The General Assembly[3] (Turkish: Meclis-i Umumî or Genel Parlamento) was the first attempt at representative democracy by the imperial government of the Ottoman Empire. Also known as the Ottoman Parliament, 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).[4]

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 Istanbul 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


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Meclis-i Mebusan (Mebuslar Meclisi)". Tarihi Olaylar.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Meclis-i Mebusan nedir? Ne zaman kurulmuştur?". Sabah. 19 January 2017.
  3. ^ Article. 42 of the Constitution
  4. ^ Rainer Grote; Tilmann Röder (16 February 2012). Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity. Oxford University Press. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-19-975988-0.