- Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty (or the Imperial House of Osman) (Turkish: "Osmanlı Hanedanı") ruled the
Ottoman Empirefrom 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I(not counting his father, Ertuğrul), though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey[ [http://islamicceramics.ashmolean.org/Iznik/sultans.htm Iznik: List of Ottoman Sultans ] ] declared himself sultan. Before that the tribe/dynasty might have been known as Söğütbut was renamed "Osmanlı" (Ottoman in English) in honour of Osman.
The sultan was the sole and absolute regent, head of state and head of government of the empire, at least officially, though often much power shifted de facto to other officials (in principle all his subservient creatures), especially the
Grand Vizier, after whose palace the Ottoman government was known as High Porte, the Sultan's own Topkapı Palacebeing mainly a seraglio, 'harem'. See the article on state organisation of the Ottoman Empirefor further information on the sultan and the structure of power.
The Ottoman dynasty is known in Turkish as "Osmanlı", meaning "House of Osman". The first rulers of the dynasty never had called themselves sultans, but rather "
beys", or "chieftain", roughly the Turkic equivalent of Emir, which would itself become a gubernatorial title and even a common military or honorific rank. Thus they still formally acknowledged the sovereignty of the contemporary Seljuk Sultanate of Rûmand its successor, the Ilkhanate. The first Ottoman to actually claim the title of " sultân" was Murad I, who ruled from 1359 to 1389. The title sultan(سلطان)—in Arabic, was in later Arabic-Islamic dynasties originally the power behind the throne of the Caliph in Bagdad and it was later used for various independent Muslim Monarchs. This title was more prestigious then Emir; it was not comparable to the title of Malik'king' or the originally Persian title of Shah.With the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the road was open for the Ottoman state to become an empire, with Sultan Mehmed II taking the title of "pâdişah" (پادشاه), a Persian title meaning "lord of kings" and roughly equivalent to a Christian emperoras would ultimately be formally established. In addition to such secular titles, the Ottoman sultan became the Caliph of Islam, starting with Selim I, who became khalif after the death of the last Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil III, the last of AbbasidCaliphs in Cairo.
In Europe, Ottoman padishah was often referred to informally by such terms unrelated to the Ottoman protocol as "the Grand Turk".
The sultans further adopted in time many secondary formal titles as well, such as "Sovereign of the House of Osman", "
Sultan of Sultans" (roughly King of Kings), and "Khan of Khans". As the empire grew, sultans adopted secondary titles expressing the empire's claim to be the successor in law of the structures of the absorbed states. Furthermore they tended to enumerate even regular provinces, not unlike the long lists of -mainly inherited- feudal titles in the full style of many Christian European monarchs.
Some early Ottoman Sultans even had to accept the vassal status in the eyes of a foreign kingmaker. For example, Tamerlane appointed in 1402 the Ottoman Sultan (deposed in 1410) Sulayman Chelebi Khan, who was styled "as-Sultan ul-Azam,
Sayyidus-Saladin ul-Arab wal Ajam, Malik ur-Rikaab ul-Umam, Ghiyas ud-Daula wa ud-Dunya, Sultan ul-Islam was ul-Muslimin, as-Sultan ibni us-Sultan, Hasib-i-Nasib-I-Zaman, Amir of Rumelia". Again his brother, who ended the Interregnum after the defeat of Ottomans to Tamerlane, Mehmed I also held his post with a fief from Tamerlane. However the next Ottoman ruler (6th Sultan of House of Osman) was Sultan Murad Khan II (1421 - 1451) took the title "'Abu'l Hayrat, Sultan ul-Mujahidin, Khan of Khans, Grand Sultan of Anatolia and Rumelia, and of the Cities of Edirne and Filibe".
Mehmed IIconquered Constantinopleon May 29, 1453, he claimed the title Emperor of the Roman Empire and protector of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He appointed the Patriarch of Constantinople Gennadius Scholarius, whom he protected and whose stature he elevated into leader of all the Eastern Orthodox Christians. As emperor of the Romans he laid claim to all Roman territories, which at the time before the Fall of Constantinople, however, extended to little more than the city itself, plus some areas in Morea( Peloponnese) and the Empire of Trebizond.
The conqueror of Constantinople was Sultan Mehmed II Fatih Ghazi 'Abu'l Fath (1451 - 1481, 7th Sovereign of the House of Osman), was still 'simply' styled "Kaysar-i-Rum" (=Emperor of [Byzantium = the second] Rome, Caesar of Rome), "Khan of Khans, Grand Sultan of Anatolia and Rumelia, Emperor of the three Cities of Constantinople, Edirne and Bursa, Lord of the two lands and the two seas" and the first to adopt the 'imperial' style Padishah.
Around 1500 the full style of naming of the ruling Sultan had become practically stabilised, e.g. in 1601 Sultan Mehmed III was called:
:"Sultan Hân N.N., ::
Padishah, :: Hünkar, :: Hakan ül-Berreyn vel-Bahreyn;::Sovereign of the House of Osman, Sultan of Sultans, ::Khan of Khans, ::Commander ( Caliph) of the Faithfuland Successor of the Prophetof the Lordof the Universe:: Custodianof the Holy Cities of Mecca, Medinaand Jerusalem:: Caesarof the Roman Empire:: Emperorof The Three Cities of Constantinople, Adrianople and Bursa, and of the Cities of Damascusand Cairo, of all Azerbaijan, of the Magris, of Barka, of Kairouan, of Aleppo, of Arabic Iraqand of Acem, of Basra, of Al-Hasa, of Dilen, of Ar Raqqah, of Mosul, of Parthia, of Diyarbakır, of Cilicia, of the Vilayets of Erzurum, of Sivas, of Adana, of Karaman, Van, of Barbary, of Abyssinia, of Tunisia, of Tripoli, of Damascus, of Cyprus, of Rhodes, of Candia, of the Vilayet of the Morea, of the Marmara Sea, the Black Seaand also its coasts, of Anatolia, of Rumelia, Baghdad, Greece, Turkistan, Tartary, Circassia, of the two regions of Kabarda, of Georgia, of the plain of Kypchak, of the whole country of the Tartars, of Kefeand of all the neighboring countries, of Bosnia and its dependencies, of the City and Fort of Belgrade, of the Vilayet of Serbia, with all the castles, forts and cities, of all Albania, of all Eflak and Bogdania, as well as all the dependencies and borders, and many others countries and cities.
Heads of the House
Pre-Imperial Heads of the House of Osman
Abdulmecid IIwas chosen as caliphin 1922, he was no longer Sultan, as the National Assembly had abolished the sultanate to turn Turkey into a republic. The caliphate was abolished in turn in 1924.
* Tuğra-Sultan's Signature
Line of succession to the Ottoman throne
* [http://www.osmanli700.gen.tr/english/engindex.html Website of the 700th Anniversary of the Ottoman Empire]
* [http://www.ottomanfamily.com/ Official website of the immediate living descendants of the Ottoman Dynasty]
* [http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Turkey/turkey.htm Turkey, includes all the full ruler styles with various biographical data] in [http://www.4dw.net/royalark/index.html the Royal Ark]
* [http://www.ismailacar.com.tr/Sultans.htm Sultans, Contemporary Paintings] by
* [http://www.osmanlimedeniyeti.com Everything about Ottoman Empire] Everything about the history, culture and civilization of Ottoman Empire
* [http://uk.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761553949/Ottoman_Empire.html MSN encarta - the Ottoman Empire] (see "Sultanate")
* [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Turkey.html WorldStatesmen- Turkey]
* [http://ekincan.blogspot.com/2006/10/ottoman-dynasty-meet-at-dolmabahe.html Ottoman Dynasty meet at Dolmabahçe Palace]
* [http://www.theottomans.org/english/family/index.asp Ottoman Empire - The Family]
* [http://www.theottomans.org/turkce/sultanlar_harem/index.asp Osmanlı Sultanları]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKQ-vIMk47o interview with Neslişah Sultan on
YouTube, granddaughter of the last emperor about her family's exile]
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