Book Extract: A Farewell To Imperial İstanbul by Ayşe Gülnev Osmanoğlu

I’m excited to be welcoming Ayşe Gülnev Osmanoğlu to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel,  A Farewell To Imperial İstanbul. 

Set against the majestic backdrop of Imperial Istanbul in the aftermath of the First World War, A Farewell To Imperial Istanbul is a captivating tale of family, duty and the resilience of the human spirit.

İstanbul, 1922: As the Ottoman Empire crumbles in the wake of the Great War, the fate of the Imperial capital and the House of Osman come under threat. Emboldened following their victory in the Turkish War of Independence, the Turkish Nationalist Government in Ankara abolishes the Ottoman Sultanate, marking the end of over six centuries of Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Caliphate endures for now, but Istanbul, stripped of its Imperial mantle, mourns its lost glory. Prince Nihadfears for the nation and the fate of the Imperial family, while his son, Prince Vâsıb, envisions a hopeful future defined by peace following the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne.

As the new Republic of Türkiye emerges from the ashes of the once-mighty Ottoman Empire, Istanbul and the Ottoman Dynasty confront the crossroads of history, their destinies entwined with the shifting tides of the Bosphorus. Yet, amidst these perilous currents that separate East and West, where the deep waters threaten to engulf the city’s Imperial past and sweep away its soul embodied by the Imperial family, the Ottoman Dynasty must navigate a new and uncertain course.

The history of the Turks and their vast and powerful Empire has been intertwined with the Ottoman Dynasty for over six hundred years. But can the Imperial family survive the tempest of change as the world enters a new era?


There’s a chance to win a A Farewell To Imperial İstanbul bundle but first, Ayşe Gülnev Osmanoğlu has shared an extract from her novel today. We hope you all enjoy. 


*****beginning of extract*****

Chapter Twenty-One


I am delighted to share this extract from the book with you and hope your readers enjoy it…

This passage is taken from a scene set in March 1924, after members of the Ottoman Imperial family have boarded the Orient Express at Sirkeci Railway Station in İstanbul. Prince Vâsıb was only twenty years old at the time, when he was sent into enforced exile with his family – he would not be permitted to return until fifty years later…

The interiors of the carriage dazzled with art deco splendour, boasting rich colours, luxurious fabrics, and highly polished surfaces that epitomised the opulence of the Simplon-Orient-Express. As the final preparations concluded, a guard on the platform raised his whistle to his lips and blew a screeching note, a haunting prelude to the imminent departure. With a noticeable jolt, the train surged into motion, each rhythmic movement marking the beginning of a journey fraught with apprehension. The carriage gently swayed, and the steady clatter of wheels on tracks formed a mournful backdrop as the train pulled out of the station and began its solemn voyage.

Vâsıb emerged from the compartment and stepped back into the corridor, forcefully lowering the carriage window, inviting the crisp İstanbul night air to sweep through. As the train gained momentum, he leant into the chilled breeze, casting a fleeting gaze at the shimmering lights twinkling in the homes across the city and whispered a final farewell to Imperial İstanbul.


*****end of extract*****



About Ayşe Gülnev Osmanoğlu –

Ayşe Gülnev Osmanoğlu is a member of the Ottoman Imperial family, being descended from Sultan Murad V through her grandfather, and from Sultan Mehmed V (Mehmed Reşad) through her grandmother.

After reading History and Politics at the University of Exeter, she obtained an M.A. in Turkish Studies from SOAS, University of London, where she specialised in Ottoman History. Her debut novel, The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus was published in 2020.

Ayşe Osmanoğlu lives between Türkiye, France and the United Kingdom with her husband, five children and two cats. Her research and literary works concentrate on the late Ottoman period, exploring narratives embedded in her imperial heritage.

Say hello via her website, Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter).

A Farewell To Imperial İstanbul is part of The Ottoman Dynasty Chronicles and was released on 29th May 2024. Click to buy on Amazon UK, Waterstones and Amazon US.




Win A Farewell to Imperial İstanbul prize bundle. 

There is a prize bundle to give away. The prize includes…

The list of prizes is below:

  • Paperback signed copy of A Farewell to Imperial İstanbul
  • Scented Candle from the Imperial İstanbul Collection – Scent: Harem Garden (Jasmine, Rose & Orange Blossom)
  • Black matchsticks
  • Traditional Rose Turkish Delight
  • A Farewell to Imperial İstanbul postcard
  • Set of four A Farewell to Imperial İstanbul bookmarks

 This competition is open to UK only and all you have to do to enter is click here


*Terms and Conditions –

UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.

Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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