Today in Middle Eastern history: the Ottoman coup of 1807

The May 29, 1807 coup that overthrew Ottoman Sultan Selim III (d. 1808) and replaced him with his cousin, Mustafa IV (also d. 1808, so you can see where this is going to wind up), isn’t a major event in Ottoman history, certainly not on par with what happened on this date in 1453. But it does highlight the failure of the first of several Ottoman “reform” periods that marked the empire’s history in the 18th and 19th centuries, and one of the main obstacles to imperial modernization efforts.

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