Ömer Seyfettin

Ömer Seyfettin (March 11, 1884 – March 6, 1920), was a Turkish writer from the late-19th to early-20th-century, considered to be one of the greatest modern Turkish authors. His work is much praised for simplifying the Turkish language from the Persian and Arabic words and phrases that were common at the time.

Ömer Seyfettin
Ömer Seyfettin
Born(1884-03-11)March 11, 1884
Gönen, Balıkesir Province, Ottoman Empire
DiedMarch 6, 1920(1920-03-06) (aged 35)
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
OccupationAuthor, teacher, military officer


Ömer Seyfettin was born in Gönen, a town in Balıkesir Province, in 1884. Son of a military official, he spent his early life travelling around the coast of Marmara Sea. While he was a cadet at the Military Academy (Harp Okulu) in Istanbul, his class was graduated early in 1903 as part of emergency measures and he was assigned as a Lieutenant, posted to Western Border units of the Ottoman Empire Army. In 1909, he served as an officer of the Hareket Ordusu (Action Army) which suppressed the Istanbul Irtica uprising, the religious groups opposing the newly formed constitutional monarchy in Istanbul. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an officer of the Hareket Ordusu.[1] Promoted to First Lieutenant, Seyfettin was posted as an instructor in a military school in İzmir. This position was an opportunity for Seyfettin to improve his French, and interact with like-minded writers.

In 1910, Omer Seyfettin began publishing Genc Kalemler (Young Pens) with Ziya Gokalp and Ali Canip[2] in Salonica. Seyfettin began the early efforts in using Turkish in his literary output as opposed to Ottoman Turkish, as he outlined to Ali Canip in a letter.[3] He was recalled to the army under mobilization orders at the beginning of the Balkan War and spent approximately 12 months during 1912-1913 in Greece as a prisoner of war. In 1914, after leaving the army for the second time, Omer Seyfettin became a literature teacher in an Istanbul High school. He became, also in 1914, the chiefauthor (Bashyazar) of the magazine Turk Yurdu.[1] He died of diabetes in 1920, at the age of 36.


  • Ashâb-ı Kehfimiz (1918)
  • Efruz Bey (1919)
  • Yalnız Efe (1919)
  • Yarınki Turan Devleti

Short story collections

  • Harem (1918)
  • Yüksek Ökçeler (1922)
  • Gizli Mabed (1923)
  • Beyaz Lale (1938)
  • Asilzâdeler (1938)
  • İlk Düşen Ak (1938)
  • Mahçupluk İmtihanı (1938)
  • Dalga (1943)
  • Nokta (1956)
  • Tarih Ezelî Bir Tekerrürdür (1958)

Poetry collections

  • Ömer Seyfettin’in Şiirleri (Poems written by Ömer Seyfettin, 1972)

See also


  1. Phil, HB Paksoy, D. Essays on Central Asia. Carrie/EUI. p. 229.
  2. Meyer, James H. (July 18, 2019). Turks Across Empires: Marketing Muslim Identity in the Russian-Ottoman Borderlands, 1856-1914. Oxford University Press. p. 159. ISBN 9780192586339.
  3. Koroglu, Erol (July 21, 2007). Ottoman Propaganda and Turkish Identity: Literature in Turkey During World War I. I.B.Tauris. p. 41. ISBN 9780857715371.

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