efendi's daughters Fatma Sultan and Aliye Sultan come to the harem, worrying Bidar Sultan as they blame Sultan Abdülhamid for the death of their father. Abdulkadir leaves the palace along with Meziyet as Bidar Sultan doesn't allow their marriage. Bidar Sultan also makes a huge mistake and leaves the palace and invites Saliha Naciye Hanım to the palace.


Character Played by Appearance in Episodes Description
Sultan Abdülhamid II Bülent İnal 1- Sultan Abdülhamid is the titular character, played by Bülent İnal. He is the last Sultan to hold executive powers in Ottoman Empire. Sultan Abdülhamid is a seasoned politician and statesman. He is trying to preserve the Empire from external as well as internal threats. He survives many assassination attempts. Sultan is a devout Muslim who wants to modernize and industrialize the empire while retaining Islamic and cultural values. His dream project is Hejaz railway to connect Muslim world from Sarajevo to Baghdad to the Holiest sites in Islam. He is shown to be the de facto head of the secret police and intelligence services of the Empire.
Tahsin Paşa Bahadır Yenişehirlioğlu 1- The head of chamberlains and First Secretary of the palace. He is the most loyal person and the right-hand man of the Sultan and Sultan trusts him with his life. He is always present with the Sultan. For him, the state means the Sultan. He has been working for the state since he was 13 years old.
Bidar Sultan Özlem Conker 1-128 Wife of Sultan Abdülhamid II, the empress and matriarch of the palace. Intelligent and not easy to fool, she is the mother of Prince Abdülkadir and Naime Sultan. Often argues with Seniha Sultan but befriends her later on. After encountering several betrayals, becomes very paranoid and disturbs everyone in the palace, even her own kids, repeatedly accusing everyone of being a traitor. Kicks many people out of the palace. Leaves the palace and goes to Bursa after giving away important state information due to being threatened with Abdülkadir.
Seniha Sultan Selen Öztürk 1-89 Sultan Abdülhamid's sister and wife of Mahmut Paşa. She loves her brother and always wants him out of the harm's way. She is smart and cunning. She stands out with her ambitious and brave personality. She depends on the traditions and rules of the state. Has a rivalry with Bidar Kadın. Although she likes Sultan Abdülhamid very much, the continuation of the Ottoman Dynasty is more important to her. Doesn't appear in the fourth season after the first episode as she goes to Umrah with her son Lütfullah.
Sultan Murad V Nevzat Yilmaz 1-54 Elder brother of Abdülhamid II and was the Sultan before him. He is shown after deposition in exile in Çırağan Palace. Fond of his brother's political abilities and always praises him and compares him better than himself to rule the state. Is also a Freemason. His death is spoken of at the beginning of Season 5 but not shown; leaves an heir to his position in the Freemasons.
Theodor Herzl Saygın Soysal 1-44 The main antagonist of the first season. Herzl is an Austro-Hungarian Zionist. He wants to establish a Zionist state in Palestine and tries to convince the Sultan to let him buy land from Palestine, but is not. He repeatedly publishes fake news against Sultan Abdülhamid II to defame him and the Ottoman Empire. Works with Parvus but does not really like him, exposing the fact that he had Sara Hedeya killed to Karasu. His death is spoken of but not shown.
Mahmut Paşa Hakan Boyav 1- Brother-in-law of Sultan and husband of Seniha Sultan. He is one of the antagonists for the first season and the beginning of the second season. He is greedy and treacherous, always ready to switch sides. He is main conspirator of several assassination attempts on Sultan and tries to sabotage the Hejaz Railway project. He is also the best comic relief character. Mahmut Paşa reforms after helping the Sultan find the killer of Sultan Abdülaziz, and becomes a trustworthy and clever Paşa whose former ties with traitors comes in handy.
Şehzade Mehmed Abdülkadir Can Sipahi 1-127 Son of Sultan Abdülhamid and Bidar Kadın. He is arrogant, pampered by his mother and spoiled by his uncle Mahmut Paşa who wants to use him as a pawn. He usually thinks he is above everyone in the palace and often argues with people over Ahsen, his first love interest. He causes trouble for the Sultan and exhibits a lot of personal and ideological differences with his father. He often reads the opposition's newspapers. His best friend is his cousin Sabahattin, who repeatedly tricks him into making many mistakes. Falls in love with Firuze but eventually realizes she is a traitor. Marries Mislimelik (Pakize) initially just to spite Sabahattin but got along well until Mislimelik's sister died, then divorced. Leaves the palace during Season 5 to start a new life with Meziyet, who he wants to marry.
Naime Sultan Duygu Gürcan 1- Sultan Abdülhamid and Bidar Kadın's favorite daughter. Very naïve and spoiled; in love with Kemalettin Paşa but goes after revenge after finding out his affair with Hatice Sultan. Was close friends with Şivenaz and was shocked by her betrayal. Very sad after her mother leaves the palace and insists she will return. Frequently accuses Saliha Sultan of various things she did not do and is very close to her cousin, Aliye, not knowing that she is a traitor.
Sultanzade Sabahaddin Kaan Turgut 1- Son of Seniha Sultan and Mahmut Paşa. He is a leader of the Young Turks. He is cunning like his father and acts as his right-hand man in manipulating Prince Abdülkadir. There is nothing he will not do for independence. He is ideologically more rabid than his father. Is a traitor and flees the Empire. Collaborates with Armenian gangs, Rothschild, Zalman, and Karasu to bring trouble to Sultan Abdülhamid. Uses his father's weakness against him to his benefit multiple times.
Kolağası Celal Umut Kurt 1-9 Good with guns, an expert marksman, and loyal soldier of the Sultan. He is an officer in sultan's secret police. Close friends with Ömer, Yusuf, and Kemalettin Paşa. In love with Naime Sultan and sends a letter confessing that to her before dying; is shot while transporting weapons.
Melike (Ahsen) Ezgi Eyüboğlu 1-39 A beautiful girl from Balkans who loses her memory in an accident during the chaos of an assassination attempt on the Sultan. Intelligent, with a big heart and good intentions. She becomes a royal guest after losing her memory and becomes a love interest for Prince Abdülkadir, who runs into trouble with rivals Ömer and later Murat. It is later found out that Sara Hedaya sent her to the palace to kill Sultan Abdülhamid; however, unable to kill him, she sees that the Sultan is not a bad person and finds out that he was not the person who killed her father. Gets involved with many spy missions with Murat Efendi and Söğütlü Osman, finally getting engaged to Murat. While shopping for a wedding dress, she is shot by Vladimir, who was coming in a nearby cab. Is taken to the palace infirmary and dies there.
Ömer Akın Akınözü 1-17 Brave, dashing, and fearless cabby, he is a commoner. He saves the Sultan during an assassination attempt and becomes a favorite young admirer of sultan. Becomes closely tied with the palace and is allowed into the secret room after saving the Sultan. His best friends are Yusuf and Celal, who works in the Secret Police. He is romantically interested in Ahsen which causes him to get in trouble with Prince Abdülkadir. Argues with Yusuf at the end of season 1 and is drawn into a trap while trying to resolve the argument; gets shot while grappling over a gun with Yusuf.
Yusuf İbrahim Kendirci 1-27 He was born and raised on the same street as Ömer. When Yusuf lost his family at 13, he, along with his sister Zeynep, moved with Ömer's family. Together with Ömer, he is sworn to fight. Although he used to lose his money and get into debt and prison cockfighting, starts earning his money in honest ways after Ömer's death. Works with Murat and Söğütlü Osman after getting to know them through Ahsen and gets involved with some of their spy missions. Is shot and killed by Vladimir.
Kemalettin Paşa Eren Hacısalihoğlu 1-54 Son of Gazi Osman Paşa, one of Sultan Abdülhamid's most trusted men. Was very close friends with Celal and was devastated when he died. Fell in love with Hatice Sultan but married Naime Sultan on his father's insistence. Causes several heart problems for his father. His previous relationship with Hatice is exposed later but when the truth of Naime's revenge is revealed, they are forgiven by the Sultan. He gets divorced from Naime and is sent to Bursa for a new duty.
Fehime Sultan Elif Özkul 1-51 Ottoman Sultan Murad V's second daughter. Abdülhamid treats her like his own daughter, although she is forbidden to meet her father. Returns to her father's palace.
Hatice Sultan Gözde Kaya 1-54 Sultan Murad V's eldest daughter. Doesn't like her uncle due to what happened to her dad. Full of dreams of freedom and marriage. Is in love with Kemalettin but marries Vasfi Paşa after promising to marry him so that she could see her dad. She later begins a new life with Vasfi but when her relationship with Kemalettin is exposed, Vasfi divorces her. She rejects Kemalettin's offer to start a new life in Bursa and goes back to her father's palace.
Hiram Berkan Şal 1-18 An Armenian priest sent by Vatican but he is more than a pastor. He is an atheist professional assassin. He is known to commits his first murder at the age of four. He attempted to assassinate Sultan Abdülhamid but he fails. Sultan Abdülhamid confronts him in prison with some emotional details about his past, after which he becomes a double agent for him.
Samir Emre Kentmenoğlu 1-9 Brother of Melike. He is a journalist by profession who believes in violent revenge for the death of his father who is believed to be killed during a rebellion against the Empire in the Balkans. He too wants to kill the Sultan. However, he learns the truth about his dad and has Ahsen write his apology in a notebook before dying after being shot by Hiram.
Sara Hedeya Elena Viunova 1-17 Assistant and personal secretory of Herzl. Fiancée of Emanuel Karasu. She is a hardcore Zionist herself. Took care of Ahsen and Samir for a while and attempted to get Ahsen to assassinate the sultan; however, eventually gets Samir killed by Hiram when he finds out that Parvus was the one who actually killed their dad. Killed by Parvus's man.
Gazi Osman Paşa Aydın Sigalı 1-53 Father of Kemalettin Paşa and one of the most trusted men of Sultan Abdülhamid II. Is very loyal to the Sultan. Dies of a heart attack while telling Abdülhamid II that the Masons are going to kill the whole palace and enthrone Murad V.
Zülfet Kalfa Zeynep Özan 1-128 Right hand of Bidar Sultan in handling the harem. Is very loyal. Leaves alongside her in season 5.
Emanuel Karasu Ali Nuri Türkoğlu 2- He is a well-known member of Young Turks. Was the fiancé of Sara Hedeya. He is a member of a well-known merchant family of Zionists who plots to overthrow the Empire. He is the pioneer of Freemasonry activities in the Ottoman State and recruits Talat Bey to the Masons. Has a daughter named Frida.
Söğütlü Osman Yusuf Aytekin 2- Becomes a soldier after his brother, a soldier, was martyred in an assassination attempt on the Sultan. Is given the job of staying with Ömer and became close friends with him and Yusuf. After the death of Ömer, begins to work as a spy with Murat/Meyyit Efendi and then Fehim Paşa. Works with Halil Halid after being sent to get him from Egypt and works with Eşref Aziz after Halil Halid leaves on a mission to Russia.
Fatma Psend Sultan Zeynep Özder 4-17 Sultan Abdülhamid's wife, is pregnant. At first she was determined to stay out of the harem and politics issues but her servant Esma, who was a traitor, convinced her into getting Bidar Sultan into a hard spot.
Rahıme Perestu Valide Sultan Şefika Tolun 7-8 Abdülhamid is her adopted son. Comes to the palace after receiving news from Fatma Psend Sultan about indulging of Bidar Sultan and Seniha Sultan in politics and to warn them.
Basil Zaharoff 10-17 A gun trader. Works with Herzl.
Aleksandr İsrail Parvus Kevork Malikyan 18-54 A rich Zionist who funds various anti-Ottoman factions. Killed Melike and Samir's dad Efraim Efendi and framed the Sultan for it; also had Sara Hedeya killed and framed the Sultan for that as well. The main antagonist of the second season. Sent to British prisons as a result of the Sultan's plan.
Murat Efendi (Meyyit Efendi) Volkan Keskin 18-54 Sultan Abdülhamid's nephew, as his mother and Sultan Abdülhamid were milk siblings, and one of his most trusted spies, along with Söğütlü Osman. Falls in love with Ahsen and eventually proposes to her. However, while Ahsen is shopping for a wedding dress, she gets shot by Vladimir, Parvus's man. Murat kills the wrong person in trying to take revenge and was supposed to be executed; however, he does not die thanks to Sultan Abdülhamid, who gives him the name Meyyit Efendi. Works with Fehim Paşa for the rest of the season. Only appears in season 2.
Marco Nik Xhelilaj 18-27 Parvus's man. Is very loyal to Parvus and is friends with Vladimir. Fights often with Murat Efendi. Is killed by Murat Efendi after trying to kill Mahmut Paşa.
Firuze Cemre Baysel 18-38 Daughter of Fatma Kalfa who was fired from the palace by Bidar Kadin on the charge of theft. Comes to the Yıldız Palace as nanny of Şadiye Sultan. Persuades Şehzade Abdülkadir to fall in love with her so that she can marry him and become a Sultan and take the revenge of her mother. Her dream remains unfulfilled as she is put into prison, where she commits suicide after her true greedy and vengeful nature is revealed.
Selim Paşa Taner Ertürkler 18- A Paşa of Sultan Abdülhamid. Very loyal but fooled by Herzl after his daughter Dilşat is killed. Competitor of Mahmut Paşa for the post of Grand Vizier but does not end up getting this post. Leaves to the Arab lands in season 2, but there Zalman finds him and tortured him until he loses his mind and forgets his own name, calling himself Maktel. However, eventually recovers and kills Zalman. After many events, he was suspected to be the Freemason paşa, which later turns out to be false, as he was threatened with his brother Necip.
Dilşat Güzide Arslan 19-35 Daughter of Selim Paşa and friend of Ahsen. A great fan of Theodor Herzl's writings. Steals important documents of the state for Herzl. Shot by Vladimir and dies after having a surgery in hospital while confessing her betrayal to the state to her father.
Hüseyin Paşa Alper Düzen 32-39 Brother of Bidar Sultan. Betrays Abdülhamid II because his brother Mehmet Paşa is in exile. Tries to attack the Harem using his soldiers but fails. Is executed when found (not shown).
Vladimir Gürkan Güzeyhuz 26-40 Parvus's man. Is very loyal to Parvus and is friends with Marco. Kills several people and takes Marco's place after he is killed. Is burned alive by Murat Efendi on Fehim Paşa's order after he tries to find Fehim Paşa for Parvus.
Fehim Paşa Erkan Avcı 40-54 Keeps the safety of the streets of payitaht. Has several men and works with Meyyit Efendi and Söğütlü Osman. Violent but very loyal. Marries İrena after Gertrude Bell sends her as a spy but she joins Fehim Paşa's side. Is killed by Crowly while trying to stop the assassination attempt on the entire palace.
Mislimelek (Pakize) Buse Varol 40-58 Pakize is an exiled Abkhazian princess along with her elder sister Efsun. Sultanzade Sabahaddin falls in love with her but her sister wants her to marry Şehzade Mehmed Abdülkadir. Eventually marries Şehzade Abdülkadir and becomes his first wife and Sultan in the palace. Sultan Abdülhamid changes her name to Mislimelek after her marriage according to royal traditions. This causes a rivalry between Abdülkadir and Sabahattin. Divorces Abdülkadir and returns to her homeland at the starting of season 3 after the death of her elder sister Efsun.
Efsun Hanım Nur Fettahoğlu 40-54 Exiled Abkhazian Princess along with her younger sister Pakize Hanım. Falls in love with Şehzade Mehmed Selim. Dies because of falling from the stairs while trying to reveal the true identity of Handan in front of all the palace.
Şehzade Mehmed Selim İlker Kızmaz 43-88 Son of Sultan Abdülhamid and Bedrifelek Kadın. Very sensible and loyal to his fathers ideology. Falls in love with Zeynep Nurse, who Halil Halid also likes, and is with her when she dies. Returns to Paris after season three.
Handan Emel Dede 43-62 Wife of Şehzade Mehmed Selim. Constantly lies to him about bearing a child and he divorces her when she exposes the truth. Still tries to make a soft corner for herself in his heart by a suicide attempt, even losing her vision temporarily, but they never get on together again.
Edmond Rothschild Suavi Eren 55-89 Edmund Rothschild, born in France in 1845, is a member of the Rothschild Banking family; he is a very rich Zionist Jew. An extremely intelligent, cunning, and cold-blooded character, he is an identity that worships money and power like all Rothschilds, sees the world as his own playground, and believes that everything exists to serve him. His biggest goal is to destroy the Ottoman Empire. Is openly enemies with Sultan Abdülhamid, although he has sent many traitors into the palace.
Şivenaz (Lila) Başak Daşman 55-88 Rothschild's daughter. Clever, cunning, and manipulative. Her biggest dream is to get the holy lands of her belief back from the Ottomans. By coming to payitaht, she turns everything in the palace upside down. Is also Fuat Efendi's fiancée. Kills several people by poisoning them, including her own uncle. Pretends to reform and convert to Islam after being arrested, but is really trying to kill Bidar Sultan. Shot and killed by Abdülkadir.
Fuat Efendi Hakan Yufkacıgil 55-81 Works with Rothschild and Şivenaz. Inherited his hate of the Sultan from his father İsmail Paşa, who was Khedive of Egypt but was one of the biggest traitors to the Ottoman Empire. His biggest purpose is to get rid of Sultan Abdülhamid and his family. Şivenaz's fiancé, although they never get married. Is shot in the neck and killed by Ahmet Celalettin Paşa while trying to escape for London.
Zeynep Nurse Sedef Avci 55-82 A nurse who crosses paths with Bidar Sultan. Is a traitor and works for Şivenaz. Although Mehmet Selim falls in love with her, she is in love with Halil Halid. Is shot and killed by Şivenaz's men before telling who the traitor is.
Arminius Vambery Güven Kıraç 55-88 Sultan Abdülhamid's old friend. He is a dynamic, cunning, intelligent, and political man who knows how to act. In addition to being an international spy for Sultan Abdülhamid, Uncle Vambery is a close friend to Abdülkadir and Naime since their childhood. Though he has a strong will, he loves money and power, causing him to become a traitor and work with Fuat Efendi and Rothschild. Is sent out of payitaht never to come back.
Halil Halid Gürkan Uygun 55-119 He is the one of the most trustworthy and efficient spies of Sultan. He is seen carrying out missions throughout the Empire as well as behind enemy lines like in Tsarist Russia. He is known as "Dayı" or Uncle, and commands a small group of men, including Söğütlü Osman, Tatar Salih, Nadir Bey, and Asaf Emre, who accompany him on different missions. Left on a mission to Russia between Seasons 4 and 5.
Tevfik Paşa Tolga Öztürk 55- From Crimean noble family. Sultan especially asks for Tevfik Paşa to come to the palace in season 3. Even though he is to become sultan if no heir remains from the Ottoman royal family, is very loyal to the state and Sultan. Has a sister named Bahar. Is in love with Fatma Sultan.
Ahmet Celalettin Paşa Cem Uçan 75- The head of spies (Serhafiye) for Sultan Abdülhamid. Was underground for 10 years due to his harsh tactics, but was summoned to find the Paşa collaborating with the Young Turks. The journals from all over the world pass by him and are presented to the Sultan; only what he thinks is important is followed. Few people have achieved his might within the state and all the statesmen are afraid of him. He is like a wall next to Abdülhamid and fights against those who are hostile to the state. Demoted from being Serhafiye after disobeying the sultan's order and shooting Zülüflü İsmail Paşa. The actual Mason Paşa puts the blame on him and makes it seem like he is the Mason Paşa and the traitor, eventually almost getting him arrested by the sultan.
Cemile Sultan Devrim Yakut 89-111 Sister of Sultan Abdülhamid II. Is grieving over her husband Mahmud Celalettin Pasha, who was known to have a finger in the assassination of Sultan Abdülaziz. They did not divorce despite his death sentence from exile. She is authoritarian, intolerant, and a sultan who shakes everyone in the harem, even causing Seniha Sultan to leave. Goes to Paris to her son.
Zalman David Levontin Sermet Yeşil 89-112 He is an expert in war tactics. Had participated in all the wars of the past 30 years. His main goal is to start a big world war. Goes to payitaht to fight as a Jewish Zionist for the first time. Although he does not have many men, he has some in every vital location, although they are all exposed and arrested after he was caught. Is killed by Selim Paşa.
Zülüflü İsmail Paşa Arif Piskin 89-125 Elder brother of Abdülhamid II. Son of Abdulmejid I from an exiled wife so is not a Şehzade and so is not an heir to the throne. First works for Sultan as a bait for the enemies, but later he is lured into believing that Sultan had his son killed and went to the opposite side. Regrets after learning the truth. Is exiled by Ferid Paşa in season 5 after being thought to be the Mason Paşa.
Şehzade Ahmed Nureddin Alp Akar 89-114 Son of Sultan from his wife Behice Hanım. Is very upset because of his mother's lack of attention towards him due to her illness and was an arrogant and naughty boy. However, Bidar Sultan's affection turns him into a very virtuous and well-behaved child who starts considering her as his mother.
Monica Kader Oner 89-108 Wife of Lütfullah and Mahmud Paşa and Seniha Sultan's daughter-in-law.
Bahar Esila Umut 89-105 From Crimean noble family. Sister of Tevfik Paşa. Is Mehmet's childhood friend and also has feelings for him. Envies Gülcemal due to Mehmet's love for her.
Gülcemal Gülsim Ali 89-119 Wife of Mehmet Efendi and Cemile Sultan's daughter-in-law. A hidden Christian and a traitor, works for Madam Blavatsky. However, is a good-hearted girl; confesses to Bidar Sultan and is forgiven by her and her husband. Goes to Paris at the end of Season 4.
Meziyet Sultan Elif Taş 90-126 A girl in the harem whose arm got burnt during the revolution while protecting important papers. Is loyal to Bidar Sultan and has deep love for Şehzade Abdülkadir. He also develop feelings for her sensing her true love and loyalty unlike the previous cases. They are to be married until her two roommates turn out to be traitors putting her on the suspect list of Bidar Sultan, who tries to prevent their marriage. Abdülkadir leaves the palace along with her.
Frida Karasu Esra Isgüzar 101- Daughter of Emanuel Karasu and student of Şivenaz in poisons. Poisons Tahsin Paşa which even led him near to death. Love interest of Sabahattin. Plays many games alongside her father.
Zekiye Sultan Tuğçe Kumral 112- Daughter of Sultan from his wife Bedrifelek Kadın. Wife of Ali Nureddin, son of Gazi Osman Paşa. Is called by Sultan to take over control of the harem which is being neglected by issues of Bidar Sultan and Cemile Sultan. She is a loving girl. She even shows a positive attitude after finding out about her husband's second secret marriage. She loves her sister Naime Sultan a lot.
Kristapor Mikaelyan Hakan Bilgin 120- One of the three great founders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Has an interest in bombs, especially timed ones. Uncle of Ali Osman.
Talat Bey Eren Dinler 120- Initially works at a post office. Member of Young Turks and a great supporter of Ahmet Rıza Bey. Later, also becomes a member of the Masons after Karasu, Sabahattin, and Frida convince him to join.
Eşref Aziz İsmail Hakkı Ürün 120- A good fighter. Unofficial helper of the Ottoman Empire. Was married to Mika's sister, who converted from Christianity to Islam, so Mika in revenge poisons Eşref Aziz's son, Ali Osman.
İzak Fernandez Cansu Fırıncı 120-135 Fernandez is a Mason who is in cooperation with Karasu. He fights against Sultan Abdülhamid with economic and anarchic moves to take his brother's revenge. Often works with Hechler as well.
Fatma Sultan Alara Turan 120- Murat V's daughter, Sultan Abdülhamid's niece, and the sister of Aliye Sultan. Initially blames her uncle for what her father has experienced and disturbs Bidar Sultan a lot in harem. However, she is not a traitor and would not betray the state, saying that it is a family issue and not a state issue. Is repeatedly accused of being a traitor by Bidar Sultan although she is not. Good with a bow and arrow.
Aliye Sultan Gökşin Saraç 120- Murat V's daughter, Sultan Abdülhamid's niece, and the sister of Fatma Sultan. Leaves Çırağan Palace and goes to Yıldız due to lung problems. However, is actually faking her illness and wants to take down Sultan Abdülhamid in revenge for what happened to her dad. Joins an organization that is against the state and the sultan.
Manyasizade Refik Bey Ali Buhara Mete 121- A man who claims to be part of an organization that secretly helps the Ottoman Empire but is actually conspiring with the Masons and Young Turks. Tells İsmail Paşa that Ahmet Paşa is the mason, although he is not, and makes the two Paşas fight with each other. Gets Ahmet Paşa to join the Young Turks since the sultan doesn't trust him anymore. Works for the Mason Paşa and communicates with him using a telephone.
Esad Paşa Edip Saner 125- A traitor in the palace. Was promoted by Sadrazam while the sultan was ill and joined the meetings afterwards. Works with Hechler, Karasu, and Sabahattin.
Saliha Sultan Vildan Atasever 127- Sultan Abdülhamid's wife, mother of Şehzade Mehmed Abid. Comes to take care of the harem after Bidar Sultan leaves. Has good intentions but does not get along well with Naime Sultan. Goes to the sultan after he is exiled.
Sabuha Goncagül Sunar 130- Mahmut Paşa's big sister. Is very rich and frugal. Has a son named Kani.
Şehzade Ahmed Nuri Kemal Uçar 131- Sultan Abdülhamid and Bedrifelek Kadın's son. A skilled spy. Infiltrates the British Embassy by gaining the trust of Manyas under the guise of Reşit Bey and subsequently the trust of Hechler. However, is later exposed and goes to the palace.
Ernest Cassel Altan Erkekli 135- A famous banker. Close friend of the British King and an advisor to the Germans. Had previously worked in Egypt and established an exploitation system on behalf of his companies. Comes to Sultan Abdülhamid as an investor. However, is really trying to hurt the Ottoman Empire economically.


According to staff members of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the series allegedly promotes an antidemocratic, antisemitic and conspiratorial worldview. A free press, secularism and democracy are the work of foreign powers, religious minorities and godless liberals, and ultimately serve to erode national identity, honor and security. Of all the series’ villains, none are more sinister than the Jews."[4] However, the show also goes on to depict the Jews as people of innocence while marking a contrast between Judaism and Zionism. This is shown by the saving of Jews by Sultan AbdulHamid II that fled Russia due to discrimination and wide-spread abuse.

Ritman and Galuppo stated that the television series portrays Abdulhamid "as a noble leader forced to do what he must to protect the Ottoman Empire", at odds with the negative reputation with historians outside of Turkey for allowing the Hamidian massacres.[3]

Theodor Herzl, the liberal founder of modern Zionism is one of the villains of the series who is portrayed as a man so perfidious as to hold his penniless father prisoner without his mother's knowledge because of alleged ideological differences. The show depicts him at the First Zionist Congress, portrayed in such a way as to evoke the Elders of Zion, planning to create a Jewish state spanning from the Nile to Euphrates,[4] which is a popular anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Meanwhile, the coin-flipper for the Sultan is portrayed as a secret Vatican agent allegedly working on behalf of Herzl,[4] even though the Vatican allegedly opposed the establishment of Israel. The Washington Times noted that this portrayal was "revisionist in the extreme" even though the show reports itself to be "inspired by real historical events," but this is often considered Western sensitivity to anything against them.[4] However, many local gazettes in Turkey and abroad reported that the show "showed history in a way where the true Zionists were exposed, and how Abdulhamid was trying to save Palestine and the Jews from bloodshed and the death of countless men, women, and children, and an unending conflict."


Political endorsements in Turkey[edit]

The Washington Post noted that various actors in Turkey's political scene seemed to explicitly endorse the messages present in the show.[4]

In Turkey, the show has met the approval of a descendant of Abdulhamid, who said "history repeats itself … these meddling foreigners now call our president a dictator, just as they used to call Abdulhamid the ‘Red Sultan’".[4][5]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the show's portrayals just two days before a referendum,[4] saying "the same schemes are carried out today in the exact same manner … What the West does to us is the same; just the era and actors are different".[4][6] Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus lauded the show for "shedding light" on Sultan Abdulhamid's life in "an objective manner", and gave a personal visit to the set.[4][7] Aykan Erdemir and Oren Kessler, writing for the Washington Times, noted that Sultan Abdulhamid frequently used the same Quranic-inspired catchphrases as President Erdogan, notably including "If they have a plan, God too has a plan!".[4]

The Balkans[edit]

Although Turkish soap operas are wildly popular in the Balkans, Payitaht: Abdülhamid has caused some controversy in places such as Kosovo due to its message and historical revisionism.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Payitaht "Abdülhamid" cuma günü başlıyor" (in Turkish). Haberturk. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Sultan Abdülhamid's era depicted in new TV series". Daily Sabah. Anadolu Agency. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b Ritman, Alex; Mia Galuppo (21 April 2017). "'The Promise' vs. 'The Ottoman Lieutenant': Two Movies Battle Over the Armenian Genocide". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Aykan Erdemir and Oren Kessler (15 May 2017). "A Turkish TV blockbuster reveals Erdogan's conspiratorial, anti-semitic worldview". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Şehzade Orhan Osmanoğlu: O benim dedem değil!". Turkiye Haber Merkezi. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Erdogan degerlendirdi: Dirilis mi, Payitaht mi?". Yeni Akit. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Numan Kurtulmuş, Payitaht Abdülhamid setinde". Sabah. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Turkish Series About Sultan Causes Concern in Kosovo". Balkan Insight. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.

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