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Turkish (Ottoman Empire) Order of the Medjidie (1851-1917)


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The Order of the Medjidie is a Ottoman Military and Civilian Order or the Ottoman Empire. It was instituted by Sultan Abdulmijid in 1851 and was rather freely awarded to members of the British Armed Forces and the French Navy who had helped the Turkish during the Crimean War. 



It was awarded in five classes, and the size of the decoration gradually decreasing according to grade. The first four classes were gold, the fifth class was silver (it is the center circle that is either gold or silver). The top two classes receive a Breast Star, as well.


Differences between classes can be a bit confusing, but here are some examples. 


  • The main difference between the 3rd and 4th classes are the ribbons - 3rd is worn around the neck, while 4th is suspended from a normal breast ribbon. The suspension ring differs, also.


  • Size differences are rather complicated, but the 1st Class order is smaller than the 3rd Class. However, the 1st Class Breast Star is larger than the 2nd Class Breast Star.


Later, during the WWI era, the Order was also awards with crossed swords (or sabres). I am not sure exactly what they mean, but I read that they were an addition to a previously awarded Order. Not sure if this is like the Bar on a DSO where it would mean you got it twice over, or was an upgrade or what. If you know more about this, please let me know!



The centre of the Badge of the first four classes is gold, and that of the fifth silver; the first three classes wear the Badge round the neck, suspended by a crimson ribbon with green edges, whilst the other two classes suspend the Badge from the left breast by a similar ribbon. The Badge or Cross is of silver, with seven triple points or rays, between which are disposed seven small crescents and stars of five points. On a red enamelled band in Arabic characters are the words "Loyalty—Patriotism—Zeal" and the year of the Hegira "1268" (date when the order was founded) around the cypher of the Sultan. The badge is suspended from a red enamelled crescent and star.


These Orders were made in many countries during the time they were awarded. If the medal has a "Darphane-i Amire" hallmark on the back center, these are Turkish made and were struck by the official Ottoman mint in Istanbul. They can also have a metal purity mark or a master mark, but they don't all have the same marks. They were made in France by La Foyalle and Halley. The rarest are  are made by Rothe in Austria and the British made examples from the Crimean era. 




(Crimean era 1st Class Order, Courtesy of gmic)



Turkish-made 5th Class Order, Courtesy of gmic)



If you have one of these medals to show, a picture of a soldier wearing it, or a story about this medal being awarded/earned . . . please feel free to share it here!

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