Ottoman dynasty praises bridge name

Ottoman dynasty praises bridge name

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Ottoman dynasty praises bridge name

Orhan Osmanoğlu, the third-generation grandson of Sultan Abdülhamid II. DAILY NEWS photo

Ottoman family members have welcomed the naming of Istanbul’s third cross-Bosphorus bridge as the "Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge." 

“It is good, a suitable name for our country,” said Orhan Osmanoğlu, the third-generation grandson of Sultan Abdülhamid II, during a telephone interview with the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

The sultan, known as "Selim the Grim" in English, was famous for his conquests in the Eastern world, and Turkey’s contemporary border with what is now Iran was determined following the 1514 Battle of Çaldıran against Şah İsmail of the Safavids.

Osmanoğlu pointed out the importance of the name in the sense of enhancing Turkey’s image. “A powerful and leading Turkey should be at peace with its past and own it,” he said.

Osmanoğlu suggested a name for the possible next bridge after Fatih Sultan Mehmed and Yavuz Sultan Selim bridges. “I hope that the name of the fourth bridge will be Kanuni Sultan Süleyman [Selim’s son].”

He said that the Ottoman family members were not invited to the ground-breaking ceremony for the third bridge, which was held yesterday. However, he noted that they would come to the bridge’s inauguration ceremony in 2015, if the government accepted and invited them.

Seven members of the Ottoman family, who live in Turkey and abroad, came together in Istanbul for the first time in the history of the Republic of Turkey yesterday for the "conquest celebrations," which were organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Sultan Reşad’s grandson Şehzade (meaning sultan’s son) Cengiz Osmanoğlu (74), Nilüfer Sultan from the United Kingdom, and Leyla Sultan from Austria attended the celebrations.

“Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has made a big contribution to this meeting. We had asked him to gather family members together in such a meeting and he indulged our request – thanks to him,” said Osmanoğlu, noting that attending the Istanbul conquest celebrations had a special meaning for them.

“It is very good to see that we are not orphans, and we are protected. Şehzade Cengiz Osmanoğlu is very affected by attending this meeting,” he said.

After the Republic of Turkey was found in 1923, the members of the Ottoman family were sent into exile. Excluding the members that returned to Turkey, there are 24 şehzade and 15 sultans across the United States, the European Union, and the Middle East.