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This is a list of titles and appellations used in the Ottoman Empire. In place of surnames, Muslims in the Empire carried titles such as "Sultan", "Paşa", "Ağa", "Hoca", "Bey", "Hanım", "Efendi", etc. These titles either defined their formal profession (such as Pasha, Hoca, etc.) or their informal status within the society (such as Bey, Agha, Hanım, Efendi, etc.). Later, family surnames were made mandatory in Turkey by the 1934 Surname Law.

Usage by Ottoman royalty

The sovereigns' main titles were Sultan, Padishah (Emperor) and Khan; which were of Arabic, Persian and Turkish/Mongolian origin, respectively. His full style was the result of a long historical accumulation of titles expressing the empire's rights and claims as successor to the various states it annexed or subdued. Beside these imperial titles, Caesar of Rome (Kayser-i Rûm) was among the important titles claimed by Sultan Mehmed II after the conquest of Constantinople. The title sultan (سلطان), originally meaning "authority" or "dominion", used in an ungendered manner to encompass the whole imperial family, men and women, reflected the Ottoman conception of sovereign power as a "family prerogative". Male dynasty member carrying the title before their given name, with female member carrying it after.[1] Nevertheless, when used to refer to female dynasty members and relatives, title sultan often translated to sultana in to outside Ottoman, possibly to distinguish them from the Ottoman ruler. Hadrah or Hazretleri is honorific Arabic title; a literal translation of Hadrah is "Presence", which is often translated as "Your Highness".


The emperors' formal title consisted of Sultan together with Khan (in Turkish language the word became Han). This dual title symbolized the Ottomans' dual legitimating heritage, Islamic and Central Asian. Formal titles and styles:

Dynasty member

Imperial prince

Male descendants of a sovereign in the male line.

Imperial princess

Female descendants of a sovereign in the male line.

Sons and daughters of sultana

Relative of dynasty member

Imperial mother

Mothers of the reigning sultans

Imperial female consort

Consorts of the sultans and imperial princes.

Imperial male consort

Husbands of the sultana.

During the time of Suleiman

Titles and appellations in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, from Albert Howe Lybyer's book "The government of the Ottoman Empire in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent":[3]

Other princely, noble, aristocratic, and honorific titles

Other titles include:[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Peirce, Leslie P. (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507673-7.
  2. ^ Özgen, Korkut. "The Ottomans History". Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
  3. ^ The government of the Ottoman Empire in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent (1913) at the Internet Archive