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 
Suleiman The Magnificent
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1520-1566))

Suleiman The Magnificent
46
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
24
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
30
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 
Salt Bae
(Restaurateur)

Salt Bae
23
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erzurum, Turkey

 6 
Ertuğrul
(Osman I's father)

Ertuğrul
6
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Turkey
Died: 1280 AD

 7 
Osman I
(Political Leader)

Osman I
16
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.

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 8 
Uğur Şahin
(He is the CEO of BioNTech, which developed one of the major vaccines against COVID-19)

Uğur Şahin
4
Birthdate: September 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: İskenderun, Hatay Province, Turkey

 9 
Hayreddin Barbarossa
(Ottoman admiral)

Hayreddin Barbarossa
4
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.

 10 
Mahmud of Ghazni
(Sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire (998-1030))

Mahmud of Ghazni
17
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. 

 11 
Ahmed I
(Ottoman Emperor)

Ahmed I
8
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.

 12 
Burak Ozcivit
(Film actor)

Burak Ozcivit
5
Birthdate: December 24, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 13 
Selim I
(ottoman Sultan)

Selim I
4
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 
Ibn Taymiyyah
(Scholar)

Ibn Taymiyyah
2
Birthdate: January 22, 1263
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harran, Turkey
Died: September 26, 1328

 15 
Caracalla
(Roman emperor)

Caracalla
2
Birthdate: April 4, 0188
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lugdunum
Died: April 8, 0217

 16 
Kivanc Tatlitug
(Film actor)

Kivanc Tatlitug
1
Birthdate: October 27, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Adana, Turkey

Engin Altan Duzyatan
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Karşıyaka, İzmir Province İzmir, Turkey

 18 

Çağatay Ulusoy
5
Birthdate: September 23, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bakırköy, İstanbul, Turkey
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 19 
Antinous
(Companion of Hadrian)

Antinous
4
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 
Ali Kemal
(Journalist)

Ali Kemal
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey
Died: November 6, 1922

 21 
Murad III
(Ottoman Sultan)

Murad III
6
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.

 22 

Barıs Arduc
9
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.

 23 
Mehmed III
(Sultan)

Mehmed III
3
Birthdate: May 26, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: December 22, 1603

 24 
Selim II
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)

Selim II
8
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.

Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire
0
Birthdate: November 4, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: August 18, 1648

 26 
Cedi Osman
(Basketball player)

Cedi Osman
3
Birthdate: April 8, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ohrid, North Macedonia Macedonia

 27 
Giga Chikadze
(Mixed martial artist)

Giga Chikadze
5
Birthdate: August 25, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgian

 28 
Murad II
(Ottoman Sultan)

Murad II
0
Birthdate: August 25, 1988, 1404
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amasya
Died: February 3, 1451

 29 
Pliny the Younger
(Author, Lawyer)

Pliny the Younger
1
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.

 30 
Julian
(Roman emperor)

Julian
1
Birthdate: 0331 AD
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Died: June 26, 0363

 31 
Bayezid I
(Sultan of Ottoman Empire)

Bayezid I
2
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.

 32 
Mehmed IV
(Sultan)

Mehmed IV
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1642
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Istanbul
Died: January 6, 1693

 33 
Emre Mor
(Footballer winger or a forward)

Emre Mor
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brønshøj, Copenhagen, Denmark

 34 
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
(12th President of Turkey)

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
47
Birthdate: February 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kasımpaşa

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician and the current president of Turkey. After founding the Justice and Development Party (AKP), he played a major role in leading the party to election victories and thereby helping AKP become a force to reckon with in Turkey. Described as an authoritarian, his government has restricted access to sites like Wikipedia and YouTube.

Orhan Pamuk
3
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. 

 36 
Mahmud II
(Sultan of Ottoman Empire)

Mahmud II
1
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.

 37 
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.

 38 

Akin Akinozu
5
Birthdate: September 22, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey

 39 
Enver Pasha
(Minister of War of the Ottoman Empire (1914-18))

Enver Pasha
4
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.

 40 
Cenk Uygur
(Political Commentator & Creator and Host of 'The Young Turks')

Cenk Uygur
7
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.

 41 
Arda Turan
(Footballer)

Arda Turan
12
Birthdate: January 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Istanbul

 42 

Abdülmecid I
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1823
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: İstanbul Eyaleti
Died: June 25, 1861

 43 
Ahmet Ertegün
(Co-founder and president of Atlantic Records)

Ahmet Ertegün
1
Birthdate: July 31, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: December 14, 2006

 44 
Mehmed I
(5th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)

Mehmed I
1
Birthdate: 1389 AD
Birthplace: Bursa, Turkey
Died: May 26, 1421

 45 
Naim Suleymanoglu
(Weightlifter)

Naim Suleymanoglu
5
Birthdate: January 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ptichar, Bulgaria
Died: November 18, 2017

 46 
Tarkan
(Singer-songwriter)

Tarkan
2
Birthdate: October 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Alzey

 47 

Alexios I Komnenos
0
Birthdate: 1048 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: August 15, 1118

 48 
Heraclius
(Emperor of Byzantine Empire)

Heraclius
1
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.

 49 
Nuri Şahin
(Football Midfielder)

Nuri Şahin
0
Birthdate: September 5, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lüdenscheid, West Germany

 50 
Sinan
(Architect)

Sinan
0
Birthdate: 1488 AD
Birthplace: Ağırnas, Turkey
Died: July 17, 1588