Famous Turkish Men

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Find out more about the greatest Turkish Men, including Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Elia Kazan, Orhan Pamuk, John Chrysostom and Abdullah Öcalan.
Vote for Your Favourite Turkish Men
 1 
Suleiman The Magnificent
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1520-1566))
Suleiman The Magnificent
50
Birthdate: November 6, 1494
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Trabzon, Turkey
Died: September 6, 1566
Suleiman The Magnificent ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 and was instrumental in the empire’s expansion, leading the conquests of Belgrade, Rhodes, and Hungary. He was a patron of art and culture, and a talented poet and goldsmith himself. He married Roxelana, a Christian-turned-Muslim from his harem.
 2 
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
(Founder of the Republic of Turkey,)
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
31
Birthdate: May 19, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Thessaloniki
Died: November 10, 1938
Kemal Atatürk, known as the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, was its first president. He unified Turkey into a secular country and invested in education and women’s rights. He also popularized the Latin-based Turkish alphabet and made minorities speak Turkish in public. His policies are known as “Kemalism.” 
Mehmed II
7
Birthdate: March 30, 1432
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Edirne, Rumelia Eyalet, Ottoman Sultanate
Died: May 3, 1481
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 4 
Rumi
(Persian Poet)
Rumi
35
Birthdate: September 30, 1207
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Balkh, Afghanistan
Died: December 17, 1273

Rumi was a Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose spiritual legacy has been attracting praises for the past 800 years! Often described as the best-selling and most popular poet in the US, Rumi's poems are widely read today in many countries. His poetry has influenced the literary traditions of many languages, such as Pashto, Urdu, Chagatai, and Ottoman Turkish.

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 5 
Ertuğrul
(Osman I's father)
Ertuğrul
8
Birthplace: Turkey
Died: 1280 AD
 6 
Osman I
(Political Leader)
Osman I
20
Birthdate: 1258 AD
Birthplace: Söğüt, Turkey
Died: August 1, 1326

Osman I was the founder of the Ottoman dynasty, which ruled the Ottoman Empire between 1299 and 1922. One of the most important historical figures in Turkey, Osman I is often depicted in popular culture. Interestingly, he is also one of the least documented leaders of the Ottoman Turks, making the factual information of his biographies questionable.

 7 
Salt Bae
(Restaurateur)
Salt Bae
30
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erzurum, Turkey
 8 
Hayreddin Barbarossa
(Ottoman Navy Admiral )
Hayreddin Barbarossa
8
Birthdate: 1478 AD
Birthplace: Paleokipos, Greece
Died: July 4, 1546
Remembered as the Pirate of Algiers and Redbeard, legendary Hayreddin Barbarossa from Lesbos, along with his brother Oruç, plundered ships and ports, terrorizing the Mediterranean coast. His exploits led him to become the admiral of the Ottoman Navy. His victory at Preveza remains his most celebrated one.
 9 
Ahmed I
(Ottoman Emperor)
Ahmed I
9
Birthdate: April 18, 1590
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manisa, Turkey
Died: November 22, 1617
Ahmed I reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 till 1617. He ended the Ottoman tradition of royal fratricide upon taking over the throne. He constructed the iconic Blue Mosque of Turkey. He also patronized art, especially calligraphy, and wrote poems under the pseudonym Bahti.
 10 
Uğur Şahin
(He is the CEO of BioNTech, which developed one of the major vaccines against COVID-19)
Uğur Şahin
7
Birthdate: September 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: İskenderun, Hatay Province, Turkey
 11 
Mahmud of Ghazni
(Sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire (998-1030))
Mahmud of Ghazni
24
Birthdate: November 2, 0971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ghazni, Afghanistan
Died: April 30, 1030

Mahmud of Ghazni was the sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire on two separate occasions. He first ascended the throne upon the death of his father, Mahmud, in 1030. However, he was soon overthrown by his twin brother Ma'sud I. Years later, he was reinstated as sultan but was soon executed by his nephew Maw'dud. His entire family was also killed. 

 12 
Burak Ozcivit
(Film actor)
Burak Ozcivit
6
Birthdate: December 24, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
 13 
Selim I
(ottoman Sultan)
Selim I
5
Birthdate: October 10, 1470
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Amasya, Ottoman Empire, Turkey
Died: September 22, 1520

Selim I reigned as the ninth Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Although his reign lasted only eight years, Selim I is credited for the vast expansion of the Ottoman Empire; his conquest of the entire Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt is widely regarded as his best achievement. A hardworking ruler, Selim was one of the most respected emperors of the Empire.

 14 
Murad IV
(Ottoman Sultan)
Murad IV
6
Birthdate: July 26, 1612
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died: February 8, 1640

Murad IV, who ruled as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, was infamous for his cruelty. He took over the throne at 11 and subsequently came to be known for his exploits in the Ottoman–Safavid War, which changed the map of the Caucasus.

Engin Altan Duzyatan
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Karşıyaka, İzmir Province İzmir, Turkey
 16 
Kivanc Tatlitug
(Film actor)
Kivanc Tatlitug
1
Birthdate: October 27, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Adana, Turkey
 17 
Ibn Taymiyyah
(Scholar)
Ibn Taymiyyah
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1263
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harran, Turkey
Died: September 26, 1328
 18 
Caracalla
(Roman emperor)
Caracalla
3
Birthdate: April 4, 0188
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lugdunum
Died: April 8, 0217
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 19 
Antinous
(Companion of Hadrian)
Antinous
5
Birthdate: 0111 AD
Birthplace: Bolu, Turkey
Died: October 30, 0130

Blessed with beguiling beauty, Antinous was quick to catch Roman emperor Hadrian’s attention, who took him as his lover. Antinous died shortly before turning 20, with some calling it a suicide and others suggesting it was a sacrifice. He was deified by Hadrian, who named a city in his honor.

 20 
Çağatay Ulusoy
6
Birthdate: September 23, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bakırköy, İstanbul, Turkey
 21 
Selim II
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Selim II
10
Birthdate: May 28, 1524
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Topkapi Palace Museum, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: December 15, 1574

Known as a generous Ottoman monarch, Selim II was the successor of the empire’s longest-reigning sultan, Suleiman I. His reign saw his navy decisively defeated by the Holy League in the Battle of Lepanto before the Ottomans regained control of Tunis from Spain. Selim, who was married to Nurbanu Sultan, was noted for helping his subjects during a severe famine.

 22 
Murad III
(Ottoman Sultan)
Murad III
7
Birthdate: July 4, 1546
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manisa, Turkey
Died: December 31, 1595
Murad III, son of Şehzade Selim and Nurbanu Sultan, was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1574 to 1595. He was dominated by his mother and his harem, particularly by his favorite wife, Safiye Sultan. He also fought wars with the Safavid Empire and was an art connoisseur.
 23 
Ali Kemal
(Journalist)
Ali Kemal
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey
Died: November 6, 1922
 24 
Barıs Arduc
(Turkish Actor Best Known for His Role as ‘Tekin Atan’ in the TV Series ‘Racon: Ailem İçin’)
Barıs Arduc
10
Birthdate: October 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Münsterlingen, Switzerland

Barış Arduç is a Swiss-born Turkish actor best known for his portrayal of Ömer İplikçi in the romantic drama TV series Kiralık Aşk for which he won a couple of Golden Butterfly TV Awards. Also a humanitarian, Arduç has been serving as a goodwill ambassador for an organization called Life Without Cancer Society of Turkey since 2016.

 25 
Cenk Uygur
(Political Commentator & Creator and Host of 'The Young Turks')
Cenk Uygur
9
Birthdate: March 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey

Cenk Uygur is a Turkish-American journalist, attorney, media host, and political commentator. He is credited with creating a commentary and sociopolitical news program titled The Young Turks (TYT). He is also credited with co-founding Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee in the United States.

 26 
Mehmed III
(Sultan)
Mehmed III
4
Birthdate: May 26, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: December 22, 1603
 27 
Arda Turan
(Footballer)
Arda Turan
12
Birthdate: January 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Istanbul
 28 
Abdul Hamid II
11
Birthdate: September 21, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Constantinople, Constantinople Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died: February 10, 1918
Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire
0
Birthdate: November 4, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: August 18, 1648
 30 
Emre Mor
(Footballer winger or a forward)
Emre Mor
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brønshøj, Copenhagen, Denmark
 31 
Cedi Osman
(Basketball player)
Cedi Osman
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ohrid, North Macedonia Macedonia
 32 
Bayezid I
(Sultan of Ottoman Empire)
Bayezid I
4
Birthdate: 1354 AD
Birthplace: Edirne, Turkey
Died: March 8, 1403

Bayezid I reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1389 to 1402. He is credited with building one of the largest armies of the world, with which he defeated the Crusaders at Nicopolis in 1396. His only defeat at the Battle of Ankara, which turned out to be fatal, became a subject for writers, painters, and composers.

 33 
Mehmed IV
(Sultan)
Mehmed IV
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1642
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Istanbul
Died: January 6, 1693
 34 
Murad II
(Ottoman Sultan)
Murad II
1
Birthdate: 1404
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amasya
Died: February 3, 1451
 35 
Pliny the Younger
(Author, Lawyer)
Pliny the Younger
2
Birthdate: 0061 AD
Birthplace: Como
Died: 0112 AD

Pliny the Younger was an author, lawyer, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Although Pliny the Younger wrote several letters, only 247 of them have survived and are of great historical value as they provide an insight into the relationship between provincial governors and the imperial office at that time.

 36 
Polycarp
(Martyr)
Polycarp
4
Birthdate: 0069 AD
Birthplace: Smyrna, Turkey
Died: February 23, 0155

Polycarp was a Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to some sources,  he had been a disciple of John the Apostle, one of Jesus’ disciples. Along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, he is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers. He died a martyr, according to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, and is considered a saint.

 37 
Osman II
(Sultan)
Osman II
2
Birthdate: November 3, 1604
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Istanbul
Died: May 20, 1622
 38 
Mahmud II
(Sultan of Ottoman Empire)
Mahmud II
4
Birthdate: July 20, 1785
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: July 1, 1839

Mahmud II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 to 1839. His reign was marked by the extensive military, administrative, and fiscal reforms which he initiated. The reforms that he initiated eventually led to the formation of the modern Turkish Republic. He is also credited with rebuilding a strong naval force for the empire.

Orhan Pamuk
6
Birthdate: June 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Orhan Pamuk is a Turkish novelist, screenwriter, and academic. He is the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the best-known writers from Turkey, he has sold over 13 million books in 63 languages. He began writing in the 1970s and is the author of several novels and non-fiction works in both English and Turkish. 

 40 
Abdülmecid II
(Was the last Caliph of the Ottoman Dynasty, the only Caliph of the Republic of Turkey)
Abdülmecid II
0
Birthdate: May 29, 1868
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Beşiktaş, Turkey
Died: August 23, 1944

Abdülmecid II is remembered as the last caliph of the Ottoman dynasty of Turkey. Son of Sultan Abdulaziz, he received his education at the palace. After the deposition of his cousin and the abolition of the Sultanate, he was declared the caliph by the Turkish National Assembly.

 41 
Burak Yılmaz
(Football)
Burak Yılmaz
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Antalya, Turkey
 42 
Julian
(Roman emperor)
Julian
3
Birthdate: 0331 AD
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Died: June 26, 0363
 43 
Hamdi Ulukaya
(Entrepreneur)
Hamdi Ulukaya
2
Birthdate: October 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Erzincan, Turkey

Hamdi Ulukaya is a Turkish businessman, activist, and philanthropist. He is the founder, owner, chairman, and CEO of Chobani, a company specializing in strained yogurt. Born in Turkey, he immigrated to US as a young man and established his yogurt empire there with no prior experience in the yogurt business. He is also known for donating generously to various causes.

 44 
Enver Pasha
(Minister of War of the Ottoman Empire (1914-18))
Enver Pasha
8
Birthdate: November 22, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: August 4, 1922
Ottoman military officer Enver Pasha is remembered as one of the main figures of the Armenian Genocide. The Young Turk leader was one of the Three Pashas who ruled over the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He was killed by the Soviets during the Basmachi Revolt.
 45 
Abdülmecid I
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1823
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: İstanbul Eyaleti
Died: June 25, 1861
 46 
Ahmet Ertegün
(Co-founder and president of Atlantic Records)
Ahmet Ertegün
2
Birthdate: July 31, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: December 14, 2006
 47 
Akin Akinozu
7
Birthdate: September 22, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey
 48 
Mehmed I
(5th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Mehmed I
1
Birthdate: 1389 AD
Birthplace: Bursa, Turkey
Died: May 26, 1421
 49 
Timothy
(Bishop)
Timothy
1
Birthdate: 0017 AD
Birthplace: Lystra, Turkey
Died: 0097 AD
 50 
Naim Suleymanoglu
(Bulgarian World Champion Weightlifter and 3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Naim Suleymanoglu
5
Birthdate: January 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ptichar, Bulgaria
Died: November 18, 2017

Nicknamed The Pocket Hercules for his 4’10” frame, Bulgarian weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu was one of the world’s greatest in the sport. While he initially won 2 World Championships for Bulgaria, he later won 3 Olympic gold medals and 5 World Championships for Turkey. He has also joined the Nationalist Movement Party.