Instituted in 1851, the Order was awarded in five classes, with the First Class being the highest. The Order was issued in considerable numbers by Sultan Abdülmecid as a reward for distinguished service to members of the
British Army and the
Royal Navy and the
French Army who came to the aid of the
Ottoman Empire during the
Crimean War against
Russia and to British recipients for later service in Egypt and/or the Sudan. In Britain it was worn after any British gallantry and campaign medals awarded, but, as an Order, before foreign medals like the
Turkish Crimean War medal. The Order was usually conferred on officers but a few enlisted soldiers and sailors also received it in a lower class. During
World War I it was also awarded to a number of German, Austrian and Bulgarian officers.
The Order was often conferred on non-Turkish nationals.
Design of the Order
On the obverse of the star is Sultan Abdülmecid's royal cipher surrounded by an inscription on a gold-bordered circle of red enamel; all on a star of seven triple quills with small crescents and five-pointed stars between them, suspended from a red enameled crescent and star suspender with green enameled edges.
Rough translation of the front:
To the left: (you have) crossed.
To the right: (you are proven to be) correct.
At the top: (you have provided) protection.
At the bottom: Year 1268.
In the centre: In the name of the God the forgiver, the merciful.
The order has 5 classes. First, second, third and fourth classes are gold. Fifth (lower) class is silver.
Owners of the order:
First Class Order (Gold) - 50 people (Given by Sultan)
Second Class Order (Gold) - 150 people (Given by Sultan)
Third Class Order (Gold) - 800 people
Fourth Class Order (Gold) - 3,000 people
Fifth Class Order (Silver) - 6,000 people
Some notable recipients
Abdelkader El Djezairi, Algerian Islamic scholar and political and military leader who led a struggle against the French invasion.
Eugène Chauffeur, French Army officer, from Valence (Drôme), Commandeur of the Legion of Honor, on 6 May 1856. Sous-Lieutenant in the 10th "Bataillon de chasseurs à pied" who sustained a severe wound to the head during the Siege of Sevastopol (Crimea).