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Famous People From Turkey

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Updated June 8, 2017 17.7k views 1,001 items

List of famous people from Turkey, including photos when available. The people below are listed by their popularity, so the most recognizable names are at the top of the list. Some of the people below are celebrities born in Turkey, while others are simply notable locals. If you're from Turkey you might already know that these prominent figures are also from your hometown, but some of the names below may really surprise you. This list includes people who were born and raised in Turkey, as well as those who were born there but moved away at a young age.

You can rank all of these people, from Şehzade Bayezid to Nicola Rossi-Lemeni.

If you want to answer the questions, "Which famous people are from Turkey?" or "Which celebrities were born in Turkey?" then this list is a great resource for you.
Elia Kazan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Elia Kazan Age: Died at 94 (1909-2003)

Birthplace: Istanbul, Constantinople, Turkey

Elia Kazan (; born Elias Kazantzoglou (Greek: Ηλίας Καζαντζόγλου); September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York ...more

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Diogenes of Sinope is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 89 (411 BC-322 BC)

Birthplace: Sinop, Turkey

Diogenes ( dy-OJ-in-eez; Ancient Greek: Διογένης, romanized: Diogénēs [di.oɡénɛ͜ɛs]), also known as Diogenes the Cynic (Διογένης ὁ Κυνικός, Diogénēs ho Kynikós), was ...more
Nihat Erim is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 68 (1912-1980)

Birthplace: Kandıra, Turkey

İsmail Nihat Erim (February 17, 1912 – July 19, 1980) was a Turkish politician and jurist. He served as the 30th Prime Minister of Turkey for almost 14 months after the 1971 Turkish coup ...more
Metin Yüksel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 21 (1958-1979)

Birthplace: Bitlis, Turkey

Metin Yüksel (July 17, 1958 – February 23, 1979), was an Islamist political and social activist from Turkey. One of the main leaders of Turkey's political Islam movement during the 1970s, ...more
Musa Anter is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 69 (1920-1989)

Birthplace: Nisibis, Turkey

Musa Anter (1920 – September 20, 1992), also known as "Ape Musa" (Kurdish: Apê Musa‎, literally "Uncle Musa"), was a Kurdish dissident writer and activist. He was a ...more
Mimar Sinan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 99 (1489-1588)

Birthplace: Ağırnas, Turkey

Koca Mi'mâr Sinân Âğâ was the chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III. He was responsible for the ...more
Aysun Kayacı is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Age: 34

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Aysun Kayacı (born May 20, 1979) is a former Turkish model, current actress and presenter.
Okan Bayülgen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Age: 54

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Kaan Okan Bayülgen (born March 23, 1964) is a Turkish actor, variety and talk show host, comedian and photographer.
Mehmet Akif Ersoy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 63 (1873-1936)

Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey

Mehmet Akif Ersoy (20 December 1873 – 27 December 1936) was an Ottoman-born Turkish poet, writer, academic, politician, and the author of the Turkish National Anthem. Widely regarded as one of ...more
Louis Cheikho is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 68 (1859-1927)

Birthplace: Mardin, Turkey

Louis Cheikho, Arabic: لويس شيخو‎, born Rizqallâh Cheikho (1859–1927) was a Jesuit Chaldean Catholic priest, Orientalist and Theologian. He is considered as a major contributor and pioneer ...more
Mahsun Kırmızıgül ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Age: 46

Birthplace: Diyarbakır, Turkey

Mahsun Kırmızıgül (born Abdullah Bazencir, March 26, 1969) is a Turkish singer songwriter, actor and director, scriptwriter, music composer, producer of Zaza Kurdish descent. Mahsun ...more
Janet Akyüz Mattei ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 61 (1943-2004)

Birthplace: Bodrum, Turkey

Janet Akyüz Mattei (January 2, 1943 – March 22, 2004) was a Turkish-American astronomer who was the director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) from 1973 to
Sagopa Kajmer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Age: 40

Birthplace: Samsun, Turkey

Yunus Özyavuz, better known by his stage name Sagopa Kajmer (born 17 August 1978), is a Turkish rap musician, record producer and DJ. He was born in 1978 in Samsun, and finished his primary ...more
Daron Acemoğlu is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Age: 51

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Kamer Daron Acemoğlu (Turkish: [daˈɾon adʒeˈmoːɫu]; born September 3, 1967) is a Turkish-born American economist who has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 1993. He ...more
Sakıp Sabancı is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 71 (1933-2004)

Birthplace: Kayseri, Turkey

Sakıp Sabancı (7 April 1933 – 10 April 2004) was a prominent Turkish business tycoon and philanthropist.
Ahmet Ertegun is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 83 (1923-2006)

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Ahmet Ertegun (, Turkish spelling: Ahmet Ertegün ([ahˈmet eɾteˈɟyn]; July 31 [O.S. 18 July] 1923 – December 14, 2006) was a Turkish-American businessman, songwriter and philanthropist. ...more
Nuri Bilge Ceylan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Age: 60

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈnuːɾi ˈbilɟe ˈdʒejlan], born 26 January 1959) is a Turkish film director, photographer, screenwriter and actor. He won the Palme d'Or, the highest ...more
Yaşar Doğu is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Yaşar Doğu Dec. at 48 (1913-1961)

Birthplace: Samsun, Turkey

Yaşar Doğu (1913 – 8 January 1961), was a renowned Turkish World and Olympic champion sports wrestler in Greco-Roman and Freestyle. He was born in the village Karlı of Kavak district in Samsun ...more
İsmail Cem İpekçi... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 67 (1940-2007)

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

İsmail Cem (born İsmail Cem İpekçi, 15 February 1940 – 24 January 2007) was a Turkish social democratic politician, intellectual and journalist who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs ...more
Bülent Ecevit is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 81 (1925-2006)

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Mustafa Bülent Ecevit (Turkish: [byˈlænt edʒeˈvit]; 28 May 1925 – 5 November 2006) was a Turkish politician, poet, writer, scholar, and journalist, who served as the Prime Minister of ...more
Burcu Esmersoy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Age: 42

Birthplace: Turkey, Istanbul

Burcu Esmersoy is a Turkish anchorwoman, journalist, occasional actress, and beauty pageant contestant who represented her nation at Miss International.
Muzafer Sherif is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 82 (1906-1988)

Birthplace: Ödemiş, Turkey

Muzafer Sherif (born Muzaffer Şerif Başoğlu; July 29, 1906 – October 16, 1988) was a Turkish-American social psychologist. He helped develop social judgment theory and realistic conflict theory. ...more
Arif Mardin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 74 (1932-2006)

Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey

Arif Mardin (March 15, 1932 – June 25, 2006) was a Turkish-American music producer, who worked with hundreds of artists across many different styles of music, including jazz, rock, soul, disco ...more
Gökhan Özen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Gökhan Özen Age: 39

Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey

Fan S. Noli is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous People From Turkey
Dec. at 83 (1882-1965)

Birthplace: Edirne Province, Marmara Region, İbriktepe, Turkey

Theofan Stilian Noli, known as Fan Noli (6 January 1882 – 13 March 1965), was an Albanian writer, scholar, diplomat, politician, historian, orator and founder of the Orthodox Church of Albania, ...more