The press and the palace: the two-way relationship between Abdulhamid II and the press, 1876-1908

While Abdulhamid is usually represented as an extreme example of a 'censorship sultan', this article seeks to redress the balance and to present a more nuanced picture of Abdulhamid's relationship with the press. Based largely on archival material from Istanbul, the article investigates how press magnates sought to use their relationship with the palace in order to ensure their survival and to gain the concessions they wanted, and how, in turn, the sultan manipulated the press and used it to cultivate his own image and to present the empire and his sultanate in he way he wished, both to his own subjects and to other states outside the Ottoman frontier.