Last Ottoman royal dies in Istanbul at 91

The last Ottoman royal born during before the 600-year dynasty’s collapse in the early 1920s died earlier this week. 

Fatma Neslişah Osmanoğlu was 91 when she fell victim to heart attack Monday in Istanbul.

Once known as Imperial Princess of the Ottoman Empire and Princess of Egypt, Sultan was the granddaughter of the last Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Ottoman Empire had ruled Turkey, parts of the Middle East and eastern Europe, beginning in 1299. 

Neslişah was born just two years before Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded modern Turkey, which brought a formal end to the Ottoman dynasty. 

However, while the Ottoman Empire’s doom was effectively sealed when it sided with the Central Powers during World War I, it had been in decline for more than a century. 

Neslişah later became the wife of Egyptian Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim, who was the head of Egypt’s regency for a short while before the revolution in which Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser removed the monarchy from power, according to the Washington Post.

When Neslişah was born on Feb. 4, 1921, cannons were fired to spread the news and she was registered in the family records, the last child of the Ottoman line to be registered. 

As a young girl, Neslişah left Turkey for exile In France with her relatives after the royal family was banished. 

As an exile, Neslişah longed to be repatriated to her homeland and the city of Istanbul. 

In 1952, the Turkish government allowed female royals to return, and Neslişah returned there with her husband in 1957. He died in 1979. 

In 2009, Neslişah became the senior member of Turkey’s former royal family after the death of Prince Ertugrul Osman, according to the International Business Times.

(Above: The departure of Mehmed VI, last Sultan of the Ottoman State, 1922.)

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