General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire

General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire


The Ottoman Empire's imperial government attempted representative democracy for the first time with the General Assembly. It was also known as the Ottoman Parliament. It was made up of two houses: an upper house (Senate, Meclis-i Âyân) and a lower house (Chamber of Deputies, Meclis-i Mebusân) that was located in Constantinople (Istanbul). The General Assembly was established on 23 December 1876, and it lasted until Sultan Abdul Hamid II disbanded it on 14 February 1878. The General Assembly was resurrected 30 years later, on 23 July 1908, with the Second Constitutional Era, as a result of the Young Turk Revolution, which introduced significant changes and increased political party membership. However, the General Assembly was disbanded by the Allies after the conquest of Constantinople in the aftermath of World War I on 11 April 1920, bringing the Second Constitutional Era to a close. During the Turkish War of Independence, several members of the dissolved Ottoman Parliament in Constantinople became members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara (known in English as Angora during the Ottoman and pre-1930 Republic eras), which was created on 23 April 1920.

General Assembly

Meclis-i Umumi





  • Senate
  • Chamber of Deputies



  • 23 December 1876
  • 23 July 1908


  • 14 February 1878
  • 11 April 1920

Headed by

Divan-ı Hümayun

Succeeded by

Grand National Assembly

Meeting place

  • Dolmabahçe Palace (1876-1878)
  • Darülfünûn building (1876-1878, 1908)
  • Çırağan Palace (1909)
  • Cemile Sultan Palace (1910-1920)

Last updated: 2021-October-27
Tags: Ottoman Empire
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