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Osman E. Osmanoglu

Eldest member of Ottoman dynasty

October 01, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Osman Ertugrul Osmanoglu, 97, the eldest member of the former Ottoman dynasty, died of kidney failure Sept. 23 at an Istanbul hospital, Turkey's Culture Ministry said.

Osmanoglu was the last surviving grandson of an Ottoman sultan and regarded as the head of the living members of the dynasty. Osmanoglu would eventually have become its sultan but for the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman dynasty and the exile of its members to Europe.

Osmanoglu moved to New York City in 1933 and was married to Zeynep Tarzi, an exiled member of the Afghan royal family. He returned to Turkey in 1992 and was granted Turkish citizenship in 2004.

He was a descendant of Osman I, the Anatolian ruler who established the Ottoman Empire that eventually controlled parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and lasted about 600 years.

Osmanoglu was born in 1912. His grandfather, Abdul Hamid II, ruled from 1876 to 1909. In 1924, the royal family was expelled by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who led the revolution that deposed the family and founded the Turkish Republic.


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