Famous Turkish Intellectuals & Academics

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 1 
Ibn Taymiyyah
(Scholar)
Ibn Taymiyyah
7
Birthdate: January 22, 1263
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harran, Turkey
Died: September 26, 1328
 2 
Gregory of Nazianzus
(Theologian and the Most Accomplished Rhetorical Stylist of the Patristic Age)
Gregory of Nazianzus
3
Birthdate: 0329 AD
Birthplace: Nazianzus, Cappadocia, Turkey
Died: January 24, 0390

Gregory of Nazianzus was a theologian and Archbishop of Constantinople. He is widely regarded as the most renowned and talented rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. Much of Gregory of Nazianzus' theological work continues to have a significant impact on modern theologians. 

 3 
Nasreddin
(Philosopher)
Nasreddin
4
Birthdate: 1208 AD
Birthplace: Nasrettinhoca, Sivrihisar
Died: 1284 AD
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 4 
Dio Cassius
(Historian)
Dio Cassius
4
Birthdate: 0155 AD
Birthplace: İznik
Died: 0235 AD
 5 
Piri Reis
(Ottoman Admiral, Geographer, Cartographer.)
Piri Reis
3
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Gelibolu, Turkey
Died: 1553 AD

Piri Reis was an Ottoman navigator, admiral, cartographer, and geographer. He is best remembered for his Book of Navigation, which contains maps and charts and information on navigational techniques. He gained international recognition in 1929 when a portion of his first world map was discovered at the Topkapı Palace in Turkey. Piri Reis finds mention in several popular video games.  

 6 
Procopius
(Scholar)
Procopius
3
Birthdate: 0500 AD
Birthplace: Caesarea
 7 
Proclus
(philosopher)
Proclus
3
Birthdate: February 8, 0412
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Constantinople
Died: April 17, 0485
 8 
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
3
Birthplace: Halicarnassus
 9 
John Chrysostom
(Early Church Father and Archbishop of Constantinople (398-404))
John Chrysostom
4
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.

 10 
Pausanias
(Geographer)
Pausanias
6
Birthdate: 0110 AD
Birthplace: Anatolia
Died: 0180 AD
 11 
Xenophanes
(Philosopher)
Xenophanes
3
Birthdate: 0570 BC
Birthplace: Colophon
Died: 0475 BC
Maximus the Confessor
3
Birthdate: 0580 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: August 13, 0662
 13 
Tansu Çiller
(22nd Prime Minister of Turkey)
Tansu Çiller
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish economist Tansu Çiller has been Turkey’s 22nd prime minister and the only woman to hold the post. The True Path Party politician has also been Turkey’s minister of state and of foreign affairs, and the deputy minister of the country. She also became Turkey’s youngest full professor.

 14 
Selma Ergeç
(Actress)
Selma Ergeç
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamm, Germany
 15 
Adnan Oktar
(Turkish Sex Cult Leader Who Believes in Islamic Creationism and Anti-Darwinism)
Adnan Oktar
7
Birthdate: February 2, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ankara

Turkish sex cult leader Adnan Oktar is an advocate of Islamic creationism and opposes Darwinism. He has previously been arrested for several crimes, such as financial fraud and sexual abuse. He once sent copies of his book The Atlas of Creation, penned as Harun Yahya, to several French and American institutes, unsolicited.

 16 
Burhan Asaf Belge
(Turkish Politician Who Was the First Husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor)
Burhan Asaf Belge
5
Birthdate: February 1, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: January 12, 1967

Turkish left-wing politician and diplomat Burhan Asaf Belge was also the first husband of Hungarian-American actor Zsa Zsa Gabor. He represented the Muğla province at the Turkish National Assembly. He had also served as the ambassador of Turkey to Hungary, where he met Gabor.

 17 
Anaximenes of Miletus
3
Birthdate: 0585 BC
Birthplace: Miletus
Died: 0528 BC
 18 
Gregory Palamas
(Theologian)
Gregory Palamas
3
Birthdate: 1296 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: November 14, 1359
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1783
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Galata, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: September 18, 1840
 20 
Dani Rodrik
(Economist)
Dani Rodrik
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Photios I of Constantinople
3
Birthdate: 0810 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: February 6, 0893
 22 
Ziya Gökalp
(Turkish Sociologist, Author, and Poet)
Ziya Gökalp
2
Birthdate: March 23, 1876
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Çermik, Turkey
Died: October 25, 1924

Turkish intellectual, sociologist, and author Mehmed Ziya, better known by his pseudonym, Ziya Gökalp, was a main figure of the Turkish nationalist movement. Though initially educated as a vet, he later quit his studies to focus on politics. His writings include The Principles of Turkism. He was apparently highly influenced by Sufism.

 23 
Symeon the New Theologian
(Byzantine Monk Who Belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church)
Symeon the New Theologian
2
Birthdate: 0949 AD
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey
Died: March 12, 1022

Byzantine monk Symeon the New Theologian belonged to the Eastern Orthodox church. A significant figure of Christian mysticism and Hesychasm, he propagated the idea of Theoria, or the concept of gaining a direct experience of God. His writings are mostly composed of catecheses and sermons.

 24 
Gemistus Pletho
(Philosopher)
Gemistus Pletho
3
Birthdate: 1355 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: June 26, 1452
 25 
Ali-Shir Nava'i
(Turkish Poet, Scholar, and Mystic, Who Was a Major Figure of Chagatai Literature)
Ali-Shir Nava'i
2
Birthdate: February 9, 1441
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
Died: January 3, 1501

Turkish poet, scholar, mystic, and miniature painter Ali-Shir Nava'I was a major figure of Chagatai literature. He was also interested in music, architecture, and calligraphy, and donated huge sums for much of constructions of his city. His best-known works include Muhakamat al-Lughatayn and Majālis-i nefaʾīs.

 26 
Cerinthus
(Theologian)
Cerinthus
2
Birthdate: 0100 AD
Birthplace: Antioch on the Orontes
 27 
Édouard Balladur
(Economist, Politician)
Édouard Balladur
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: İzmir

Édouard Balladur is a French politician who served as the prime minister of France from 1993 to 1995. He started his political career in the 1960s and steadily rose through the ranks, becoming the minister of economy and finance. A few years later, he took office as the prime minister. The media often caricatures him as aloof, aristocratic, and arrogant. 

 28 
Simplicius Of Cilicia
2
Birthdate: 0490 AD
Birthplace: Cilicia
Died: 0560 AD
 29 
Osman Hamdi Bey
2
Birthdate: December 30, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: February 24, 1910
 30 
Theodoret
(Theologian)
Theodoret
2
Birthdate: 0393 AD
Birthplace: Antioch, Turkey
Died: November 30, 0458
Socrates of Constantinople
2
Birthdate: 0380 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: 0439 AD
 32 
İlber Ortaylı
(Historian)
İlber Ortaylı
0
Birthdate: May 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bregenz, Austria
 33 
Zosimus
(Historian)
Zosimus
0
Birthdate: 0490 AD
 34 
Sheikh Bedreddin
(Theologian)
Sheikh Bedreddin
2
Birthdate: December 3, 1359
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: December 18, 1420
 35 
Lucian of Antioch
(Theologian)
Lucian of Antioch
2
Birthdate: 0240 AD
Birthplace: Samsat, Turkey
Died: January 7, 0312
 36 
Eubulides Of Miletus
(Greek philosopher)
Eubulides Of Miletus
2
Birthplace: Miletus Ancient Theater, Turkey
 37 
Eustathius of Thessalonica
(Byzantine Greek Scholar Who Served as the Archbishop of Thessalonica)
Eustathius of Thessalonica
2
Birthdate: 1115 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: 1196 AD

Eustathius of Thessalonica was a Byzantine Greek scholar best remembered for his service as the Archbishop of Thessalonica. A pupil of Nicholas Kataphloron, Eustathius is renowned for his commentaries on Homer and for his orations. Eustathius of Thessalonica was canonized on 10 June 1988.    

 38 
Muazzez İlmiye Çığ
(Turkish Archaeologist and Assyriologist Known for Her Research on Sumerology)
Muazzez İlmiye Çığ
2
Birthdate: June 20, 1914
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bursa, Turkey

Turkish archaeologist and Assyriologist Muazzez İlmiye Çığ specializes in Sumerology, or the study of the Sumerian civilization. She has had a long association with the Museum of the Ancient Orient and has also penned several books, including a children’s educational book and her memoir, Çivi çiviyi söker.

 39 
Theodotion
(Jewish scholar)
Theodotion
2
Birthplace: Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Selçuk, Turkey
Died: 0200 AD
 40 
Manuel Chrysoloras
2
Birthdate: 1355 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: September 15, 1415
 41 
Gazi Yaşargil
(Medical scientist)
Gazi Yaşargil
0
Birthdate: July 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lice, Turkey
 42 
Markos Eugenikos
(Theologian)
Markos Eugenikos
2
Birthdate: 1392 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: June 23, 1444
 43 
Mehmet Fuat Köprülü
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Died: June 28, 1966
 44 
Maximus Planudes
2
Birthdate: 1260 AD
Birthplace: Nicomedia, Turkey
Died: November 30, 1305
 45 
Müge Çevik
(Physician)
Müge Çevik
2
Birthplace: Turkey
 46 
Athenodorus Cananites
2
Birthdate: 0074 AD
Birthplace: Turkey
Died: 0007 AD
 47 
Halet Cambel
(Turkish Archaeologist and Fencer)
Halet Cambel
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin, German Empire
Died: January 12, 2014
 48 
Nikephoros I of Constantinople
(Byzantine Writer Who Served as the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 806 to 815)
Nikephoros I of Constantinople
1
Birthdate: 0758 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: April 5, 0828

Nikephoros I of Constantinople was a Byzantine writer who served as the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 806 to 815. Today, Nikephoros I of Constantinople is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. His feast is celebrated on 13 March.

 49 
Ayşe Buğra
(Turkish Social Scientist, Economist, and Writer)
Ayşe Buğra
1
Birthdate: December 19, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey

Ayşe Buğra is a Turkish social scientist, economist, and writer. A recipient of the prestigious TWAS Prize, Buğra is credited with co-founding Boğaziçi University's Social Policy Forum. Ayşe Buğra is currently serving as a professor at the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History. 

 50 
Zenodotus Of Ephesus
(Greek Grammarian, Homeric Scholar, and the First Librarian of the Library at Alexandria)
Zenodotus Of Ephesus
1
Birthdate: 0330 AD
Birthplace: Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Selçuk, Turkey
Died: 0260 AD

Greek grammarian and Homeric scholar Zenodotus of Ephesus served as the first superintendent of the Library of Alexandria. He is also said to have penned the first critical edition of Homer. He was also a student of Greek scholar and poet Philitas of Cos. He also edited Hesiod’s Theogony.