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Imtiyaz Madalyasi, также известна как Nişan-ı İmtiyaz

Merit Medal, a.k.a. Imtiyaz Medal

Instituted in 1882 by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II (reigned from 31.08.1876 to 27.04.1909) in two classes, gold (1st class) and silver (2nd class). Imtiyaz Medal 1st class was the highest ranking military decoration of the Ottoman Empire.

The medal was 37 mm in diameter, its ribbon was half red, half green, with the green color on the left.

The obverse bears the Ottoman military coat of arms with an inscription “Relying on Divine Guidance and Assistance, Abdulhamid Khan, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire”. The tughra, i.e. calligraphic monogram of Sultan Abdul Hamid II is at the top.

The reverse has an inscription translated roughly as “Medal for Those That Have Shown Exceptional Loyalty and Bravery for the Ottoman Empire”. Below that is a curved rectangular area where the name of the recipient could be engraved, and at the bottom is the date “1300” (1882). A few examples of this medal are known to bear the recipient’s name as they were given to high-ranking personnel only.

Awards for combat action in WWI had a clasp on the ribbon in the form of two crossed sabers and a bar bearing the date “1333” (1915) made from the same material as the medal itself.

Unofficial battle clasps in form of a right-pointing trapezoidal clasp of 56 mm in length and 7 mm in height were also worn on the ribbon. In the field is red Arabic script denoting the specific campaign or theaters of operations during the war.

In case of recipient’s death the medal was kept in the family of the deceased.

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Imtiyaz 1