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Fatma Neslişah Osmanoğlu was the most senior member of the dynasty.

Fatma Neslişah Osmanoğlu was the most senior member of the dynasty.

Vercihan Ziflioğlu Vercihan Ziflioğlu vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr

The granddaughter of the last Ottoman sultan, the most senior member of the dynasty, passed away in Istanbul yesterday morning at the age of 91.

“I was deeply saddened by the passing of Neslişah Osmanoğlu, the eldest member of the Ottoman dynasty that made its mark on Turkish and world history, as well as on the period it represents, and which established the Ottoman state and transformed it into a world empire,” President Abdullah Gül said in a public statement.

Fatma Neslişah Osmanoğlu was the last member of the Ottoman ruling family born while the empire was still in existence. She became the most senior member of the dynasty after her relative Ertuğrul Osman Osmanoğlu died in 2009.

Her funeral was held at Yıldız Mosque in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district today and she was later buried at Aşiyan Cemetery.

“Even though our family does not receive the esteem that is its due, [I extend my] condolences to the Turkish nation,” Prince Abdülhamit Kayıhan told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Neslişah Osmanoğlu was the grandchild of the last sultan, Vahdettin, and personally witnessed his exile. She was also the granddaughter of the last caliph, Abdülmecit and the wife of Prince Muhammed Abdülmümim, a former regent for the king of Egypt.

“Neslişah Sultan was born prior to the abolition of the Sultanate; her birth was announced with a cannon fire salute. She was the last Ottoman to be registered in dynastic records and personally witnessed her family’s exile,” Prof. İlber Ortaylı, the manager of the Topkapı Palace Museum, told the Daily News.

Prof. Ortaylı said Neslişah Sultan had given her personal documents to Murat Bardakçı, a journalist and researcher, before passing away. Neslişah Sultan’s memoirs were also published by Bardakçı, he said.
“Many members of the Ottoman dynasty were [laid to their final resting places] with their memories; their lives went unrecorded. We can comprehend neither Ottoman history nor the Republic too well for this reason,” he said.

April/03/2012

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