Turkish

If you thought Turkey was only about charming landscapes, storied history, ancient towns, magnificent ruins, splendid culture and towering mountains, you are highly mistaken. Strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey commands significant geostrategic importance. Also, it is one of the foremost reasons for the country’s unique culture and heritage. Amidst all the history and greatness of Turkey, one cannot really forget the role of Turkish people in helping their country stand tall on the world forum.

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

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 1 St Paul

St Paul.
4
Listed In: Leaders
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.
8
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.
3
Listed In: Leaders
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.
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Listed In: Leaders
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.
2
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 Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene.
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Disciple of Jesus Christ
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Magdala

Mary Magdalene was an important biblical figure. It is said that she witnessed many of Jesus' miracles and life events, including his crucifixion and the subsequent resurrection. Since it is claimed that Magdalene was a prostitute, she has been viewed as the patroness of wayward women in the modern era. Her life has inspired several important works of art.

 7 Salt Bae

Salt Bae
2
Listed In: Food Experts
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erzurum, Turkey
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 8 Rumi

Rumi.
14
Listed In: Writers
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.

 9 Ertuğrul

Ertuğrul
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Ahlat
Died: 1281 AD

 10 Osman I

Osman I.
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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.

 11 Ahmed I

Ahmed I.
1
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.

 12 Abdul Hamid II

Abdul Hamid II
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: September 21, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Constantinople, Constantinople Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died: February 10, 1918

 13 Arda Turan

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

 14 Hayreddin Barbarossa

Hayreddin Barbarossa.
0
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 15 Murad IV

Murad IV.
1
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.

 16 Burak Ozcivit

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

 17 Caracalla

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

 18 Engin Altan Duzyatan

Engin Altan Duzyatan
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Karşıyaka, İzmir Province İzmir, Turkey
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 19 Selim I

Selim I.
2
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.

 20 Çağatay Ulusoy

Çağatay Ulusoy
0
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: September 23, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bakırköy, İstanbul, Turkey

 21 Tuba Büyüküstün

Tuba Büyüküstün
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 22 Esra Bilgiç

Esra Bilgiç
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 14, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey

 23 Hazal Kaya

Hazal Kaya
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 24 Can Yaman

Can Yaman
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 25 Beren Saat

Beren Saat.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 26, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey

Beren Saat is a Turkish actress who has received critical appreciation for her acting since the beginning of her acting career. Some of the awards which she has won include Latina Turkish Awards and Golden Butterfly Awards. From 2008 to 2014, she was the highest-paid Turkish actress. Also known for her philanthropic efforts, Saat works closely with many charity organizations.

 26 Emre Can

Emre Can
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: January 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt

 27 Cenk Uygur

Cenk Uygur.
2
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.

 28 Murad III

Murad III.
5
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.

 29 Zaza Pachulia

Zaza Pachulia
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia

 30 Mehmed III

Mehmed III
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: May 26, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: December 22, 1603

 31 Barıs Arduc

Barıs Arduc.
2
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.

 32 Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Taymiyyah
0
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: January 22, 1263
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harran, Turkey
Died: September 26, 1328

 33 Mehmed VI

Mehmed VI.
3
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.

 34 Ali Kemal

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

 35 Burak Yılmaz

Burak Yılmaz
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Football
Birthdate: July 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Antalya, Turkey

 36 Constantine XI

Constantine XI
1
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: February 8, 1405
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: May 29, 1453

 37 Gokberk Demirci

Gokberk Demirci
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 20, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey.

 38 Meryem Uzerli

Meryem Uzerli.
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kassel, Germany

Turkish-German actor and model Meryem Uzerli soared to fame playing Hürrem Sultan in the Turkish series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, a role that earned her a Golden Butterfly Award. She has also appeared in German series such as Notruf Hafenkante and films such as Journey of No Return.

 39 Fahriye Evcen

Fahriye Evcen
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany

 40 Demet Özdemir

Demet Özdemir
0
Famous As: Actress, Model
Birthdate: February 26, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: İzmit, Turkey

 41 Mehmed V

Mehmed V.
0
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.

 42 Akin Akinozu

Akin Akinozu
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 22, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey

 43 Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger.
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Listed In: Writers
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.

 44 Hussein bin Ali Sharif of Mecca

Hussein bin Ali Sharif of Mecca.
1
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.

 45 Epictetus

Epictetus.
0
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.

 46 Emre Mor

Emre Mor
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: July 24, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brønshøj

 47 Kerem Bursin

Kerem Bursin
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 48 Antinous

Antinous.
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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.

 49 Bayezid II

Bayezid II
0
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: December 3, 1447
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Didymoteicho
Died: May 26, 1512

 50 Mustafa I

Mustafa I
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 1591 AD
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: January 20, 1639
Be it founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk or religious leader Haci Bektas¸ Veli, founder of the Bektashi dervishes, Mevlana, author of the epic Mesnevi and founder of the Mevlevi dervishes or reverend literary figure Yunus Emre or Katip Celebi, traveller Evliya Celebi or journalist Sinasi, Turkey have been the address of many prolific people from various genres. But these are just the handful of the famous Turks including architect Sinan, miniaturist Abducelil Celebi Levni, painter Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu or composers Ulvi Cemal Erkin. Interestingly, Turkish people have left an indelible mark on everything, right from history to culture, literature to science, politics to economics and so on. Know more about famous Turks and their role in the advancement of their nation with this section below.