The Ottoman Prince of New York's High Society

The article about Prince Burhaneddin's party at his home in Maine.
The eighth child and the fourth son of Sultan Abdülhamid II, Prince Mehmed Burhaneddin is also among the Ottoman Dynasty members who lived and passed away here in the United States. Born in 1885 at Yıldız Palace in İstanbul, Prince Burhaneddin was Abdülhamid II’s favorite son and was known for his intelligence. It is said that when he was barely in his twenties, his father sought to declare him the heir to the Ottoman throne, causing a great uproar among conservative factions that insisted on the traditional line of succession, his father had wanted to declare him the Veliaht (the Heir) to the Ottoman throne. He had been a colonel in the Ottoman navy, a composer, a painter, and a virtuoso pianist and violinist. He had two extremely rare pianos of which only four still exist in the world.
Prince Burhaneddin had rejected offers to be crowned King of Albania in 1913 and of King of Iraq in 1921. When he was exiled along with the other members of the Ottoman Dynasty in 1924, he was 38 years old and was living in Austria. He was never to return to Turkey.

Prince Burhaneddin married four times, his final marriage having been in 1933 in London with Elsie Deming Jackson, an American heiress born in New Jersey’s Newark area and educated in Europe.

He moved to the USA in 1934 with his wife. Speaking German and French in addition to English, the Prince frequently hosted parties in ‘Villa Bahar’ in Bar Harbor in Maine, the state famous for its waterfront residences and mansions.

The villa which was built in 1896 for Charles Jackson, the Prince’s wife Elsie’s father, was given the name Bahar (Spring) by the Prince.
Prince Mehmed Burhaneddin
That villa, along with other sixty-six mansions in town, had burnt down on 24 October 1947 under suspicious circumstance. Many historic Ottoman items, including medals, photographs and valuable antiques were lost.

Prince Mehmed Burhaneddin had lived a life of greater comfort than most of the other exiled members of the Ottoman Dynasty. He had lived in Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side neighborhood on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue. (He had for a time resided on 1148 Fifth Avenue.)

The Prince had two sons, Prince Mehmed Fahreddin (1911-1968) and Prince Ertuğrul Osman (1912-2009). Prince Ertuğrul Osman had been born in Nisantasi Palace and was the Head of the Ottoman Dynasty until he passed away in 2009.

Burhaneddin Effendi passed away at the age of 64 on May 29, 1949, at his house at 550 Park Avenue. His wife also passed away at their home three years later.

The Prince’s funeral was held in Campbell Funeral Church. His body was brought to İstanbul from New York, but, as it was not accepted in Turkey, it was brought to Damascus and buried in the tomb of the Sultan Selim Mosque, where many other Ottoman royals who died in exile were buried.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07