Lütfi Kırdar

Last updated
Lütfi Kırdar
Mehmet Lutfi Kirdar.jpg
Mehmet Lütfi Kırdar
Minister of Health and Social Security
In office
November 26, 1957 May 27, 1960
Prime Minister Adnan Menderes
Preceded by Nafiz Körez
Succeeded by Nusret Karasu
Ambassador of Turkey to Sweden
In office
President İsmet İnönü
Governor and Mayor of Istanbul
In office
December 5, 1938 October 20, 1949
Preceded by Muhittin Üstündağ
Succeeded by Fahrettin Kerim Gökay
Governor of Manisa
In office
Preceded byMurat Germen
Succeeded byOsman Şahinbaş
Personal details
BornMarch 15, 1887
Kirkuk, Ottoman Empire
DiedFebruary 17, 1961
Yassıada, Istanbul, Turkey
Political party Republican People's Party (CHP)
Democrat Party (DP)
Alma mater Istanbul University

Mehmet Lütfi Kırdar (March 15, 1887 – February 17, 1961) was a Turkish physician, civil servant, politician and Minister of Health and Social Security. He is best remembered for his long-term position as the Governor and Mayor of Istanbul.

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.


Early years and professional career

Lütfi Kırdar was born 1887 to a prominent family in Kirkuk, then in the Ottoman Empire. After finishing primary and secondary education in his hometown, he graduated from high school in Baghdad, Ottoman Empire. In 1908, he went to Istanbul to study medicine at Istanbul University. [1] [2]

Kirkuk City in Iraq

Kirkuk is a city in Iraq, serving as the capital of the Kirkuk Governorate, located 238 kilometres north of Baghdad. Kirkuk lies in a wide zone with an enormously diverse population and has been multilingual for centuries. There were dramatic demographic changes during Kirkuk's urbanization in the twentieth century, which saw the development of distinct ethnic groups. Kurds, Iraqi Turkmen, Arabs, and Assyrians lay conflicting claims to this zone, and all have their historical accounts and memories to buttress their claims.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Baghdad Capital of Iraq

Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. The population of Baghdad, as of 2016, is approximately 8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab world, and the second largest city in Western Asia.

He interrupted his university education and entered the army when the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) outbroke. After the war, he resumed his university education and graduated in 1917 as a physician. He began his profession in Najaf (today in Iraq). During World War I (1914-1918), he joined the army again. [1] [2]

Balkan Wars Two wars on Balkan Peninsula 1912-1913, leading to the Balkan Crisis of 1914 and start of WWI

The Balkan Wars consisted of two conflicts that took place in the Balkan Peninsula in 1912 and 1913. Four Balkan states defeated the Ottoman Empire in the first war. The main victor of the four, Bulgaria, fought and pushed back all four original combatants of the first war along with halting a surprise attack from Romania from the north in the second war. The conflicts ended catastrophically for the Ottoman Empire, which lost the bulk of its territory in Europe. Austria-Hungary, although not a combatant, became relatively weaker as a much enlarged Serbia pushed for union of the South Slavic peoples. The war set the stage for the Balkan crisis of 1914 and thus served as a "prelude to the First World War".

Najaf Place in Najaf Governorate, Iraq

Najaf or Al-Najaf al-Ashraf also Baniqia is a city in central-south Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2013 was 1,000,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate. It is widely considered the third holiest city of Shia Islam, the Shi'ite world's spiritual capital, and the center of Shi'ite political power in Iraq.

Iraq Republic in Western Asia

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

After the World War I, he returned to medicine serving in the Turkish Red Crescent. Having met Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during the Erzurum Congress (1919), he subsequently participated at the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923) as the leader of military medical service. For his contributions, he was later awarded with the Medal of Independence. [1] [2]

Turkish Red Crescent is the largest humanitarian organization in Turkey and is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Founder of the Republic of Turkey

Kemal Atatürk, commonly referred to as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was a Turkish field marshal (Mareşal), revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. His dictatorship undertook sweeping liberal reforms, which modernized Turkey into a secular, industrial nation. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism.

Erzurum Congress

Erzurum Congress was an assembly of Turkish Revolutionaries held from 23 July to 4 August 1919 in the city of Erzurum, in eastern Turkey, in accordance with the previously issued Amasya Circular. The congress united delegates from six eastern provinces (vilayets) of the Ottoman Empire, many parts of which were under Allied occupation at the time. The congress played a fundamental role in shaping the national identity of modern Turkey.

Following the proclamation of the Republic in 1923, Lütfi Kırdar conducted special studies on ophthalmology in Vienna, Austria and Munich, Germany. Returned home in 1924, he became Director of Health in Izmir. In 1933, Lütfi Kırdar took the post of an ophthalmologist at the State Hospital in Izmir. [1] [2]

Ophthalmology field of medicine treating eye disorders

Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine and surgery, which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in ophthalmology. The credentials include a degree in medicine, followed by additional four to five years of ophthalmology residency training. Ophthalmology residency training programs may require a one year pre-residency training in internal medicine, pediatrics, or general surgery. Additional specialty training may be sought in a particular aspect of eye pathology. Ophthalmologists are allowed to use medications to treat eye diseases, implement laser therapy, and perform surgery when needed. Ophthalmologists may participate in academic research on the diagnosis and treatment for eye disorders.

Vienna Capital city and state of Austria

Vienna is the federal capital, largest city and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising nine federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly nine million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is landlocked and highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.


The groundbreaking ceremony of the Ataturk Kultur Merkezi (Ataturk Cultural Center) The groundbreaking ceramony of Ataturk Kultur Merkezi, Istanbul (12964245153).jpg
The groundbreaking ceremony of the Atatürk Kültür Merkezi (Atatürk Cultural Center)

Kırdar was elected deputy of Kütahya from the Republican People's Party in 1935. In 1936, he was appointed Governor of Manisa Province. On December 5, 1938, Lütfi Kırdar became Governor and Mayor of Istanbul Province, serving at this post twelve years long until October 20, 1949. [1] [2]

Kütahya Municipality in Aegean, Turkey

Kütahya is a city in western Turkey with 237,804 inhabitants, lying on the Porsuk river, at 969 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Kütahya Province, inhabited by some 564,294 people. The region of Kütahya has large areas of gentle slopes with agricultural land culminating in high mountain ridges to the north and west. The city's Greek name was Kotyaion, Latinized in Roman times as Cotyaeum.

Republican Peoples Party (Turkey) social-democratic political party in Turkey

The Republican People's Party is a Kemalist, social-democratic political party in Turkey. It is the oldest political party in the country, and is currently the main opposition in the Grand National Assembly. The CHP describes itself as "a modern social democratic party, which is faithful to the founding principles and values of the Republic of Turkey". The party is cited as "the founding party of modern Turkey". Its logo consists of the Six Arrows, which represent the foundational principles of Kemalism: republicanism, nationalism, statism, populism, laicism, and reformism.

1935 Turkish general election

General elections were held in Turkey on 8 February 1935. The Republican People's Party was the only party in the country at the time.

During his term as governor and mayor, important buildings were constructed in Istanbul, among them Sport and Exhibition Center (renamed later Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center), Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre, Mithat Pasha Stadium (renamed later BJK İnönü Stadium), Taksim Square and Atatürk Boulevard, which connects Golden Horn with Aksaray in Fatih district.

In 1949, Lütfi Kırdar was appointed Ambassador to Stockholm in Sweden. In December the same year, he became deputy of Manisa from the Republican People's Party (CHP) in the intermediate election. However, he lost his chair in the parliament in the 1950 general election. [1] [2]

Switched over to the Democrat Party (DP), he was re-elected in the 1954 general election as deputy of Istanbul, and again in the 1957 general election. [1] [2]

Prime minister Adnan Menderes appointed Lütfi Kırdar Minister of Health and Social Security on November 26, 1957. He served in the cabinet until May 27, 1960 when military overtook the government by the 1960 Turkish coup d'état. [1] [2]

He was arrested along with all other government ministers and brought before military tribunal on Yassıada, an island in Marmara Sea. He died of myocardial infarction during his defense in the court on February 17, 1961. [2] Two days later, he was laid to rest at the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery. He is survived by his two sons Erdem and Üner. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Lütfi Kırdar" (in Turkish). maarkit. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Salihoğlu, M. Latif (2010-02-17). "Dr. Lütfi Kırdar'ın Yassıada dramı". Yeni Asya (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-02-19.
Political offices
Preceded by
Muhittin Üstündağ
Governor and Mayor of İstanbul
December 5, 1938October 20, 1949
Succeeded by
Fahrettin Kerim Gökay
Preceded by
Nafiz Körez
Minister of Health and Social Security
November 26, 1957May 27, 1960
Succeeded by
Nusret Karasu