House of Osman
Country Ottoman Flag Ottoman Empire
Titles *Caliph
Founder Osman I
Final ruler Mehmed VI
Current head Bayezid Osman
Founding year 27 July 1299
Deposition 1 November 1922
Barber cape

Ottoman Ceremonial Barbering Cape (detail), early 18th century, Turkey. Each day, the Sultan wore a different elaborately embroidered cape for his daily barbering. Public displays of extraordinary splendor were considered essential to the maintenance of Ottoman imperial authority. LACMA textile collection.

The Ottoman dynasty, made up of the members of the House of Osman (Turkish: Osmanlı Hanedanı), ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I (not counting his father, Ertuğrul), though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey[1] declared himself sultan. Before that the tribe/dynasty was known as Söğüt Beylik or Beys but 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, especially the Grand Vizier. See the article on state organisation of the Ottoman Empire for further information on the sultan and the structure of power.

The family was deposed from power and the sultanate was abolished on 1 November 1922 after the Turkish War of Independence. The Republic of Turkey was declared the following year.

The family in its current form is known as the Osmanoğlu family, meaning "son of Osman", after Osman I, the namesake of both the family and the Ottoman Empire.


The Ottoman dynasty is known in modern Turkish as Osmanlı Hanedanı, meaning "House of Osman"; in Ottoman Turkish it was known as Hanedan-ı Âl-i Osman.

The first rulers of the dynasty did not take the title of Sultan, but rather Bey, a title roughly the Turkic equivalent of Lord, which would itself become a gubernatorial title and even a common military or honorific rank. Thus they still formally acknowledged the sovereignty of the Seljuk Sultanate and its successor, the Sultanate of Rûm.

The first Ottoman ruler to actually claim the title of Sultan was Murad I, who ruled from 1359 to 1389. The holder of 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 senior to and more prestigious than that of Amir; it was not comparable to the title of Malik 'King', a secular title not yet common among Muslim rulers, or the Persian title of Shah, which was used mostly among Persian or Iranian related rulers.

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 "Master of Kings" and ranking as "Emperor", claiming superiority among the other kings.

In addition to such secular titles, the Ottoman sultan became the Caliph of Islam bearing the title Khalifeh ül-Rasul Rab al-A’alamin (i.e. Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe), starting with Selim I, who became Caliph in 1517 after Al-Mutawakkil III, the last of the Abbasid Caliphs in Cairo, formally surrendered the caliphal titles and regalia (the sword, mantle and other relics of Muhammad) to Selim in Constantinople the same year. Selim also received the title "Custodian of the Two Noble Sanctuaries", Khadim al-Haramayn ash-Sharifayn in Arabic and Khâdim ül-Harameyn ash-Sharifeyn in Ottoman Turkish, from Barakat Effendi Grand Sharif of Mecca when conquering al-Hejaz and with it the Muslim Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. Selim I full style was: Sovereign of the House of Osman, Khan of Khans of the Two Lands and the Two Seas, Commander of the Faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe, Custodian of the Two Noble Sanctuaries, Emperor of the Three Cities of Constantinople, Adrianople and Bursa, Conqueror of the two Armies (i.e. the European and Persian armies).

In Europe, all Ottoman Emperors were commonly referred to by the title of Sultan, rather than by those of Padishah or Caliph, which had a higher rank than that of Sultan, and were also often informally referred to by such terms unrelated to the Ottoman protocol as the Grand Turk and the Grand Seigneur or Gran Signore.

The sultans further adopted in time many secondary formal titles as well, such as "Sovereign of the House of Osman", "Sultan of Sultans", and "Khan of Khans", these two meaning King of Kings and roughly ranking as "Emperor". These titles were known in Ottoman Turkish respectively as Hünkar-i Khanedan-i Âl-i Osman, Sultan us-Salatin and Khakan (the latter enlarged as Khakan ül-Berreyn vel-Bahreyn by Mehmet II, Bayezid II and Selim I, meaning "Khan of Khans of the Two Lands (Europe and Asia) and the Two Seas (Mediterranean and Indian)").

As the empire grew, sultans adopted secondary titles expressing the empire's claim to be the legitimate successor 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 overlord. For example, Tamerlane appointed in 1402 the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman Çelebi (deposed in 1411), who was styled as-Sultan ul-Azam, Sayyid us-Saladin ul-Arab wal Ajam, Malik ur-Rikaab ul-Umam, Ghiyas ud-Daula wa ud-Dunya, Sultan ul-Islam wal-Muslimin, as-Sultan ibni us-Sultan, Hasib-i-Nasib-I-Zaman, Amir ul-Rumelia (Grand Sultan, Righteous Lord of Arabs, Helper of the State and the People, Sultan of Islam and the Muslims, Sultan son of Sultans, Prince of Rumelia). Again his brother, Mehmed I, who ended the Ottoman Interregnum, also held his post with a fief from Tamerlane; he took the title Sovereign of the House of Osman, Khan of Khans, Grand Sultan of Anatolia and Rumelia, and of the Cities of Adrianople and Philipopolis. However, the vassalage of the Ottoman Sultanate ended with the death of Tamerlane during the reign of the next Ottoman ruler, Sultan Murad II, who took the style Sultan ul-Mujahidin, Sovereign of the House of Osman, Khan of Khans, Grand Sultan of Anatolia and Rumelia, and of the Cities of Adrianople and Philipopolis.

When Sultan Mehmed II Fatih (1451 - 1481) conquered Constantinople on May 29, 1453, he claimed the title Kaysar-i-Rûm "Emperor of Rome" and proclaimed himself the protector of the Orthodox Church. He appointed the Patriarch of Constantinople Gennadius Scholarius, whom he protected and whose status he elevated into leader of all the Eastern Orthodox Christians. As Emperor of Rome 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).

His full style was Sultan Mehmed II Khan, Fatih Ghazi 'Abu'l Fath (Victorious Conqueror, Father of Conquest), Padishah, Sovereign of the House of Osman, Emperor of Rome, Grand Sultan of Anatolia and Rumelia, Khan of Khans of the Two Lands and the Two Seas, Emperor of the three Cities of Constantinople, Edirne and Bursa. He was the first Ottoman ruler to adopt the imperial title of Padishah.

By the middle of the 16th century, the official full style of the reigning Ottoman Emperor had been established, remaining the same until the fall of the dynasty; e.g. in 1566, Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent was styled:

Ala Hazrat-i-Aqdas-i-Hümayun (His Sacred and Imperial Majesty) Sultan Suleyman Khan,
Padishah, i.e. Emperor,
Hünkar-i Khanedan-i Âl-i Osman, i.e. Sovereign of the House of Osman,
Sultan us-Selatin, i.e. Sultan of Sultans,
Khakan, i.e. Khan of Khans,
Amir ül-Mü'minin ve Khalifeh ül-Rasul Rab al-A’alamin, i.e. Commander of the Faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe,
Khâdim ül-Haramayn ush-Sharifayn, i.e. Custodian of the Holy Sanctuaries (the Holy Cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem),
Kaysar-i-Rûm, i.e. Emperor of Rome
Padişah-i thalath şehireha-i Qostantiniyye, Edirne ve Hüdavendigâr, ül şehireyn-i Dimaşq ve Qahira, tamam Azerbayjan, Mağrib, Barqah, Kayravan, Haleb, ül-‘Iraq-i ‘Arab vel ‘Ajam, Basra, ül-dulan-i Lahsa, Rakka, Musul, Partiyye, Diyârbekir, Kilikiyye, ül vilâyatun-i Erzurum, Sivas, Adana, Karaman, Van, Barbariyye, Habeş, Tunus, Trablus-i Garb, Şam, Kıbrıs, Rodos, Girit, ül vilâyet-i Mora, ül Bahr-i Sefid vel Bahr-i Siyah ve i-swahil, Anadolu, Rumeli, Bagdâd, Kurdistân, Yunanistan, Türkistan, Tatariyye, Çerkesyye, ül mintaqateyn-i Kabarda, Gürjistan, ül-Deşt-i Qipçaq, tamam ül-mamlikat-i Tatar, Kefe ve tamam ül-etraf, Bosna, ül şehir ve hisar-i Belgrat, ül vilâyet-i Sırbistan bil tamam ül-hisareha ve şehireha, tamam Arnavut, tamam Eflak ve Boğdan, ve tamam ül-mustamlak vel-hududeha, ve muteaddit mamalekat ve şehireha, i.e. Emperor of The Three Cities of Constantinople, Adrianople and Bursa, and of the Cities of Damascus and Cairo, of all Azerbaijan, of the Magreb, of Barka, of Kairouan, of Aleppo, of the Arabic and the Persian Iraq, of Basra, of Al-Hasa strip, of Ar Raqqah, of Mosul, of Diyarbakır, of Cilicia, of the provinces of Erzurum, of Sivas, of Adana, of Karaman, Van, of Barbary, of Abyssinia, of Tunisia, of Algiers, of Tripoli, of Damascus, of Cyprus, of Rhodes, of Crete, of the province of Morea, of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and also their coasts, of Anatolia, Rumelia, Baghdad, Greece, Turkistan, Tartary, Circassia, of the two regions of Kabarda, of Georgia, of the Steppe of Kypchaks, of the whole country of the Tatars, of Kefe and of all the neighboring regions, of Bosnia, of the City and Fort of Belgrade, of the province of Serbia, with all the castles and cities, of all Albania, of all Eflak and Bogdania, as well as all the dependencies and borders, and many other countries and cities.

After the fall of the Ottoman dynasty as Emperors of the Ottoman State (Padishahan-i Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osmaniyye in Ottoman Turkish), Abdulmecid II (1922) was still proclaimed Caliph with the title Halife ("Caliph", in modern Turkish) by the republican Government of the Grand National Assembly of the city of Ankara on November 19, 1922. However, the Ottoman Caliphate too was abolished soon afterwards, and Abdulmecid II was utterly deposed and expelled from Turkey with the rest of the Ottoman dynasty on 3 March 1924. He remained the pretender to the abolished throne as the Osmanlı Hanedanı Reisi ("Head of the House of Osman", in modern Turkish) until his death.

See also[]

  • Ottoman Empire
  • Osmanoğlu family, its current form
  • List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire
  • Line of succession to the Ottoman throne
  • Ottoman Emperors family tree
  • Ottoman family tree (more detailed)
  • Tuğra-Sultan's Signature
  • List of Valide Sultans
  • List of Ottoman Grand Viziers
  • List of admirals in the Ottoman Empire
  • List of Ottoman Kaptan Pashas
  • Amuca tribe


External links[]

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Imperial house
House of Osman
New Dynasty
Ruling house of the Ottoman Empire
1299 – 19 November 1922
Monarchy and Caliphate abolished
Preceded by
‘Abbāsid dynasty
Caliphate dynasty
1517 – 3 March 1924

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