Kâzım Orbay

Mehmet Kâzım Orbay (11 March 1887 – 3 June 1964) was a Turkish general and senator. He served as the third Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces.

M. Kâzım Orbay
1320 (1904)-Sah. Top. 1
Born(1887-03-11)11 March 1887
Smyrna (İzmir), Ottoman Empire
Died3 June 1964(1964-06-03) (aged 77)
Istanbul, Turkey
Years of service
  • Ottoman Empire: 11 December 1904 – 1920
  • Turkey: 1920 – 6 July 1950
Commands held3rd Caucasian Division, Second Chief of the General Staff, 4th Corps, General Commander of Gendarmerie, Third Army, Member of the Supreme Military Council, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Chief of the General Staff, Member of the Supreme Military Council
Other workPresident of the Constituent Assembly, Senator


Kâzım Orbay was born in Smyrna (present day: İzmir), Ottoman Empire in 1887. He graduated from Mühendishâne-i Berrî-i Hümâyûn (Imperial School of Military Engineering) joined the army in the rank of an artillery lieutenant in 1904. After finishing the Staff College in 1907, he became a staff officer. In 1908, he attended military courses in Germany and fought then in the Balkan Wars. He was appointed to chief adjutant of the Ministry of War in the Ottoman cabinet and served so to Enver Pasha during the World War I. During this time, he was deputed as the Ottoman representative to the Afghan government in the Niedermayer-Hentig Expedition in 1915, when he presented to Emir Habibullah Khan the Ottoman Sultan's declaration of Jihad, the Ottoman Empire's desire to avoid a fratricidal war between Islamic people, and her message to Afghanistan to join the Central Powers, break with the British Empire and declare war against British India.

After the occupation of Turkey by the Allies following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, he joined the independence movement in Anatolia. Participating actively in the Turkish War of Independence, he served in several commanding positions in the Eastern Front Army between 1920 and 1922. He fought in the Caucasus and took part in the Battle of Dumlupinar.

In 1926, he was promoted to the rank of a three-star general and appointed to vice chief general staff. During 1928 and 1929, Kâzım Orbay served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Afghanistan Kingdom. Returned to Turkey, he held high-ranking military posts and in 1935, he was promoted to the rank of a four-star general.

Succeeding Fevzi Çakmak, he served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish armed forces during the time between 12 January 1944 and 23 July 1946 before he resigned.

Kâzım Orbay retired on 6 July 1950. After the military coup of 1960, he was elected senator in 1961 and served as the president of the parliament.

He died of stomach cancer in Ankara and was laid to rest in the Turkish State Cemetery.

He was married to Mediha Hanım, who is the sister of Enver Pasha, and they had a son named Haşmet. On 16 October 1945 Haşmet Orbay murdered physician Naci Arzan. The investigation of the event known as Ankara Murder turned into a political scandal involving the Republican People's Party apparatus.

See also


Military offices
Preceded by
Ahmet Zeki Soydemir
General Commander of Gendarmerie
30 July 1930 – 24 August 1935
Succeeded by
Naci Tınaz
Preceded by
Ali Sait Akbaytogan
Inspector of the Third Army
3 September 1935 – 5 March 1943
Succeeded by
Mustafa Muğlalı
Preceded by
Fevzi Çakmak
Chief of the General Staff of Turkey
12 January 1944 – 30 July 1946
Succeeded by
Salih Omurtak
Political offices
Preceded by
Refik Koraltan
President of the Constituent Assembly of Turkey
9 January 1961 – 26 October 1961
Succeeded by
Fuat Sirmen
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