Ottoman dynasty praises bridge name


Ottoman family members have welcomed the naming of Istanbul’s third cross-Bosphorus bridge as the "Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge." “It is good, a suitable name for our country,” said Orhan Osmanoglu, the third-generation grandson of Sultan Abdulhamid II, during a telephone interview with the Hurriyet Daily News yesterday. The sultan, known as "Selim the Grim" in English, was famous for his conquests in the Eastern world, and Turkey’s contemporary border with what is now Iran was determined following the 1514 Battle of Caldiran against Sah Ismail of the Safavids. Osmanoglu pointed out the importance of the name in the sense of enhancing Turkey’s image. “A powerful and leading Turkey should be at peace with its past and own it,” he said. Osmanoglu suggested a name for the possible next bridge after Fatih Sultan Mehmed and Yavuz Sultan Selim bridges. “I hope that the name of the fourth bridge will be Kanuni Sultan Suleyman [Selim’s son].” He said that the Ottoman family members were not invited to the ground-breaking ceremony for the third bridge, which was held yesterday. However, he noted that they would come to the bridge’s inauguration ceremony in 2015, if the government accepted and invited them. Seven members of the Ottoman family, who live in Turkey and abroad, came together in Istanbul for the first time in the history of the Republic of Turkey yesterday for the "conquest celebrations," which were organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Sultan Resad’s grandson Sehzade (meaning sultan’s son) Cengiz Osmanoglu (74), Nilufer Sultan from the United Kingdom, and Leyla Sultan from Austria attended the celebrations. “Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has made a big contribution to this meeting. We had asked him to gather family members together in such a meeting and he indulged our request – thanks to him,” said Osmanoglu, noting that attending the Istanbul conquest celebrations had a special meaning for them. “It is very good to see that we are not orphans, and we are protected. Sehzade Cengiz Osmanoglu is very affected by attending this meeting,” he said. After the Republic of Turkey was found in 1923, the members of the Ottoman family were sent into exile. Excluding the members that returned to Turkey, there are 24 sehzade and 15 sultans across the United States, the European Union, and the Middle East.