“All that is beautiful has been made by my grandfathers!” (p. 285)
Throughout the history of the Turkish Republic, Republican historians regarded the abolition of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate as a just act, in keeping with Republican ideology. In the last 20 years, opinions and emotions differing from this ideology have surfaced. Neslishah: The Last Ottoman Princess is one of the works exploring the situation of the dynasty’s members after the demise of the Empire and Caliphate. This is the story and biography of Neslishah Sultan. It is also the narrative of the decadence of the two influential dynasties. The book describes the eventful life of the last Ottoman Princess and goes into detail about Neslishah’s turbulent early life, from her first banishment, through her marriage to the Egyptian Prince Abdel Moneim and her second exile, to her demise at the age of ninety-one in 2012.
Neslishah Sultan was born on February 4, 1921, two years before the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. She was both the granddaughter, on her mother’s side, of the last Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed Vahideddin, who was exiled from Istanbul in 1922, and on her father’s side, granddaughter of the last Muslim Caliph, Abdulmecid II. Neslishah Sultan was the last imperial member of the Ottoman royal family; her name was the final entry inscribed in the official palace registry of the dynasty members, before the Ottoman sovereignty was abolished on November 1, 1922.
The first chapter begins with the marriage story of Neslishah’s parents, the toppling of the last Ottoman Sultan Vahideddin from the throne, and the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924. It continues with the exile of the one hundred and fifty-five members of the Ottoman family, including three-year-old Neslishah in 1924. The subsequent chapter describes the family’s move to Nice, France, where the princess spent her ch