Famous Turkish Men

Find out more about the greatest Turkish Men, including Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Elia Kazan, Orhan Pamuk, John Chrysostom and Abdullah Öcalan.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Turkish Men

 1 St Paul

St Paul.
Famous As: Religious Preacher
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Birthplace: Tarsus, Turkey
Died: 0067 AD
Paul the Apostle, or Saint Paul, was a Christian apostle who disseminated Christ’s teachings and established Christian communities in Asia and Europe. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, about 14 are said to be authored by Paul, though only seven are said to be genuinely written by him.

 2 Suleiman The Magnificent

Suleiman The Magnificent.
Famous As: 10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Birthdate: November 6, 1494
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Trabzon, Ottoman Empire
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.
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 3 Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Famous As: Founder of the Republic of Turkey,
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.” 

 4 Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas.
Famous As: Christian Saint
Birthdate: March 15, 0270
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Patara
Died: December 6, 0343
Fourth-century Greek Christian bishop Saint Nicholas gave rise to the legend of "Santa Claus," associated with the tradition of gifting during Christmas. One legend states that he saved three girls from prostitution and dropped sacks of gold coins through their window to help their father pay for their dowry.
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 5 Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan.
Famous As: Director, Actor, Producer
Birthdate: September 7, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Constantinople, Greece (modern day Istanbul, Turkey)
Died: September 28, 2003

Elia Kazan was an American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and celebrated directors in Hollywood and Broadway history, Kazan played a key role in launching the careers of actors like Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, and James Dean. His work has also influenced other prominent filmmakers like Martin Scorsese.

 6 Salt Bae

Salt Bae
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erzurum, Turkey

 7 Rumi

Famous As: Great Poet
Birthdate: September 30, 1207
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Balk (present-day 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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 8 Ertuğrul

Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Ahlat
Died: 1281 AD

 9 Osman I

Osman I.
Famous As: Political Leader
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.

 10 Ahmed I

Ahmed I.
Famous As: Ottoman Emperor
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.

 11 Abdul Hamid II

Abdul Hamid II
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: September 21, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Constantinople, Constantinople Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died: February 10, 1918

 12 Arda Turan

Arda Turan
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Istanbul

 13 Hayreddin Barbarossa

Hayreddin Barbarossa.
Famous As: 16th Century Naval Commander
Birthdate: 1478 AD
Birthplace: Ottoman Empire
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.

 14 Murad IV

Murad IV.
Famous As: Ottoman Sultan
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.

 15 Burak Ozcivit

Burak Ozcivit
Famous As: Film actor
Birthdate: December 24, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 16 Caracalla

Famous As: Roman emperor
Birthdate: April 4, 0188
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lugdunum
Died: April 8, 0217

 17 Selim I

Selim I.
Famous As: ottoman Sultan
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.

 18 Engin Altan Duzyatan

Engin Altan Duzyatan
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Karşıyaka, İzmir Province İzmir, Turkey
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 19 Çağatay Ulusoy

Çağatay Ulusoy
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: September 23, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bakırköy, İstanbul, Turkey

 20 Can Yaman

Can Yaman
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 21 Emre Can

Emre Can
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: January 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt

 22 Cenk Uygur

Cenk Uygur.
Famous As: Political Activist, Show Host
Birthdate: March 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Istanbul, 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.

 23 Murad III

Murad III.
Famous As: Ottoman Sultan
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.

 24 Zaza Pachulia

Zaza Pachulia
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia

 25 Mehmed III

Mehmed III
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: May 26, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: December 22, 1603

 26 Barıs Arduc

Barıs Arduc.
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Scherzingen

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.

 27 Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Taymiyyah
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: January 22, 1263
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harran, Turkey
Died: September 26, 1328

 28 Mehmed VI

Mehmed VI.
Famous As: Last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Birthdate: January 14, 1861
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dolmabahçe Palace, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: May 16, 1926

Mehmed VI was the last Sultan of the famous Ottoman Empire. He reigned from 1918 to 1922 before the empire was dissolved, making way for the creation of the Republic of Turkey. Apart from ruling the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed VI also enjoyed music, calligraphy, and writing poems. In 1922, he stepped down, enabling the abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate.

 29 Ali Kemal

Ali Kemal
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey
Died: November 6, 1922

 30 Burak Yılmaz

Burak Yılmaz
Famous As: Football
Birthdate: July 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Antalya, Turkey

 31 Constantine XI

Constantine XI
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: February 8, 1405
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: May 29, 1453

 32 Gokberk Demirci

Gokberk Demirci
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 20, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey.

 33 Mehmed V

Mehmed V.
Famous As: Ottoman King
Birthdate: November 2, 1844
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Topkapi Palace Museum, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: July 3, 1918

Mehmed V was the 35th and penultimate Ottoman Sultan who reigned from 1909 to 1918. One of the sons of Sultan Abdulmejid I, he succeeded his brother Abdul Hamid II after the Young Turk revolution. His reign was marked by the loss of the empire’s many territories and witnessed the Ottoman Empire’s entry into World War I.

 34 Akin Akinozu

Akin Akinozu
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 22, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey

 35 Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger.
Famous As: Author, Lawyer
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 Epictetus

Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0055 AD
Birthplace: Hierapolis, Phrygia, Turkey
Died: 0135 AD

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher who viewed philosophy as a way of life rather than a theoretical discipline. He taught philosophy vehemently and founded a school of philosophy in Nicopolis. Arrian, his most famous pupil, is credited with publishing Discourses, a series of informal lectures given by Epictetus. Today, the philosophy of Epictetus is being applied in various fields.

 37 Hussein bin Ali Sharif of Mecca

Hussein bin Ali Sharif of Mecca.
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1853 AD
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Died: June 4, 1931
Hussein bin Ali Sharif had been the emir of Mecca and the king of Hejaz. While leading the Arab rebellion against the Ottomans, he had declared himself the “king of the Arab countries.” Later, he proclaimed himself the caliph but had to abdicate in the face of Ibn Saud’s attack.

 38 Emre Mor

Emre Mor
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: July 24, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brønshøj

 39 Kerem Bursin

Kerem Bursin
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 40 Antinous

Famous As: Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Lover
Birthdate: November 29, 0111
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
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.

 41 Bayezid II

Bayezid II
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: December 3, 1447
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Didymoteicho
Died: May 26, 1512

 42 Mustafa I

Mustafa I
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 1591 AD
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: January 20, 1639

 43 Bayezid I

Bayezid I.
Famous As: Sultan of Ottoman Empire
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.

 44 Irenaeus

Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: 0130 AD
Birthplace: Smyrna
Died: 0202 AD

Greek bishop Irenaeus, now revered as a Catholic saint, is remembered for his clashes with the Gnostics and his notable work Adversus haereses. Irenaeus apparently preached about the validity of the Jewish Bible, while the Gnostics were against it. Legend has it that he had seen Polycarp of Smyrna.

 45 Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire

Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: November 4, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: August 18, 1648

 46 Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk.
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. 

 47 John Chrysostom

John Chrysostom.
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 0347 AD
Birthplace: Antioch, Turkey
Died: September 14, 0407

John Chrysostom was an influential Early Church Father best remembered for his public speaking and preaching. Regarded as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs of the Greek Church, John continues to be a prominent theologian in Eastern Christianity. He is recognized as a saint by various churches, including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Catholic, and Lutheran churches.

 48 Polycarp

Famous As: Saint
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.

 49 Heraclius

Famous As: Emperor of Byzantine Empire
Birthdate: 0575 AD
Birthplace: Cappadocia, present-day Turkey
Died: February 11, 0641

A skilled military leader, Heraclius was also deeply religious, having once read out passages from the Bible when his men wanted to invade Persia. He also treated his prisoners with respect. He is best remembered for his exploits in the Byzantine–Sasanian War and his clashes with the Arabs.

 50 Mahmud II

Mahmud II.
Famous As: Sultan of Ottoman Empire
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.