By Cemil Özyurt - Murad V, (1840-1904), Ottoman sultan from May to August 1876, whose liberal disposition brought him to the throne after the deposition of his uncle Abdülaziz. Abdülaziz’ deposition by a group of ministers led by Midhat Paşa, the great advocate of constitutional government, Murad was brought to the throne. The new sultan was determined to introduce constitutional reforms, but, under the impact of Abdülaziz’ suicide and the murder of some of his key ministers, Murad suffered mental collapse. After declaration by Turkish and foreign doctors that his illness was incurable, Murad was deposed by the same men who had brought him to the throne. During the reign (1876–1909) of his brother Abdülhamid II, several attempts to restore him to the throne failed, and he spent the remaining years of his life confined in the Çırağan Palace. Languishing behind the high walls and heavily-guarded gates of the Çırağan Palace are the former Sultan Murad V and his family. This palace on the shores of the Bosphorus has been their ‘gilded cage’ for nearly thirty years: ever since Murad’s deposition in 1876, they have been held in strict confinement on the orders of his younger brother, the autocratic ruler Sultan Abdülhamid II.
It’s not a common writing a story, novel or diary for members of Ottoman family. Not more members of the Imperial family put pen to paper in order to record their unique memories and fascinating stories. To honour the memory of her great-great-great-grandfather, Ayşe Gülnev Osmanoğlu wrote a novel, “The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus” and she decided to make the book available to purchase on 7th July 2020 – in honour of his father’s 80th Birthday. She says: “In memory of all who once lived as prisoners in the Çırağan Palace, especially His Imperial Majesty Sultan Murad V. You will never be forgotten ghosts and shadows – instead your memory lives on in the hearts and souls of your descendants…” Osmanoğlu answered TURKOFAMERICA’s questions.