General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire

The General Assembly[3] (Turkish: Meclis-i Umumî (French romanization: "Medjliss Oumoumi" ) or Genel Parlamento; French: Assemblée Générale) was the first attempt at representative democracy by the imperial government of the Ottoman Empire. Also known as the Ottoman Parliament (French: Parlement Ottoman[4]), it was located in Constantinople (Istanbul) and was composed of two houses: an upper house (Senate, Meclis-i Âyân), and a lower house (Chamber of Deputies, Meclis-i Mebusân).[5]

General Assembly

Meclis-i Umumi
Chamber of Deputies
Founded23 December 1876[1][2]
23 July 1908[1][2]
Disbanded14 February 1878[1][2]
11 April 1920[1][2]
Preceded byDivan-ı Hümayun
Succeeded byGrand National Assembly
Meeting place
Dolmabahçe Palace (1876-1878)
Darülfünûn building (1876-1878, 1908)
Çırağan Palace (1909)
Cemile Sultan Palace (1910-1920)

The General Assembly was first constituted on 23 December 1876 and initially lasted until 14 February 1878, when it was dissolved by Sultan Abdul Hamid II.[1][2]

It was revived 30 years later, on 23 July 1908, with the Second Constitutional Era (as a result of the Young Turk Revolution) which brought substantial reforms and larger participation by political parties.[1][2] The Second Constitutional Era ended on 11 April 1920, when the General Assembly (Ottoman Parliament) was dissolved by the Allies during the occupation of Constantinople in the aftermath of World War I.[1][2]

Many members of the dissolved Ottoman Parliament in Constantinople later became members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, which was established on 23 April 1920, during the Turkish War of Independence.[1][2]

See also


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