Ertuğrul Osman

Ertuğrul Osman
Prince of the Ottoman Empire
Head of the House of Osman
Term 12 March 1994 – 23 September 2009
Predecessor Mehmed Orhan
Successor Bayezid Osman
Born (1912-08-18)18 August 1912
Yıldız Palace, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (Now Istanbul, Turkey)
Died 23 September 2009(2009-09-23) (aged 97)
Istanbul, Turkey
Spouse Gulda Twerskoy
Zeynep Tarzi
House Imperial House of Osman
Father Prince Mehmed Burhaneddin
Mother Aliye Melek Nazlıyar Hanım Efendi
Religion Islam

Ertuğrul Osman (Ottoman Turkish: ارطغرل عثمان), also known as Osman Ertuğrul Osmanoğlu with a surname as required by the Turkish Republic (18 August 1912 – 23 September 2009), was an Imperial Prince (or Shahzada) of the Ottoman Empire and the 43rd Head of the Imperial House of Osman from 1994 until his death. Had the Ottoman Empire not been dissolved and succeeded by the Republic of Turkey, he would have become sultan and caliph as Osman V. He was also known as Ertugrul II in reference to Ertuğrul, the father of Osman I.

Until the abolition of the monarchy on 1 November 1922, Osman was addressed as His Imperial Highness Shahzade Ertuğrul Osman Efendi Hazretleri, Imperial Prince of the Ottoman Empire.[1] He was regarded by Turks as the "last Ottoman".[2]


Osman was born on 18 August 1912 in Constantinople (now Istanbul).[3] He was the youngest son of Prince Mehmed Burhaneddin (Yıldız Palace, 19 December 1885 – New York City, United States, 15 June 1949) and buried in Damascus). His father served as a Captain of the Ottoman Army. From 1914 to 1919 his father was crown prince and titular king of Albania by his marriage to his first wife, Aliye Melek Nazlıyar (Adapazarı, 13 October 1892 – Ankara, 31 August 1976), daughter of Huseyin Bey. They married at Nişantaşı, Nişantaşı Palace, Pera (today Beyoğlu) on 7 June 1909 and divorced in 1919. Osman's paternal grandparents were Sultan Abdul Hamid II and his fourth wife.

In 1924, while studying in Vienna, Austria, he received news that all members of the Sultan's family were to be exiled.[2] He lived in the United States from 1933 and later resided in New York City. Osman lived modestly in New York after 1945, residing in a two-bedroom apartment above a restaurant.[2][4] He returned to Turkey in 1992, having been invited by the country's government.[2] At that time, he observed, "Democracy works well in Turkey."[5] He became the 43rd Head of the Imperial House of Osman in 1994.

Osman was granted a Turkish passport and citizenship in 2004.

Osman spoke Turkish, English, German and French fluently and understood Italian and Spanish. He died aged 97 on 23 September 2009.[2][4][6] The Turkish Ministry of Culture announced that Ertuğrul had died in his sleep as a result of renal failure.[6] His wife, who was by his side, when he died, also confirmed the cause of death.[4][7] The Prince had spent one week in Istanbul's Memorial hospital at the time of his death.[7] Osman's funeral was held at the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul on 26 September.[5] His body was interred next to his grandfather Sultan Abdul Hamid II in Istanbul’s Çemberlitaş neighborhood.[8] His coffin was draped with the Imperial Ottoman Standard and his funeral was attended by Turkish Government Ministers.[5] The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey and the President of the Republic of Turkey both sent condolences to the Imperial family. The Prime Minister also later visited Osman's widow at a former Imperial Palace to express his condolences.


He was married twice, first in New York City, New York, on 20 January 1947 to Gulda Twerskoy (Johannesburg, Gauteng, 20 March 1915 – New York City, 16 September 1985), without issue. His second wife, whom he married in New York City, on 27 September 1991, Zeynep Tarzi (born Istanbul, 16 December 1940), is the daughter of Abdulfettah Tarzi, niece of the former King of Afghanistan, Amanullah Khan, and of Pakize Tarzi, a pioneering Turkish gynaecologist from a deep-rooted Ottoman family. He was married to Zeynep until his death at 97 years of age.

Full Style

Pre-1994: His Imperial Highness The Prince Ertuğrul Osman, Imperial Prince of the Ottoman Empire.

Post-1994: His Imperial Highness The Prince Ertuğrul Osman V, Imperial Prince of the Ottoman Empire, 43rd Head of the Imperial House of Osman.


  1. The style remained available to him thereafter as international protocol dictates that former Monarchs and members of non-abdicated royal families still retain the use of their style and title for the duration of their lifetime, but both die with them. For example, Greece's deposed king is still technically His Majesty King Constantine II of the Hellenes, as a personal title, not a constitutional office, since the abolition of the monarchy by the Hellenic Republic in 1974.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "'Last Ottoman' dies in Istanbul". BBC. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  3. "Ertugrul Osman". The Telegraph. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 Bernstein, Fred A. (26 March 2006). "Not Quite a Castle, but It's Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  5. 1 2 3 Bilefsky, Dan. "Weary of Modern Fictions, Turks Glory in Splendor of Ottoman Past," New York Times. 5 December 2009.
  6. 1 2 "Head of the former Ottoman dynasty dies". AP. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  7. 1 2 Obituaries from the Zaman newspaper:
  8. Watson, Ivan; Comert, Yesim (26 September 2009). "Turks mourn relative of Ottoman sultan". CNN. Retrieved 26 September 2009.

External links

Wikinews has related news: 'Last Ottoman' dies at age 97
Ertuğrul Osman
Born: 18 August 1912 Died: 23 September 2009
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Mehmed Orhan
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
12 March 1994 – 23 September 2009
Reason for succession failure:
Empire abolished in 1922
Succeeded by
Bayezid Osman
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