Last heir to Ottoman throne passes away at 90


The late Dündar Abdülkerim Osmanoğlu is seen in this undated photo shared by family member Orhan Osmanoğlu on Jan. 19, 2021 (Photo courtesy of Orhan Osmanoğlu / Twitter)

Dündar Abdülkerim Osmanoğlu, the last heir to the throne of the now-defunct Ottoman Empire, passed away late Monday at the age of 90, the family said in a statement.

“Father of our family and the Ottoman dynasty, our uncle Prince Dündar Abdülkerim Osmanoğlu passed away in Syria’s Damascus,” Orhan Osmanoğlu, a member of the family said in a tweet.

“May his soul rest in peace,” he added.

Osmanoğlu, 87, was living alone in Damascus where he was born after his parents were expelled from Turkey upon the abolition of the caliphate in 1924.

The descendants of the Ottoman dynasty living in Turkey long sought to bring the fragile dynasty member from Syria, which cut off ties with Turkey amid the ongoing war.

Osmanoğlu is the grandson of Prince Mehmet Selim Efendi, son of Abdülhamid II, the legendary Ottoman sultan credited with prolonging the survival of the Ottoman Empire, which was well past its glory days in the last years of the 19th century.

The Ottoman dynasty’s descendants were forced to scatter around the world after the collapse of the empire and they were sent into exile starting from 1924.

In 1952, female members of the dynasty were granted amnesty and the men were allowed to return to Turkey in 1974. Yet, few returned to Turkey as most of them had already built new lives after living abroad for decades.


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