President Erdogan orders evacuation of last heir to Ottoman throne from Syria

Dundar Osmanoglu (left) [Image: Daily Sabah]

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered the evacuation of the last heir to the now-abolished Ottoman Empire from Syria into Turkey.

Anadolu Agency affirmed that President Erdogan ordered the Foreign Ministry to arrange efforts to bring Dundar Osmanoglu to Turkey.

Osmanoglu is the grandson of Prince Mehmet Selim Efendi, son of Abdülhamid II, the legendary Ottoman caliph credited with prolonging the survival of the Ottoman Caliphate, which had surpassed its glory in the concluding years of 19th century.

He was born in Syria after his parents were expelled from Turkey upon the abolition of the caliphate on 3 March 1924.

The prince was living alone in Damascus after his wife Yusra died last month.

He demanded to be brought to Turkey as he was unable to leave his house due to the war in Syria.

Foreign Ministry staff accompanied Osmanoglu on his journey from Beirut to Istanbul and said the heir was in good health.

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

In 1952, female members of the Ottoman 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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