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 Suleiman The Magnificent

Suleiman The Magnificent
39
Famous As: Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1520-1566)
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

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
17
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.” 

 3 Salt Bae

Salt Bae
17
Listed In: Food Experts
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erzurum, Turkey
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 4 Rumi

Rumi
26
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Persian Poet
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

Ertuğrul
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Osman I's father
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Turkey
Died: 1280 AD

 6 Osman I

Osman I
14
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.

 7 Hande Erçel

Hande Erçel
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 24, 1993
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bandirma, Balikesir, Turkey
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 8 Uğur Şahin

Uğur Şahin
2
Listed In: Business People
Famous As: He is the CEO of BioNTech, which developed one of the major vaccines against COVID-19
Birthdate: September 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: İskenderun, Hatay Province, Turkey

 9 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
42
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: 12th President of Turkey
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.

 10 Hayreddin Barbarossa

Hayreddin Barbarossa
3
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Ottoman admiral
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.

 11 Mahmud of Ghazni

Mahmud of Ghazni
14
Famous As: Sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire (998-1030)
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 Ahmed I

Ahmed I
7
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.

 13 Burak Ozcivit

Burak Ozcivit
5
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Film actor
Birthdate: December 24, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 14 Selim I

Selim I
3
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.

 15 Ibn Taymiyyah

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

 16 Engin Altan Duzyatan

Engin Altan Duzyatan
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Karşıyaka, İzmir Province İzmir, Turkey

 17 Caracalla

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

 18 Kivanc Tatlitug

Kivanc Tatlitug
1
Famous As: Film actor
Birthdate: October 27, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Adana, Turkey
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 19 Esra Bilgiç

Esra Bilgiç
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 14, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey

 20 Tuba Büyüküstün

Tuba Büyüküstün
8
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 21 Çağatay Ulusoy

Çağatay Ulusoy
4
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: September 23, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bakırköy, İstanbul, Turkey

 22 Beren Saat

Beren Saat
6
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.

 23 Ali Kemal

Ali Kemal
2
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey
Died: November 6, 1922

 24 Hazal Kaya

Hazal Kaya
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 25 Murad III

Murad III
6
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.

 26 Giga Chikadze

Giga Chikadze
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: August 25, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgian

 27 Barıs Arduc

Barıs Arduc
9
Famous As: Actor
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.

 28 Antinous

Antinous
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Companion of Hadrian
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.

 29 Mehmed III

Mehmed III
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: May 26, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: December 22, 1603

 30 Mehmed II

Mehmed II
7
Birthdate: March 30, 1432
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Edirne, Rumelia Eyalet, Ottoman Sultanate
Died: May 3, 1481

 31 Neslihan Atagül

Neslihan Atagül
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 20, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

 32 Cedi Osman

Cedi Osman
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: April 8, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ohrid, North Macedonia Macedonia

 33 Meryem Uzerli

Meryem Uzerli
5
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.

 34 Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger
1
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.

 35 Julian

Julian
1
Famous As: Roman emperor
Birthdate: 0331 AD
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Died: June 26, 0363

 36 Emre Mor

Emre Mor
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer winger or a forward
Birthdate: July 24, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brønshøj, Copenhagen, Denmark

 37 Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire

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

 38 Fahriye Evcen

Fahriye Evcen
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany

 39 Bayezid I

Bayezid I
1
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.

 40 Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk
2
Listed In: Writers
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. 

 41 Elçin Sangu

Elçin Sangu
8
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 13, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Izmir, Turkey

Elçin Sangu is a Turkish model and actress best known for her portrayal of Defne Topal in a romantic drama TV series titled Kiralık Aşk, for which she received several awards, including three Golden Butterfly Awards. Over the course of her career, Elçin Sangu has appeared in several TV advertisements and campaigns and is one of the highest-paid actresses in Turkey.

 42 Mahmud II

Mahmud II
1
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.

 43 Hamdi Ulukaya

Hamdi Ulukaya
1
Listed In: Business People
Famous As: Entrepreneur
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 Mehmed V

Mehmed V
1
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.

 45 Enver Pasha

Enver Pasha
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Minister of War of the Ottoman Empire (1914-18)
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.

 46 Kösem Sultan

Kösem Sultan
1
Famous As: Ottoman sultana
Birthdate: 1589 AD
Birthplace: Tinos, Republic of Venice (currently the territory of Greece)
Died: September 2, 1651

 47 Mehmed IV

Mehmed IV
3
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: January 2, 1642
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Istanbul
Died: January 6, 1693

 48 Cenk Uygur

Cenk Uygur
7
Famous As: Political Commentator & Creator and Host of 'The Young Turks'
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.

 49 Murad II

Murad II
0
Famous As: Ottoman Sultan
Birthdate: May 31, 1404
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amasya
Died: February 3, 1451

 50 Arda Turan

Arda Turan
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Istanbul
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.