Turkey Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Turkey: Political System

According to EQUZHOU.NET, Turkey is a presial republic headed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from the AKP, who is also head of government, since June 24, 2018. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Turkey politics, and acronyms as well.

He is elected every 7 years by secret ballot. Parliament is a unicameral system. The Turkish Grand National Assembly has 600 seats and its legislative period is 5 years. After the June 24, 2018 election, it has limited rights.

The official name of the country is:

Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)

National anthem

The national anthem of Turkey was written by Mehmet Akif Ersoy and set to music by Zeki Üngör. It became the country’s official anthem in 1921.

In Turkish In the English translation
orkma, sönmez bu şafaklardayüzen al sancak;

Sönmeden yurdumun üstünde bags

en son ocak.

O benim milletimin

yıldızıdır, parlayacak;

O benimdir,

o benim milletimindir ancak.Çatma, kurban olayım

çehreni ey nazlı hilal!

Kahraman ırkıma bir gül!

Ne bu şiddet bu celal?

Sana olmaz dökülen

kanlarımız sonra helal,

Hakkıdır, Hak’ka tapan,

milletimin istiklal!

Confident, the morning star broke,In the new light our flag blows ”.

Yes, you should blow,

As long as one last home still stands,

A stove smokes in our fatherland.

You our star,

you eternally shining shine,

you are ours, yours we are whole.Not applicable ‘thy face

from us, O Crescent,

victorious lived forever bills

us kindly and give us peace and happiness

to the heroic people that you dedicated his blood.

Preserve our freedom,

for whom we glow, the highest good for the people who

will one day set themselves free.

National flag

The appearance of the national flag (national flag) of Turkey is regulated in Law (2893) of September 22, 1983. Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, the crescent moon and star are classic symbols of Islam. The crescent has its origin with Osman I (1258-1326), the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Turkey.

Turkey: Important people

Halide Edib Adıvar (1884-1964)

Halide Edib Adıvar was born on 1884 in Istanbul. But she was not only a poet and writer but also a revolutionary and politician.

In addition, she had become a symbol for all women who were involved in the Turkish war of liberation.

Halide Edib came from a respected Istanbul family at the Sultan’s court. He had learned to read and write from an imam. At the age of 11 he was sent to the American College for Girls for a year, where she studied English.

From 1900 she also received lessons from the well-known Turkish mathematician Salih Zeki and graduated in 1901 and married Salih Zeki. At the same time, she was one of the first women to start working as a teacher.

During the revolution of 1908 she was one of the first Turkish women to speak at public rallies and began writing and campaigning for reforms. All a provocation for the conservative world of men.

After the counter-revolution was put down in 1909, she fled to Egypt in March and later to Great Britain, but returned to Turkey in October of the same year, where she wrote her first novella Seviyye ṭālib. A year later, she and Salih Zeki were divorced.

She then joined the Turkish movement and wrote her novella Yeñi Tūrān.

In 1911 she began to get involved in the nationalist association Türk Ocağı. An important step in her career was when she became general inspector for the schools of the Evkaf (pious foundations) in 1913 and the experiences she gained here were reflected in her short stories and novels.

In Halide Edib, the ruling class in Turkey repeatedly criticized the Turkish rulers for the deportations of the Armenians. In the course of the Armenian genocide In the course of the massacres and deportations, more than 12,000 Armenian children and orphans were forcibly turquoise. Nevertheless, she had taken over the management of an orphanage with these children.

In April 1917 she married the scientist and doctor Adnan Adıvar (1882-1955), the leading member of the İttihat ve Terakk wari. In March 1918 she returned to Istanbul. After the end of the First World War, which ended for Turkey with the Mudros armistice. Antalya was besieged by the Italian military and Greek troops occupied Izmir on May 15, 1919. With that the Greco-Turkish War had started.

Mustafa Kemal Pascha, who later became Ataturk, had meanwhile taken over the leadership of the resistance movement in Anatolia. On March 16, 1920, the British military besieged Istanbul, raided Parliament and deported people to Malta.

In order to escape this fate, she and her husband

fled to Ankara in April 1920 and joined Kemal Pasha’s army here, with Halide Edib being deployed at the headquarters and becoming one of the leading forces in the resistance movement.

The Sultan’s government in Istanbul sentenced Mustafa Kemal, Halide Edib and other relatives to death on May 11, 1920 in absentia.

After the first military success of the troops of the resistance movement against the Greeks on January 10, 1921, she had devoted herself to the mobilization of women in Ankara and the reorganization of the Red Crescent.

But in June of the same year she moved to Eskişehir, where she worked as a nurse for the Red Crescent.

During the fighting on the Sakarya between August and September 1921, she was again active in the headquarters with the rank of corporal. Her work here under the name Halide Onbaşı = corporal made her a symbol for all women who were involved in the war of liberation

In the decisive major offensive in Dumlupınar in August 1922, she was even used as a frontline fighter. The Greeks had to withdraw after their defeat on August 30th.

The Mudanya Armistice of October 11, 1922, led to the end of the Ottoman Sultanate, so Halide Edib and her husband returned to Istanbul with her husband in November 1922.

Those interested in history will still be interested in the fact that Turkey became a republic in October 1923 through the Grand National Assembly – with Mustafa Kemal Pascha as President.

But Mustafa Kemal Pasha’s leadership style and policies resulted in Halide Edib and her husband going into opposition and forming an opposition party in November. But due to increasing repression, the couple had left Turkey before the attempted assassination on Mustafa Kemal on June 15, 1926. By 1929 they had settled in England.

Here she had written her work Memoirs of Halidé Edib and other short stories. In 1929 she went to Paris, where she lived intermittently for stays in the USA or with Mahatma Gandhi in India until 1939 – her husband worked here as a Turkish lecturer.

In August 1935 she came back to Istanbul for the first time for a short time. But it was not until March 1939, four months after Ataturk’s death, that she finally returned to Turkey.

She died on January 9, 1964 – around nine years after the death of her husband – in her native Istanbul.

Melih Cevdet Anday ( 1915-2002)

poet, essayist and writer. Melih Cevdet Anday was born in Istanbul on March 13, 1915.

He had already met Orhan Veli and Oktay Rifat during his school days and together with them founded the trio of poets Garip (Fremdartig).

In their poems they had revolutionized traditional Turkish poetry and introduced new, modern, folk and surrealist stylistic devices.

He had also written novels, dramas and plays.

From 1954 he was a lecturer at the Conservatory in İstanbul and from 1964 to 1969 he was on the board of directors of the Türkiye Radyo ve Televizyon Kurumu (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) TRT.

From 1979 to 1983 he was a guest of UNESCO in Paris.

He died on November 28, 2002 in his native Istanbul

Evliya Çelebi (1611-1682)

Writer. Evliya Çelebi was born on March 25th in 1611 in Istanbul. He had mainly written about his travels and the people he met.

The date of his death is unknown, but it is known that he died while traveling in Egypt in 1682.

Kâtip Çelebi (1609-1657)

Ottoman scientist and writer. Kâtip Çelebi was born in Istanbul in February 1609. He had lived in Aleppo for a while and there he began to lay the foundation for his library.

After his war-related stay in Yerevan and Tabriz, he returned to Istanbul in 1635, which he never left afterwards.

His works dealt with history, geography and biographies.

He died on October 6, 1657 in his native Istanbul.

Murat Çobanoğlu (1940-2005)

Asik artist *. Murat Çobanoğlu was born in Arpaçay in the Turkish province of Kars in 1940. After his mother’s death, he moved to Izmir in 1979.

Cobanoglu is known in Turkey to this day. He had participated in radio broadcasts for many years and gave concerts in many European countries.

He died on May 26, 2005 in Ankara

Dadaloğlu (around 1785 – 1868)

Asian artist *. His poems have only come down to us through oral tradition. He worked mainly in Anatolia.

His other personal details are not known.

Aşık Dertli (1772-1846)

Asik artist *. Aşık Dertli was born on March 19, 1772 in the Turkish province of Bolu.

His poems in the style of the east-west divan were less successful, but his syllabic (= vocal music) poems were quite different.

He was an artist known for his socially critical poetry based on the Bektashi tradition. In addition, he had criticized the prevailing bigotry in his works.

The order of the Bektashi is one of the most influential Islamic-Alevi dervish orders in Anatolia and the Balkans.

Aşık Dertli died on December 9, 1846 in Ankara

Yunus Emre (1238-1320)

poet and mystic. Yunus Emre is considered one of the first Turkish-speaking mystical folk poets. Because of his works and his ascetic way of life, he is a recognized poet in Turkey, whose works are considered compulsory reading from high school.

Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936)

Writer. Mehmet Âkif Ersoy was born on December 20, 1873 in Istanbul to parents of Albanian origin.

He is the author of the text of the Turkish national anthem – the İstiklâl Marşı independence march – with music by Osman Zeki Üngör (1880-1958) in the orchestral version by Edgar Manas (1875-1964).

The anthem has been Turkey’s national anthem since March 12, 1921.

Âkif Ersoy is one of the pioneers of popular Turkish poems of the 20th century, in which everyday language and poetry are combined.

He had argued that literature must be linked to the country in which it is made.

He is considered to be one of the first in Turkish literature to give the poor people a voice in his poems.

He died on December 27, 1936 in his native Istanbul.

Tevfik Fikret (1867-1915).

Poet. Tevfik Fikret was born in Istanbul on December 24, 1867. He was one of the most important authors of the magazine “Servet-i Fünûn” (“Treasure of Knowledge”), which had set itself the goal of renewing Turkish literature.

Not least because of this he is considered a modernizer of Turkish poetry.

Tevfik Fikret died on in his native Istanbul.

Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963),

poet and writer. Nâzım Hikmet was born on January 15, 1902 in Thessaloniki. He is considered one of the founders of modern Turkish poetry and also one of the most important poets of Turkish culture.

In 1921 he and a friend had fled occupied Istanbul to Anatolia, where she had made contact with communist organizations.

At the end of 1921 the two were then illegally to the Soviet Union, where they experienced the famine in the rural areas of southern Russia.

Nazim Hikmet studied sociology and art history in Moscow, where he made contact with the Soviet futurists. In 1924 he became a member of the illegal Communist Party of Turkey.

That is why he was persecuted there after his return to Turkey and fled to Moscow again in 1925. When he wanted to return to Turkey in 1928, he was arrested in 1928 and interned for eight months.

Despite state repression, he had his first successes as an author from 1929. But his works were repeatedly a victim of censorship and he himself was repeatedly imprisoned.

From 1933 to 1935 he was imprisoned in Bursa, where he wrote the epic of Sheikh Bedreddin.

In 1938 he was sentenced by a court martial to 28 years imprisonment along with a publication ban. While in custody he translated the novel War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy (1828-1910) into Turkish.

In 1950, Hikmet was pardoned after a hunger strike and numerous international protests. Then he started writing scripts. In 1951 Nâzım Hikmet had to flee again to Moscow, where he had belonged to the intellectual prominence.

During his trips to the Eastern Bloc countries he was on the III. German Writers’ Congress 1952 in Berlin met Stephan Hermlin (1915-1997).

He died on June 3, 1963 in Moscow, where he found his final resting place in the Novodevichy Cemetery.

Despite his death, the publication of his works in Turkey continued until 1965. But on January 6, 2009, he was posthumously regained Turkish citizenship.

Karacaoğlan (1606-1676)

Asik poet *. Karacaoğlan is one of the most important poets and Asian artists of the 17th century.

His works deal with love and nature also with separation, dignity, the desire to die and death.

Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu (1889-1974)

Writer and politician. Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu was born on March 27, 1889 in Cairo and attended elementary school in Manisa and later high school in Izmir.

In 1908 he went to Istanbul, where he studied law and worked as a writer.

He had initially published his works in literary magazines. He also worked as a teacher of literature and philosophy.

In 1922 he had joined the resistance movement of Mustafa Kemal Pascha (1881-1938) – Ataturk since 1934 – and in 1923 became a member of the Turkish National Assembly.

As he later made himself unpopular with his journalistic activities, he became ambassador to Albania (1934), Prague (1935), The Hague (1939–1940), Bern (1942), Tehran (1949) and from 1951 Back in Bern until his retirement in 1955.

He had also published a volume with stories from the National Liberation Struggle (1947). But his most important work was “Der Fremdling” from 1932, which became a classic in Turkish literature and was published in 1939 in German.

His novel entitled “Flamme und Falter” was published in German – around 12 years after his death – in 1986.

He died on December 13, 1974 in Ankara.

Namik Kemal (1840-1888)

poet and writer. Namık (Mehmed) Kemal was born in Tekirdağ on December 21, 1840.

Kemal, as a child of an aristocratic family, received private tuition, during which he had learned among other things Arabic, Persian and French. Therefore he got a job as an interpreter for the Ottoman government from 1857 to 1858.

Originally he wrote his poems in the classical Ottoman style, but was later influenced by İbrahim Şinasi, who was enthusiastic about Western ideas and the way of life there.

Along with İbrahim Şinasi and Ziya Pascha, he is one of the most important authors of the Tanzima era – a period of profound reforms in the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and 1876.

He had a great influence on the Young Turks movement as well as Turkish patriotism and liberalism

In 1867, for political reasons, he went to Paris and London with Ziya Pascha, who had published a newspaper there called Hürriyet (Freedom).

He became really known for his play Silistras or Fatherland, which was about the siege of Silistras. Since the play was shaped by the ideas of patriotism and liberality, it was banned in 1873, just like all satirical magazines.

Kemal, along with other writers and journalists, was arrested and imprisoned in Famagusta, Cyprus, but was released and rehabilitated in 1876.

In 1888 he was even appointed governor of what is now the Greek island of Chios.

He died on December 2, 1888 in Chios

Yasar Kemal (born 1923)

Yasar Kemal is one of the most important contemporary writers in Turkey. He repeatedly criticized the grievances in his home country and received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for this.

Necip Fazil Kisakurek (1904-1983)

Writer and poet. Necip Fāzıl Kısakürek was born on May 25, 1905 in Istanbul. Kısakürek had published numerous books, newspaper articles, plays and poems.

He had graduated from American and French schools. He had also attended naval school for five years and went to Paris to study at the Sorbonne in 1924.

After he returned to Turkey, he hired himself as a bank clerk. In 1942 he had given up this employment relationship and became editor and author.

During this time he had developed the idea of a “Slam Great East”, whereby a number of states were to be combined into one large Islamic statute.

He died on May 25, 1983 in Istanbul, the city of his birth. He was a Turkish poet, author, playwright and thinker.

Köroğlu (16th century)

Köroğlu is a figure in Turkish folk literature from Anatolia and embodies the figure of the noble robber – comparable to the English Robin Hood. Its story is one of the most famous Turkish folk tales. He had fought the tyrants and distributed the booty to the poor.

Even the Köroğlu Dağları mountain range bears his name.

Aziz Nesin (1915-1995)

Writer and satirist. He is considered one of the most important Turkish writers of the 20th century. He was best known for his sarcastic and humorous novels.

He was an honorary member of the German and British PEN.

Orhan Pamuk (born 1952 in Istanbul)

novelist. Pamuk received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. He wrote, among other things, “The white fortress”, “Red is my name” or “Snow”. In 2005 he received the “Peace Prize of the German Book Trade”.

In Turkey he was charged with denigrating the state because of his comments on the massacres of the Armenians. But in January 2006 the charges were surprisingly dropped!

Ziya Pasha (1825-1880)

poet, author and politician. Ziya Pascha was born in Istanbul on October 17, 1825.

Alongside İbrahim Şinasi and Namık Kemal, he is one of the most important authors of the Tanzima era – a period of profound reforms in the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and 1876. In

1867 he went to Paris and London with Namık Kemal, where he published a newspaper called Hürriyet (Freedom) had issued.

In addition to his writing activities, he was governor of Cyprus, Amasya, Konya, Aleppo and most recently Adana.

He died on May 17, 1880 in Adana, the capital of the province of the same name.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad ar-Rūmī (1207-1273)

theologian, writer and poet. Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad ar-Rūmī – Rumi for short – was born on September 30, 1207 in Balch in what is now Afghanistan and what was then the Persian Empire.

He was a Persian representative of Sufism, one of the mystical currents of Islam. He was also a scholar and one of the most important Persian-speaking poets of the Middle Ages.

One of his most important works was the “Matnavi” – in German double verse – which comprises about 26,000 verses and in the form of anecdotes, stories and narratives illuminates the main theme of Sufism, mystical love.

Around 1243 he moved to Konja in what is now Turkey, where he lived and worked until his death.

The Mevlevi Dervish Order is named after him.

It should be mentioned that Martin Schulz, the SPD’s candidate for Chancellor in the 2017 Bundestag election, quoted the following sentence from him in a TV program:

“Beyond right and wrong is a place where we meet”

He was on December 17th Died in Konya in what is now Turkey in 1273.

His mausoleum in the city is the symbol of Konja and also a place of pilgrimage for Muslims.

Aşık Seyrani (1800 – 1866)

Asian artist *. Aşık Seyrani became a part of today’s city of Everek in the province of Kayseri in Develi in 1800.

He came to Istanbul in 1839 when Sultan Abdülmecit (1823-1861) took the throne.

He performed the singing poems about love, religion and death that are typical of the Asik art.

İbrahim Şinasi (1826-1871)

poet and writer. İbrahim Şinasi was born in Istanbul on August 5, 1826.

Together with Ziya Pascha and Namık Kemal, he is one of the most important authors of the Tanzima epoch – a period of profound reforms in the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and 1876.

He began as an official in the Ottoman administration. From 1849 to 1853 he studied on the instructions of Mustafa Reşid Pasha (1800-1858) for five years in Paris, where he came into contact with French literature and French intellectuals.

During this time he had translated a number of works from French into Turkish.

In 1860 he became co-editor of the newspaper Tercüman-i ahvâl and two years later he founded his own newspaper Tasvir-i Efkâr, which became a very influential newspaper in the Ottoman Empire.

For political reasons he had to go into exile in Paris in 1865 and only returned to Istanbul shortly before his death.

He is considered a pioneer of Turkish poetry. He was the first to bring out a collection of Turkish proverbs and wrote the first Ottoman (Turkish) play.

He died on September 13, 1871 in his hometown.

Narmanlı Sümmani (1862-1915)

Asian artist *. He was born on March 9, 1862 in Samikal in the province of Erzurum.

He was one of the numerous and very popular Asian artists. He also worked as a shepherd. His works mostly included questions about love and mysticism.

He died on February 5, 1915.

Şerafettin Taşlıova (1938-2014)

Asik artist. * Şerafettin Taşliova was born on April 10, 1938 in the village of Pekşeren, Çıldır District, Ardahan Province. He had started writing poetry at the age of ten. He later appeared very often on radio and on Turkish TV.

Şerafettin Taşliova has even been recognized by UNESCO for his art.

He died on September 20, 2014.

Ahmet Kutsi Tecer (1901-1967)

Writer and politician. Ahmet Kutsi Tecer was born on September 4, 1901 in Jerusalem.

He studied philosophy in Istanbul and became a philosophy teacher after graduating. He then worked in the Ministry of National School Education. He was also a member of the Turkish parliament from 1942 to 1946.

In 1950 he became a member of the board of directors for UNESCO, but then went back to teaching, which he had exercised until his retirement in 1966.

In the 1920s he began to write poetry and published it in various magazines. The poems in traditional meter are shaped by a love of the country.

His plays, which he had written in the 1940s, were also rather popular and criticized reformers and a western orientation. He died on July 23, 1967 in Istanbul.

Neyzen Tevfik (1879-1953)

poet. Neyzen Tevfik was born in Bodrum on March 24, 1879.

In his poetry – often with the help of satire – he showed the inequality in society, the injustices, corruption and persecution as well as the religious oppression.

In addition to his poems, he was also known as a composer. He himself suffered from epileptic seizures and his alcohol addiction, especially from raki. He died on January 28, 1953 in Istanbul.

Halit Ziya Uşakligil (1867-1945)

Writer. Halid Ziya Uşaklıgil was born in Istanbul on August 6, 1866.

After completing secondary school in Istanbul, his family moved to İzmir, historic Smyrna, where he graduated from high school. Here he later taught French and worked as a bank clerk.

He had used his time in Izmir for his first translations of French novels, which played an important role in bringing Turkish literature closer to Western literature.

In 1886 he founded the newspaper Hikmet (Wisdom) and published novels and short stories here. But in 1893 he returned to Istanbul as a civil servant.

From 1896 he was able to publish his works in the most important Turkish literary magazine Servet-i Fünûn (‘Treasure of Knowledge’). At the beginning of the 20th century, the censorship had hindered the printing of his novel Kırık Hayatlar in Servet-i fünûn, which had forced him to take a creative break.

During this time he worked as a diplomat, literature professor and official of the Sultan.

The novels by Uşaklıgils are closely based on French romanticism and deal, among other things, with unfulfilled love. With his great novel Aşk-ı memnu from 1899/1900 he wrote closer to the people and had approached naturalism.

He died on March 27, 1945 in his native Istanbul.

Omer Bedrettin Uşaklı (1904-1946)

poet and politician. Ömer Bedrettin Uşaklı was born on August 24, 1904 in Usak in Anatolia. In Uşak he had attended elementary school and secondary school in Sivas. In 1927 he finished his studies in political science in order to work as an administrative officer.

He was later even appointed assistant sub-governor. Between 1938 and 1943 he was a property inspector. His impressionistic view of nature made his home appear in an intimate sensitivity and subjective view.

The death of his wife and daughter also influenced his poetry. At that time he was called an “Anatolian poet”. He died of tuberculosis in Istanbul on February 23, 1946.

Asik Veysel (1894-1973)

Asik artist *. Âşık Veysel Şatıroğlu was born on October 25, 1894 in the village of Sivrialan in Şarkışla.

He was one of the most famous and well-known Turkish-Anatolian long-necked lute players (Bağlama), as well as a singer and poet.

At a nationwide Aşık Festival in 1933, even the President Ataturk (1881-1838) noticed him pleasantly. In the following years, following the tradition of the Anatolian Aşık singers, he went from village to village and sang his poetic songs to the lute. In this way he got to know and appreciate the people in large parts of Turkey.

He was so popular that the state awarded him a lifelong monthly pension in 1965 for his “services to language and national unity”.

He died on March 21, 1973 in the house where he was born in Sivrialan, which now houses a museum

Mehmet Emin Yurdakul (1869-1944)

poet.Mehmet Emin Yurdakul was born in İstanbul on October 21, 1869. He had published his first poem Cenge giderken (On the way to war) in 1897.

After graduating from secondary school, he worked in the customs administration from 1892 to 1907. And in 1909 he was promoted to governor of the Hejaz in what is now Saudi Arabia, and in 1910 he became governor of Sivas and in 1911 of Erzurum in eastern Anatolia.

His poems were strongly nationalistic and written in a simple and popular language.

He died on January 14, 1944 in his native Istanbul and found his final resting place in the Zincirlikuyu cemetery in İstanbul.

Nasreddin Hoca (1208-1284)

satirist and writer. Nasreddin is one of the most prominent protagonists of humorous prosaic stories in the Turkish-Islamic influenced area from the Balkans to the Turkic peoples of Central Asia.

A Nasreddin Hoca mausoleum is located in Akşehir in southwestern Anatolia.

Architects and builders

Mimar Sinan (1490-1588)

builder. or architect. Mimar Sinan was born in Ağırnas near Kayseri around 1490.

He is considered the most famous architect of the Ottoman Empire. He had erected approx. 475 buildings between structures, 205 of which have been preserved to this day, including mosques, madrasas (Islamic universities), dervish monasteries, public baths, schools, palaces, mausoleums and hospitals.

He died on July 17, 1588 in Istanbul.

Turgut Cansever (1922-2009)

Architect and writer. Turgut Cansever was born in Antalya on September 12, 1921.

Among other things, he designed the Büyükada Anadolu Club in Istanbul, the Karatepe Museum in the ruins of the same name from the 8th to 7th centuries BC. BC or the scientific research institute Türk Tarih Kurumu (Turkish Historical Society) founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1931 – with the research areas of Turkish history and Anatolian archeology.

He has received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture three times. The award was donated in 1980 by Karim Aga Khan IV. (Born 1936) for architecture and restoration projects with a special effect for the common good, with a focus on societies in which Muslims have a significant presence.

He was in Istanbul on February 22, 2009 deceased.

Visual artist

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu (1911-1975)

Painter and poet. Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu was born on May 17, 1911 in the coastal town of Görele on the Black Sea in the Giresun province.

In his works such as engravings, ceramics, sculptures, glass paintings, mosaics, calligraphies and lithographs, he used traditional motifs that he had combined with Western techniques.

He died on September 21, 1975 in Istanbul.

Fikret Mualla Saygi (1903-1967)

Expressionist painter. Fikret Mualla Saygi was born in Istanbul on September 20, 1903.

His work reflects influences from Expressionism and Fauvism, with an emphasis on Parisian street life, social gatherings such as cafes and circuses.

In 1939 he went to France where his work was strongly influenced by expressionism and fauvism. His motifs were mostly scenes from Parisian street life, or social gatherings such as cafes and circuses.

He was considered an alcoholic and probably suffered from cognitive dissonance.

He was on July 20, 1967 in Reillanne in the French department Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. died, but he found his final resting place in the Karacaahmet Cemetery in Istanbul.

Füreya Koral (born 1910)

ceramic artist. Füreya Koral was born on June 12, 1910 in Istanbul.

In 1927 she had completed the French-language Lycée Notre Dame de Sion in Istanbul and then studied philosophy at the University of Istanbul.

After two failed marriages, she had taken her own apartment in Istanbul and set up a studio there that was not only one of the first ceramic art studios in Turkey, but also became a meeting place for artists and intellectuals in the city.

She died on August 26, 1997 in her native Istanbul, and found her final resting place in the cemetery on Büyükada Island.

Ara Güler (born 1928)

photographer. Ara Güler was born in İstanbul on August 16, 1928 to a family who immigrated from Armenia. He is considered one of the most important photographers in Turkey.

Most of his photos were taken with a Leica in black and white and contain views of his hometown and hometown. He also portrayed numerous prominent people, including İsmet İnönü, Winston Churchill, Indira Gandhi, Bertrand Russell, Maria Callas, Alfred Hitchcock, Salvador Dalí or Picasso.

He has received numerous prizes and awards for his work. For example, in 1968 he was voted one of the “Ten Masters of Color Photography” by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York and in 1999 in Turkey “Photographer of the Century”.

Important NOTE

Numerous representatives of the are both musicians and poets. We had decided to cover the short biographies of these artists under writers and poets.


Necil Kâzım Akses (1908-1999)

Composer and cultural attaché. Necil Kâzım Akses was born in Istanbul on May 6, 1908.

After finishing school he studied music in Vienna and Prague. Later he was one of the collaborators of the German composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) in the construction of the Ankara Conservatory, which he then directed for a while. Together with Cemal Reşid Rey, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Ahmet Adnan Saygun and Ferid Alnar he belonged to the group of the “Turkish Five”, whose merit was to be the first to combine the musical tradition of their homeland with Western European compositions.

In 1949 Akses was active in the Turkish civil service and in this role came to Bern and Bonn as cultural attaché.

He had composed orchestral, chamber music and piano pieces. His best-known work is the Violin Concerto from 1969.

In 1957 he was awarded the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany.

He died on February 16, 1999 in Ankara.

Ferid Alnar (1906-1978)

Ferid Alnar was born on March 11, 1906 in Istanbul.

From 1927 to 1932 he studied music in Vienna. He then worked as a theater conductor in Istanbul and as a teacher of music history at the local conservatory.

He then worked as a composition teacher from 1937 to 1946 and then until 1953 as chief conductor of the Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra.

From 1954 to 1960 he was general music director of the Ankara State Opera. He belonged to the group of the “Turkish Five”, whose special merit had consisted in being the first to combine the musical tradition of their homeland with Western European compositions.

Alnar had composed operas, stage and film music. He also wrote instrumental concerts, a string quartet, a piano trio, a suite for piano and orchestra, as well as piano pieces and songs.

His compositions are strongly influenced by the style of the folklore of his homeland.

He died on September 5, 1978 in Ankara.

Arif Bey (1831-1885),

Composer and poet. Hacı Arif Bey was born on May 7, 1831 in Istanbul. He is one of the most important composers of the 19th century in the Ottoman Empire and is also considered the founder of the classical period of Turkish art music.

About 1,000 songs and some religious works come from him, seven of which have survived.

From 1873 he had also published a 600-page collection of poems under the name “Mecmuai Arif”.

He had died in his hometown of Istanbul on July 23, 1885.

Almost 100 years later his life was in 1982 through Yucel Cakmakli in a series for Turkish TV was filmed.

Hammamizade Ismail Dede Efendi (1778-1846)

Composer. Hammamizade Ismail Dede Efendi was born on January 9, 1778 in Istanbul. He was an important composer of classical Ottoman-Turkish music.

At the age of eight he had started studying music with Mehmed Emin Efendi.

His music was with Sultan Selim III. (1761-1808) met with great sympathy, which led to his works being played more frequently in the palace. To date, more than 200 of his works have been preserved.

In 1846 he made a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he fell ill with cholera and died from it. He had found his final resting place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

In his house and the music salon in the Kumkapiist district of Istanbul there is now a museum

Ulvi Cemal Erkin (1906-1972)

Composer. Ulvi Cemal Erkin was born in Istanbul on March 14, 1906.

He had studied music in Paris and in 1930 became professor at the State Conservatory in Ankara, of which he was director from 1949 to 1951. Later he was also a conductor at the State Opera.

Together with Ferid Alnar, Cemal Reşit Rey, Ulvi Cemal Erkin and Necil Kâzım Akses, he was one of the so-called “Turkish Five” who were the first to combine the musical tradition of their homeland with Western European compositions.

Erkin produced two symphonies, a violin and a piano concerto, a symphony for piano and orchestra and chamber music. He also composed 10 Turkish folk songs for a mixed choir.

One of his best known pieces is the Köçekce Suite.

He died on June 2, 1972 in Ankara.

Bülent Ersoy (born 1952)

pop star. The very popular singer was born as a boy and began her career as a young man. But in 1981 she was converted into a woman.

Today she is respected as a woman and is a popular and valued musician.

Neşet Ertaş (1938-2012)

Singer and composer. Neşet Ertaş was born on August 6, 1938 in Kırtıllar, a hamlet belonging to the village of Kelismailuşağı in the Kırşehir Province.

Neşet Ertaş was a traveling singer who went from place to place and performed typical songs from his home town of Kırşehir at festivities.

He was considered one of the most important Turkish Aşık artists. However, his songs had less political content but were characterized by the poetry of his texts.

He came to Germany with Turkish guest workers, where he appeared at events held by his compatriots. For a while he lived in Berlin where he opened a music store.

He later settled in Cologne, but before his death he had stayed in Turkey a lot, where he had given concerts and appeared on Turkish television.

He died on September 25, 2012 in Izmir

Mustafa Itri (1640)

Composer, singer and musician. Mustafa Itri – also known as Buhurizade Mustafa Itri – was born in Istanbul in January 1640.

Of his presumably over a thousand works, only about 40 have survived to this day. He is considered one of the greats of Turkish classical music.

He was given a special honor when UNESCO named 2012 the “International Itri Year” due to the 300th anniversary of Itris. Many things known about him today are subject to the dispute. His real name was Mustafa, and he was sometimes referred to as Buhurizade Mustafa Efendi. Itri was an important exponent of Turkish classical music. Since he was a mevlevi, he had composed religious music.

As with most composers of his day, Itri was also a famous poet, using poetic forms from the classical Ottoman school of poetry.

He had been sponsored for a while by Sultan Mehmet IV (1642-1693).

He died in October 1712 in his hometown of Istanbul.

Edgar Manas (1875-1964).

Edgar Manas Efendi was born on April 12, 1875 in Istanbul. He wrote the orchestral version of the Turkish national anthem – the İstiklâl Marşı independence march.

The text is by Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936) and the music by Osman Zeki Üngör (1880-1958)

He died on March 9, 1964 in his native Istanbul.

Zeki Müren (1933-1996)

Singer, poet and composer. Zeki Müren was born on December 6, 1931 in Bursa. He was a representative of Turkish classical and contemporary music.

In 1953 he shot his first feature film with the actress Cahide Sonku (1919-1981) with “Beklenen Şarkı” (The Expected Song).

After that he had made another 17 films, his last being “Rüya Gibi” (Like a Dream) from 1971. He also composed the music for some films.

He also wrote more than 100 poems.

He was banned from performing after the September 12, 1980 military coup, but it was lifted a few years later

He was seriously overweight and had therefore retired to his villa in Bodrum since 1992.

He has often been compared to Elvis Presley for his popularity, glittery costumes, and weight problems in old age.

He died on September 24, 1996 while recording a broadcast in TRT’s Izmir studios in Izmir.

Tens of thousands of people attended his funeral and the then President Süleyman Demirel had said: “He was my friend”!

A wonderful honor was bestowed on him by unknown hackers who penetrated the central system for the Islamic call to prayer in the north-eastern Turkish city of Rize in January 2010 and instead of a call to prayer, they played songs from him from over 170 minarets in the city for a few minutes.

Cemâl Reşid Rey (1904-1985)

Composer. Cemâl Reşid Rey was born on October 25, 1904 in Jerusalem; born.

After studying the piano from 1914 to 1919, he attended the Conservatory for Music in Geneva and then continued to study composition in Paris until 1923.

In 1932 he was appointed professor of piano and composition at the Istanbul Conservatory and in 1946 he became conductor of the symphony orchestra.

Together with Ferid Alnar, Cemal Reşit Rey, Ulvi Cemal Erkin and Necil Kâzım Akses, he was one of the so-called “Turkish Five” who were the first to combine the musical tradition of their homeland with Western European compositions.

He wrote several operas and operettas, a revue, two symphonies, three piano, two violin and one cello concerto.

He died on October 7, 1985 in Istanbul

Leylâ Saz (1850-1936)

Composer. Composer. Leylâ Saz (Leila Hanım or Leila Hanoum) was born on October 3, 1845 in Istanbul. She received her training in traditional Turkish as well as European music.

She wrote over 200 instrumental and vocal works, which she had composed in the style of traditional Turkish art music – but which were influenced by European music.

This made her a pioneer of modern Turkish music.

She died on December 6, 1936 in her native Istanbul.

Fazil Say (born 1970)

pianist, composer and human rights activist. Fazıl Say was born on January 14, 1970 in Ankara.

He is more often referred to as the Franz Liszt of the 21st century and not only because he is a brilliant pianist, but also a composer who likes to experiment and likes to push the envelope.

Even his hairstyle and clothes are reminiscent of him. In

1985 David Levine and Aribert Reimann became aware of him at a workshop in Ankara, where he studied piano and composition at the state conservatory.

In this way, he came to the Robert Schumann University in Düsseldorf in 1987. In 1992 he went to Berlin University of the Arts, where he continued to study until 1995.

He has performed as a pianist with the New York Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchester National de France and the Vienna Symphony. In 2003/2004 he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival, where he has since performed regularly. He performed in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in 2009/2010.

In December 2007, in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he complained about the political situation and the human rights situation in Turkey.

Trial of public “denigration of religious values”

At the beginning of April 2012, he made ironic comments about a muezzin and the Koran on his Twitter account. As a result, he was sentenced to ten months probation on April 15, 2013 for blasphemy.

In the works Gezi Park 1, 2 and 3 (op. 48, op. 52, op. 54) he made the violent suppression of the protests in Istanbul’s Gezi Park a musical theme.

Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907-1991)

Composer, musician and musicologist. Ahmed Adnan Saygun was born on September 7, 1907 in Izmir.

He was one of the leading representatives in the Turkish Republic who had based their compositions on the polyphonic classical music of the West.

In addition, together with Ferid Alnar, Cemal Reşit Rey, Ulvi Cemal Erkin and Necil Kâzım Akses, he was one of the so-called “Turkish Five”, who were the first to combine the musical tradition of their homeland with Western European compositions.

He died on January 6, 1991 in Istanbul and found his final resting place here in the Zincirlikuyu cemetery.

The Izmir Opera House was named after him in his honor.

Osman Zeki Üngör (1880-1958)

Osman Zeki Üngör was born on November 12, 1880 in Istanbul.

He wrote the music of the Turkish national anthem – the İstiklâl Marşı independence march by Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936) – with the orchestral version by Edgar Manas (1875-1964).

The anthem has been Turkey’s national anthem since March 12, 1921.

After graduating from secondary school at the Beşiktaş Military Academy, he was accepted into the Music Academy of the Ottoman Sultan’s Orchestra in 1891 at the age of only eleven.

Here he had won the attention of his teachers and even that of Sultan Abdülhamit II (1842-1918), which had brought him lessons from the two chief violinists Vondra Bey and d’Aradna Pascha

After that he was first violinist in the orchestra, then first violinist and in 1917 its conductor. In this function he promoted the conversion of the orchestra from a military orchestra to a symphony orchestra.

He had also taught music classes at the Istanbul Boys’ High School and given weekly public concerts.

He was also a guest conductor in Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Budapest and Sofia.

He died on February 28, 1958 in his native Istanbul.

Natural scientist

Zeki Salih (1864-1921)

mathematician, physicist and historian of science.Salih Zeki Bey was born in Istanbul on 1864. Ottoman-Turkish mathematical knowledge, scientific historian, astronomer.

He is considered to be the founder of contemporary Turkish history of science.

His first book, Hikmet-i Tabiyye (Physics), he had published with his friend Ahmet Fahri in 1892. It was a physics textbook for high school.

He also founded the subjects of mathematics, physics and astronomy at the University of Istanbul.

He died on 1921 in his native Istanbul.

Aziz Sancar (born 1946)

Aziz Sancar was born on September 8, 1946, the seventh of eight children in the small Turkish town of Savur.

Although his parents were illiterate, he was able to study medicine in Istanbul after finishing school. He then worked as a country doctor for two years.

In 1973 he went to the USA, where he received his doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1977.

In 1982 Sancar became an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a chair in biochemistry and biophysics in 1988.

Together with the American Paul Modrich and the Swede Tomas Lindahl, he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015 for the description of DNA repair mechanisms

Politicians and rulers

Osman I. Gazi (around 1259 – 1326)

Osman I. Gazi was born in 1258 in today’s Söğüt province. He was the first sultan of Turkey and namesake of the dynasty.

He founded the Ottoman Empire by renouncing the Seljuk Empire.

He died in 1326. His mausoleum is in Bursa.

Orhan I. (1281 – 1359)

Orhan I. was born in Reyhanli/Bilecik in today’s Hatay Province in 1281.

He was the son and successor of Osman I and was the second sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1326 to 1359. He coined the title Sultan.

He died in Bursa in 1359.

Murat I (1326 – 1389)

Murat I was born on June 29, 1326 in Amasya. He was sultan from 1359 to 1389. Under him, the Turks fought in Kosovo on the Amselfeld against the Christian Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians and Hungarians.

Murat I was stabbed to death by a Serb knight shortly before the victory of the Turks on June 15, 1389.

Mehmet II. (1432 – 1481)

Mehmet II. Was born on March 30, 1432 in Edirne. He officiated as Sultan in 1444 and from 1451 to 1481. After a long siege, he was able to conquer Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, on May 29, 1453. With that he ended the Byzantine Empire.

He had further expanded the Ottoman Empire into an empire and went down in history as a promoter of culture and art. He died on May 3, 1481 near Gebze in what is now the province of Kocaeli.

Suleyman I. (1495 -1566)

Suleyman I was born on November 6th, 1495 in what is now the port city of Trabzon. He ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 as the 10th Sultan. Under his rule, the Ottoman Empire experienced its greatest splendor and greatest expansion.

The decline of the empire began with his death.

During his tenure, the Turks stood at the gates of Vienna for the first time in 1529 and besieged the city. However, they had to retire due to a financial crisis.

He died on September 7, 1566 in Szigetvár in what is now southern Hungary.

Mehmet III. (1566-1603)

Sultan. Mehmed III. was born on May 16, 1566 near the city of Manisa, today’s capital of the province of the same name. He was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1595 to 1603. He led the third Austro-Turkish war from 1593 to 1606. In 1606 the Turks faced Vienna a second time, but were defeated by the Austrians.

He died on December 21, 1603 in Istanbul.

Mehmet VI. Vahdettin (1861-1926)

Sultan. Mehmed VI. Vahideddin was born in Istanbul on January 4, 1861.

He was the last sultan of the Ottoman Empire and had ruled from 1918 to 1922.

He died on May 16, 1926 in the health resort of Sanremo in the Italian province of Liguria.

He was succeeded in the newly created Republic of Turkey by Ataturk as president in 1923.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938)

founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first President. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born on May 19, 1881 in Selânik, today’s Greek Thessaloniki, which at the time was part of the Ottoman Empire.

He had abolished the sultanate in 1922 and proclaimed the Republic of Turkey in 1923. He was President of Turkey from October 29, 1923 until his death.

In 1924 he had also abolished the office of caliph. He also established the secular legal order of Turkey. Ataturk is considered the father of the Turkish nation.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died on November 10, 1938 in Istanbul.

Bülent Ecevit (born 1925)

Prime Minister. Bülent Ecevit was born on May 28, 1925 in İstanbul.

He served as Prime Minister of the country from 1974, 1977 to 1979 and from 1999 to 2002 and was considered a politician of democratic socialism.

He died on November 5, 2006 in Ankara.

Necmettin Erbakan (born 1926)

Islamist politician and Prime Minister. Necmettin Erbakan was born on October 29, 1926 in the port city of Sinop in the province of the same name.

He was Deputy Prime Minister several times and Prime Minister of Turkey from June 28, 1996 to June 30, 1997.

Erbakan died on February 27, 2011 in Ankara.

Mustafa İsmet İnönü (1884 – 1973)

Mustafa İsmet İnönü was born in Izmir on September 24, 1884.

He served as Prime Minister of Turkey from 1923 to 1924 and from 1925 to 1937 and from 1961 to 1965.

From 1938 to 1950 he was the second President of Turkey, succeeding Ataturk.

He died on December 25, 1973 in Ankara.

Mahmud Celal Bayar (1883-1986)

President of Turkey from 1950 to 1960 . Mahmut Celâleddin Bayar was born as Mahmut Celâleddin Bey on May 16, 1883 in Umurbey in the province of Bursa.

According to the Family Name Act of 1934, Bey became its later name Bayar.

On May 22, 1950, Bayar became the third president and Menderes became prime minister. While he was president, the anti-Greek pogrom in Istanbul of March 6-7. September 1955.

In mid-April 1960 demonstrations against the government began in Ankara, which later spread to numerous other cities. Thereupon the government declared a state of emergency for Istanbul and Ankara. However, this was ineffective as the military refused to take action against the demonstrators. Instead, on May 27, 1960, General Cemal Gürsel led a military coup. President Bayar and his Prime Minister Menderes were arrested and sentenced to death in the so-called Yassıada trials in 1961. In contrast to Menderes who was executed in the same year, Bayar was spared and was pardoned in 1966.

He died around 20 years later on August 22, 1986 in Istanbul.

Cemal Gürsel (1895-1966)

general and putschist. Cemal Gürsel was born on January 28, 1895 in the eastern Anatolian city of Erzurum.

He was the fourth president of Turkey from 1961 to 1966 and was considered liberal and almost left-wing. In mid-April 1960, demonstrations against, first in Ankara and later in other cities the government of President Mahmud Celal Bayar took place.

The government had declared the state of siege for Istanbul and Ankara, but the military had refused to intervene. Instead, the military staged a coup on May 27, 1960 under the leadership of General Cemal Gürsel, who had recently been deprived of command by Prime Minister Menderes for refusing to give orders. After a new constitution was passed, he became President of Turkey on October 26, 1961.

He stayed that way until March 18, 1966, when he resigned for health reasons.

He died on September 14, 1966 in Ankara.

Cevdet Sunay (1899-1982)

Officer and President. Cevdet Sunay was born on March 11, 1899 in the port city of Trabzon in the province of Trabzon of the same name.

He was the fifth President of Turkey from March 28, 1966 to March 28, 1973. Following an intervention by the military on March 12, 1971, the General Staff had handed him a memorandum, forcing the government to resign, but he was able to remain in office.

Sunay died on May 22, 1982 in Istanbul.

He was President of Turkey from 1966 to 1973.

Fahri Korutürk (1903-1987)

Admiral and President. Fahri Sabit Korutürk was born on August 3, 1903 in Istanbul. Prior to his tenure as president, he was naval attaché in Rome, Berlin and Stockholm.

After retiring as admiral in 1960, he became ambassador to Moscow and Madrid. He was the sixth President of Turkey from April 6, 1973 to April 6, 1980.

Fahri Korutürk died on October 12, 1987 in his native Istanbul

Kenan Evren (born 1918)

General and President. Ahmet Kenan Evren was born on July 17, 1917 in Alaşehir, Manisa Province.

He was a general and from September 12, 1980 to November 9, 1989 the 7th President of Turkey. He became president as a result of a military coup in 1980.

As a result of the reform of the Turkish constitution, which was adopted by referendum on September 12, 2010, Evren had lost his immunity, which had existed until then, and was subsequently brought to justice.

The trial against him began on April 4, 2012 and ended with life imprisonment for overturning the constitutional order.

But because of his age and health, he was no longer detained.

He died on May 9, 2015 in Ankara.

Turgut Özal (1927 – 1993)

Halil Turgut Özal was born on October 13, 1927 in Malatya, the capital of the eastern Anatolian province of Malatya.

He was Prime Minister between 1983 and 1989 and the eighth President of Turkey from 1989 to 1993. He advocated a liberal economic policy, but in the cultural field he advocated the re-Islamization of Turkey.

He had died in Ankara on April 17, 1993 while he was still in office.

Süleyman Demirel (1924-2015)

Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel was born on November 1st, 1924 in İslamköy in the province of Isparta.

He was Prime Minister seven times and from 1993 to 2000 he was the 9th President of Turkey.

He died on June 17, 2015 in Ankara.

Ahmet Necdet Sezer (born 1941)

Ahmet Necdet Sezer was born on September 13, 1941 in the eastern Anatolian city of Afyon.

He was the 10th President of Turkey from 2000 to 2007 as the successor to Suleyman Demirel. He was neither from the military nor had he been a member of parliament.

Abdullah Gül ( born 1950)

President. Abdullah Gül was born on October 29, 1950 in Kayser, the capital of the province of the same name.

Abdullah Gül was Prime Minister of Turkey from November 2002 to March 2003 and the eleventh President of Turkey from August 28 to August 28, 2014 – and thus Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s predecessor in this office.

He is seen as an opponent of the presidential system that his successor Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is striving for, which gives the president considerably more powers.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (born 1954)

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was born on February 26, 1954 in Istanbul. Since August 28, 2014 he is the twelfth and so far last President of Turkey.

Before that he was Lord Mayor of Istanbul between 1994 and 1998.

In April 1998 Erdoğan was sentenced to ten months in prison and a heavy fine by the Diyarbakır State Security Court for inciting hatred and hostility among the population.

The judgment was upheld by the Court of Cassation in October 1998. He started detention in March 1999, but was released after about four months.

From March 2003 to August 2014 he was Prime Minister of Turkey and from 2001 to 2014 he was Chairman of the AKP – which he has been again since May 2017. He has been President of the country since August 28 and, following a constitutional reform, has also been Head of Government (Prime Minister) since July 2018.

Binali Yıldırım (born 1955)

Binali Yıldırım is a member of the AKP and was Prime Minister of Turkey from May 24, 2016 to July 9, 2018. Then the office was abolished and taken over by President Erdoğan

Leyla Zana (born 1961)

Leyla Zana was born on May 3, 1961 in Silvan in the Diyarbakı Province. She is a Kurdish politician and human rights activist. She fought peacefully for the rights of the Kurds and was imprisoned for it from 1994 to 2004.

In the parliamentary elections on June 12, 2011, Leyla Zana was elected as an independent and non-party member of the Turkish National Assembly. In the 2015 election, she successfully ran for Ağrı Province.

Actors, directors

  • Renan Demirkan (born 1955), writer and actress. Demirkan lives and works in Germany. She played in “Der Alte” and “Tatort”, among others.
  • Ömer Zülfü Livaneli (born 1946), composer, singer, writer and director. Among other things, he shot the film “Eisenerde – Kupferhimmel”.
  • Yılmaz Güney (1937-1984), actor and director. For his film “Yol – the way” he received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Kemal Sunal (1944-2000), actor and screenwriter.
  • Atıf Yılmaz (1925-2006), director.
  • Zeki Müren (1931-1996), singer and actor.


  • Piri Reis (d. 1554), Ottoman seafarer. He became known because of the nautical charts he wrote.
  • Herodotus (around 490 – around 425 BC), historian. The “father of history” was born in what is now Turkey, in what is now the city of Bodrum. The highlight of his work is a depiction of the Persian Wars.
  • Roxelane (around 1507 – 1558), lover of Suleyman the Magnificent. Presumably she was born in Russia and came to the Turkish court as a harem slave. She became the favorite concubine of Suleyman I. Finally, the Sultan married her and fathered five children with her.


  • Ahmet Kara (1870-1902), wrestler. He won the first wrestling match in the world in Paris.
  • Süreyya Ayhan Kop (born 1978), track and field athlete. She won the gold medal over 1,500 m at the European Athletics Championships in 2002.
  • Halil Mutlu (born 1973), weightlifter. He won gold three times at the Olympics and broke over 20 world records.
  • Nurcan Taylan, weightlifter. She won gold in women’s weightlifting up to 48 kg at the 2004 Olympic Games.
  • Taner Sagir, weightlifter. He won gold in men’s weightlifting up to 77 kg at the 2004 Olympic Games.
  • Hamza Yerlikaya (born 1976), wrestler. He won gold in wrestling at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Theologians and philosophers

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad ar-Rūmī (1207-1273)

theologian, writer and poet. Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad ar-Rūmī – Rumi for short – was born on September 30, 1207 in Balch in what is now Afghanistan and what was then the Persian Empire.

He was a Persian representative of Sufism, one of the mystical currents of Islam. He was also a scholar and one of the most important Persian-speaking poets of the Middle Ages.

One of his most important works was the “Matnavi” – in German double verse – which comprises about 26,000 verses and in the form of anecdotes, stories and narratives illuminates the main theme of Sufism, mystical love.

Around 1243 he moved to Konja in what is now Turkey, where he lived and worked until his death.

The Mevlevi Dervish Order is named after him.

It should be mentioned that Martin Schulz, the SPD’s candidate for chancellor in the 2017 federal election, quoted the following sentence in a TV broadcast:

“Beyond right and wrong is a place where we meet”.

It was on December 17th Died in Konya in what is now Turkey in 1273.

His mausoleum in the city is the symbol of Konja and also a place of pilgrimage for Muslims.

Mevlana (1207-1273)

Sultan, scholar and founder of the Mevlana order, which became world famous because of the dancing dervishes.

Haci Bayram Veli (1352-1429)

mystic and founder of the Bayramiye order.

Haci Bektas Veli (1210-1270)

clergyman. He spread Alevism (Islamic religion) in Anatolia.

Ibni Sina (980-1037)

religious philosopher, doctor, scientist and poet. He wrote over 300 writings, including the “Canon of Medicine”, a medical work that was widespread in the Orient at that time, and an 18-volume philosophical and scientific encyclopedia

Turkey: animals


Occasionally you can still come across wild goats, wild sheep and wild boars, the numbers of which are unfortunately decreasing due to intensive hunting.

Camels still occur, but they are no longer used as pack animals, but only for sporting competitions.

In the mountains there are even some predators such as brown bears, wolves, jackals, foxes and lynxes.

In rural areas you will mainly encounter farm animals such as sheep, goats, mules and donkeys, but there are also badgers, foxes and mouflons here, the latter also being referred to as European wild sheep.

Mouflons reach a size of 65 to 90 cm and live on average 8 to 10 years. Characteristic is the gray to yellowish colored saddle point on the brown fur and the horns of the males, which grow throughout life and can reach a length of 0.45 m. The horns of the females are a lot shorter or nonexistent. The mouflons have a well-developed sense of hearing and smell, but the sense of sight is best developed. Their diet includes grasses, herbs and woody plants, but also mushrooms and fruits.

In the Taurus, the southern border mountain system of Turkey, you can occasionally come across wildcats while hiking, in the southern part there are also porcupines and mongooses.

The now domesticated trample as well as jerboas and jackals immigrated from the Asian steppes.


Lizards are most common in Turkey, of which there are over 20 species here. You can see geckos and chameleons almost everywhere and especially on house walls. Contrary to popular belief, the chameleon cannot adapt to every surface, but is limited to a certain color spectrum that differs from species to species. The color changes are also not related to the surface, but are a reaction to the state of mind of the chameleon (temperature, fear, illness, etc.) and are primarily used for intra-species communication.

Furthermore, one can meet numerous turtles on the Mediterranean beaches, which lay their eggs in the sand here, whereby the loggerhead turtle has one of its last nesting areas in the Dalyan Delta. The turtles are under nature protection, since in addition to the natural dangers for the eggs such as birds and animals of prey, humans repeatedly steal eggs, which results in decreasing populations for subsequent generations.

But the population of tortoises between 20 and 25 cm in size in Turkey is also endangered.

Snakes (not poisonous)

Of the around 30 non-poisonous snakes in Europe, the following are found in Turkey: Most of the over 30 species of snakes are non-toxic and harmless to humans.

The following non-poisonous snakes occur here:

  • Aesculapian snake
  • Leopard snake
  • Coin snake
  • Arrow snake
  • grass snake
  • Sand boa
  • Smooth snake
  • Four-lined snake
  • Dice snake
  • Anger snake

Poisonous snakes

There are some poisonous snakes in Turkey, whose venom can be deadly. The most poisonous snake is the Levant Otter.

Also worth mentioning is the desert cobra, a cobra from the genus of the “fake” cobras, which has a life-threatening neurotoxin.

When hiking outside of inhabited areas, caution is advised so that a great vacation does not turn into a (fatal) nightmare:

  • Armenian or Kurdish mountain otter (Montevipera raddei)
  • Armenian viper, Armenian mountain steppe viper (Vipera eriwanensis)
  • Armenian sand viper, transcaucasian long-nosed viper (Vipera transcaucasiana)
  • Baran’s otter (Vipera barani)
  • Darevsky’s Caucasus Otter (Vipera darevskii)
  • Lizard viper (Malpolon monspessulanus)
  • European horned viper, European sand otter (Vipera ammodytes)
  • European cat snake (Telescopus fallax)
  • Caucasian Otter (Vipera kaznakovi)
  • Asian Minor or Turkish Mountain Otter (Vipera xanthina)
  • Adder (Vipera berus)
  • Levant Otter (Macroektivena lebetina)
  • Ponitsche Viper (Vipera pontica)
  • Taurian mountain otter (Montevipera bulgardaghia)
  • Wagner’s mountain otter (Montevipera wagneri)
  • Meadow viper (Vipera ursini)
  • Desert cobra (Walterinnesia morgani)
  • Central Turkish Mountain Viper (Montevipera albizona)

Poisonous animals

In addition to the poisonous snakes already mentioned, a number of scorpions are worth mentioning. The garden spider and the black widow – with the two species Latrodectus pallidus and Latrodectus tredecimguttatus – are also worth mentioning.


Kites are particularly numerous in the vicinity of Istanbul.

Other birds of prey native to Turkey are eagles, buzzards, hawks, vultures and falcons.

The white stork is widespread as a breeding bird in wetlands, and flamingos also nest in the river valleys of the Aegean and on the Mediterranean coasts. The latter form a family of their own and are mainly found in Africa, western Asia and southern France. The up to 130 cm tall birds are immediately recognizable by their long and thin neck, by their thin legs and by their thick, downwardly curved pink beak with a black tip.

This is used as a sieve when searching for food. The menu includes worms, algae and, above all, small crustaceans. They are also responsible for the pink plumage of the flamingos. The red dye absorbed with the crabs is stored in the feathers.

After all, the more crabs the birds have eaten, the more pink they are. The famous one-legged standing is used to store heat, as one leg is hidden in the warm plumage and thus less heat loss occurs. This feat is not strenuous for the flamingos (as well as for storks).

The Kuþcenneti National Park is a true paradise for ornithologists.

Pelicans, storks, cormorants and wild ducks live here alongside nightingales, cranes, pheasants, spoonbills and various species of herons.

The numerous songbirds, crows, seagulls and swallows must not be forgotten

Underwater world

Various crustaceans, perch, mackerel, moray eels, almost all types of bream and also dolphins and occasionally sharks can be found in the coastal waters.

A specialty are the red parrot fish, which owe their name to the parrot-beak-shaped bit with which they can bite off pieces of stony corals. Trout, pike, catfish and other freshwater fish live in the country’s rivers and streams

Turkey: plants


The originally large forest areas in Turkey have largely declined due to clearing, while smaller forest areas with firs, spruces, beeches, oaks, plane trees as well as elms, linden, ash and maple trees are still present in the peripheral areas of the Black Sea region.

A very dominant forest tree is the brutal pine, which is also known as the Calabrian pine.

Pine trees are also often found near them. In the south of the country there are mainly trees that are adapted to long periods of drought, such as various oak species and carob trees.

The Kermes oak grows on the southern and western coasts and has spiky and shiny leaves as a typical characteristic.

A tree of particular importance is the mulberry tree, because only where it grows there is the silk moth, whose caterpillar is irreplaceable for the production of silk. In higher elevations, deciduous trees such as plane trees and nut trees predominate.


The most important cultivated plants include the olive tree as well as the hazelnut and maize, whose plantations are very common on the Black Sea coast. In the area around Rize you will also find more tea plantations. The ever-growing fruit and cotton plantations are common in the south of the country. Citrus fruits as well as Mediterranean vegetables and wine are also grown here. Date, pomegranate, fig and almond trees grow on the coast.

Medicinal plants

The cowslip, which belongs to the primrose family and is a very well-known and popular medicinal plant, grows on sunny meadows and on the edges of forests. Its active ingredients have an expectorant effect and are therefore mainly used for respiratory diseases to make it easier to cough. The flowers and roots are used, with the root also having diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. The cowslip also grows in Germany, although it is subject to strict nature protection and is therefore mainly imported from Turkey, which is a major problem for Turkish wild populations.

Poisonous plants

The rhododendron is particularly widespread on the north coast of Turkey.

The plant, also known as the golden yellow alpine rose or rose tree, is very poisonous due to the diterpenes contained in the flowers, leaves, fruits and nectar.

The plant, which belongs to the heather family, causes stomach irritation and symptoms of paralysis to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, cramps and in very severe cases even death from respiratory paralysis.

The rhododendron, which comes from North America, has its origin in Asia and is also the main distribution area there.

More plants

Flowers and so-called ground cover dominate the plateaus.

These are plants that grow very low and cover the entire surface like a carpet.

From an altitude of 3,000 m there is a rather alpine vegetation with grasses, juniper bushes, mosses and lichens.

The interior of the country is dominated by steppes, some of which become semi-desert through overgrazing.

Here wormwood, thorn pads, thistles and poisonous milkweed plants make up the flora.

On the south-west coast, on the other hand, there is a more Mediterranean vegetation with tree heather, myrtle and macchia, which mainly consists of hard-leaved plants. Evergreen shrubs such as the laurel bush or the strawberry tree can be found in the north of the country.

Turkey Politics