‘Last Ottoman’ buried in Istanbul


Ertugrual Osman, the 43rd Head of the dethroned House of Osman and regarded by Turks as the “last Ottoman,” died last week at age 97.

As the last surviving grandson of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, who ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1876-1909, Osman would have been known as his Imperial Highness Prince Shehzade Ertugrul Osman Effendi.

Born in Istanbul in 1912, Osman spent most of his life living modestly in New York, according to The BBC.

Osman was born in 1912 at Yıldız Palace in İstanbul – when the Ottoman dynasty was still ruling its vast empire.

At age 10 he left İstanbul and went to Vienna for education. When the system of caliphate was abolished in 1924 by the newly founded Turkish Republic, the members of the Ottoman dynasty was expelled from the country and Osman did not return to Turkey for more than 50 years.

Always insisting he had no political ambition, Osman only returned to Turkey in the early 1990s at the invitation of the government,The BBC reported.

“During the visit, he went to Dolmabahce – the palace by the Bosphorus where he had played as a child, The BBC added. “Characteristically, he joined a tour group in order to avoid any red-carpet treatment.”

The Ottoman Empire lasted from 1299 until the 1920s. At the height of its power in the 16th and 17th centuries it spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe. If slipped to second-rate status later, however, becoming known as the “The Sick Man of Europe.”

Siding with the Central Powers in World War I, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned by the Allied powers following the conflict.

The Ottoman Empire finally collapsed under the weight of the rising Turkish national movement following the Treaty of Sevres.

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