In the Ottoman Empire

To interpret the context of the illustration, we should first draw our attention to the small inscriptions: “Freedom” on the background of the composition, written in the shining circle; and “Absolutism” on the hat of the man in the foreground of the composition.

We should also take into account the date of issue of the newspaper - 1908. In 1908 the Young Turk Revolution took place in the Ottoman Empire. The revolution restored the Ottoman constitution of 1876 and deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid II. 

This means that the background of the illustration is the Ottoman Empire post-revolution - a free and “shining” state, while the man on the foreground of the composition seems to be Sultan Abdul Hamid II - defeated and deposed from his empire.

Image: The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia