Neslişah Sultan, a twice-exiled Ottoman princess and the eldest member of the Ottoman royal family, died monday of a heart attack. She was 91.
The UK’s Daily Mail writes that Sultan’s funeral was held Tuesday, followed by burial in Istanbul, the former Ottoman capital.
Sultan, also known as Fatma Neslişah Osmanoğlu, was born in Istanbul on February 4, 1921, two years before the Turkish Republic replaced the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled Turkey, parts of the Middle East and eastern Europe for 600 years.
Her grandfather, the last Ottoman Sultan Vahdettin, and all other members of the dynasty were sent into exile in 1924, and the princess spent her childhood and adolescence in Nice, France, before moving to Egypt.
“When we were in exile we lived longing for the country,” she told historian Murat Bardakci, in a biography on her life according to the Associated Press. “My mother had friends who would go to Istanbul. I would ask them to bring me back a bit of soil from Istanbul, but none did.”
In 1940, Sultan married Egypt’s Prince Muhammad Abdel Monem and thus became an Egyptian princess by marriage. Prince Monem ruled Egypt for 10 months before the country became a republic under popular reformist Gamal Abdel Nasser.
After being forced to leave Egypt, Sultan and Monem settled in France and had two children, a son and a daughter. In the 1957, the princess and her daughter returned to Istanbul. Prince Monem died in Istanbul in 1979.
After the death in 2009 of Ertugrul Osman Osmanoglu, the last pretender to the Ottoman throne, Neslisah took the title of “oldest member of the Osmanogullari family”, the Ottoman dynasty.
Neslisah Sultan is survived by a son, daughter and a grandson.