The Most Famous

WRITERS from Turkey

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This page contains a list of the greatest Turkish Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 124 of which were born in Turkey. This makes Turkey the birth place of the 8th most number of Writers behind Italy and Spain.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Turkish Writers of all time. This list of famous Turkish Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Turkish Writers.

Photo of Homer

1. Homer (-800 - -750)

With an HPI of 92.32, Homer is the most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 176 different languages on wikipedia.

Homer (; Ancient Greek: Ὅμηρος [hómɛːros], Hómēros) was the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two epic poems that are the foundational works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Mycenaean Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.The Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Modern scholarship considers that the two works were written by different authors. It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC.The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic. Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of Homeric epic on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film. The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who "has taught Greece" – ten Hellada pepaideuken.

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2. Hesiod (-800 - -700)

With an HPI of 84.17, Hesiod is the 2nd most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

Hesiod (; Greek: Ἡσίοδος Hēsíodos, 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. He is generally regarded as the first written poet in the Western tradition to regard himself as an individual persona with an active role to play in his subject. Ancient authors credited Hesiod and Homer with establishing Greek religious customs. Modern scholars refer to him as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, early economic thought, archaic Greek astronomy and ancient time-keeping.

Photo of Constantine VII

3. Constantine VII (905 - 959)

With an HPI of 79.88, Constantine VII is the 3rd most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Πορφυρογέννητος, translit. Kōnstantinos Porphyrogennētos; 17/18 May 905 – 9 November 959) was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 6 June 913 to 9 November 959. He was the son of Emperor Leo VI and his fourth wife, Zoe Karbonopsina, and the nephew of his predecessor Emperor Alexander. Most of his reign was dominated by co-regents: from 913 until 919 he was under the regency of his mother, while from 920 until 945 he shared the throne with Romanos Lekapenos, whose daughter Helena he married, and his sons. Constantine VII is best known for the Geoponika (τά γεοπονικά), an important agronomic treatise compiled during his reign, and his four books, De Administrando Imperio (bearing in Greek the heading Πρὸς τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸν Ῥωμανόν), De Ceremoniis (Περὶ τῆς Βασιλείου Τάξεως), De Thematibus (Περὶ θεμάτων Άνατολῆς καὶ Δύσεως), and Vita Basilii (Βίος Βασιλείου).The epithet porphyrogenitus alludes to the Purple chamber of the imperial palace, decorated with porphyry, where legitimate children of reigning emperors were normally born. Constantine was also born in this room, although his mother Zoe had not been married to Leo at that time. Nevertheless, the epithet allowed him to underline his position as the legitimate son, as opposed to all others, who claimed the throne during his lifetime. Sons born to a reigning Emperor held precedence in the Eastern Roman line of succession over elder sons not born "in the purple".

Photo of Lucian

4. Lucian (120 - 200)

With an HPI of 79.39, Lucian is the 4th most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 61 different languages.

Lucian of Samosata (c. 125 – after 180) was a Hellenized Syrian satirist and rhetorician who is best known for his characteristic tongue-in-cheek style, with which he frequently ridiculed superstition, religious practices, and belief in the paranormal. Although his native language was probably Syriac, all of his extant works are written entirely in Ancient Greek (mostly in the Attic Greek popular during the Second Sophistic period). Everything that is known about Lucian's life comes from his own writings, which are often difficult to interpret because of his extensive use of sarcasm. According to his oration The Dream, he was the son of a lower middle class family from the village of Samosata along the banks of the Euphrates in the remote Roman province of Syria. As a young man, he was apprenticed to his uncle to become a sculptor, but, after a failed attempt at sculpting, he ran away to pursue an education in Ionia. He may have become a travelling lecturer and visited universities throughout the Roman Empire. After acquiring fame and wealth through his teaching, Lucian finally settled down in Athens for a decade, during which he wrote most of his extant works. In his fifties, he may have been appointed as a highly paid government official in Egypt, after which point he disappears from the historical record. Lucian's works were wildly popular in antiquity, and more than eighty writings attributed to him have survived to the present day, a considerably higher quantity than for most other classical writers. His most famous work is A True Story, a tongue-in-cheek satire against authors who tell incredible tales, which is regarded by some as the earliest known work of science fiction. Lucian invented the genre of the comic dialogue, a parody of the traditional Socratic dialogue. His dialogue Lover of Lies makes fun of people who believe in the supernatural and contains the oldest known version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Lucian wrote numerous satires making fun of traditional stories about the gods including The Dialogues of the Gods, Icaromenippus, Zeus Rants, Zeus Catechized, and The Parliament of the Gods. His Dialogues of the Dead focuses on the Cynic philosophers Diogenes and Menippus. Philosophies for Sale and The Banquet or Lapiths make fun of various philosophical schools, and The Fisherman or the Dead Come to Life is a defense of this mockery. Lucian often ridiculed public figures, such as the Cynic philosopher Peregrinus Proteus in his letter The Passing of Peregrinus and the fraudulent oracle Alexander of Abonoteichus in his treatise Alexander the False Prophet. Lucian's treatise On the Syrian Goddess satirizes cultural distinctions between Greeks and Syrians and is the main source of information about the cult of Atargatis. Lucian had an enormous, wide-ranging impact on Western literature. Works inspired by his writings include Thomas More's Utopia, the works of François Rabelais, William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

Photo of Orhan Pamuk

5. Orhan Pamuk (1952 - )

With an HPI of 78.45, Orhan Pamuk is the 5th most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 109 different languages.

Ferit Orhan Pamuk (born 7 June 1952) is a Turkish novelist, screenwriter, academic and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of Turkey's most prominent novelists, his work has sold over thirteen million books in sixty-three languages, making him the country's best-selling writer.Pamuk is the author of novels including Silent House, The White Castle, The Black Book, The New Life, My Name Is Red, Snow, The Museum of Innocence, A Strangeness in My Mind and The Red-Haired Woman. He is the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches writing and comparative literature. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018.Of partial Circassian descent and born in Istanbul, Pamuk is the first Turkish Nobel laureate. He is also the recipient of numerous other literary awards. My Name Is Red won the 2002 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, 2002 Premio Grinzane Cavour and 2003 International Dublin Literary Award. The European Writers' Parliament came about as a result of a joint proposal by Pamuk and José Saramago. Pamuk's willingness to write books about contentious historical and political events put him at risk of censure in his homeland. In 2005, the ultra-nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerinçsiz sued him over a statement regarding the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. His intention, according to Pamuk himself, had been to highlight issues relating to freedom of speech in the country of his birth. The court initially declined to hear the case, but in 2011 Pamuk was ordered to pay 6,000 liras in total compensation for having insulted the plaintiffs' honor.

Photo of Anacreon

6. Anacreon (-570 - -485)

With an HPI of 78.19, Anacreon is the 6th most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Anacreon (; Greek: Ἀνακρέων ὁ Τήϊος; c. 582 – c. 485 BC) was a Greek lyric poet, notable for his drinking songs and erotic poems. Later Greeks included him in the canonical list of Nine Lyric Poets. Anacreon wrote all of his poetry in the ancient Ionic dialect. Like all early lyric poetry, it was composed to be sung or recited to the accompaniment of music, usually the lyre. Anacreon's poetry touched on universal themes of love, infatuation, disappointment, revelry, parties, festivals and the observations of everyday people and life.

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7. Anna Komnene (1083 - 1153)

With an HPI of 76.67, Anna Komnene is the 7th most famous Turkish Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Anna Komnene (Greek: Ἄννα Κομνηνή, romanized: Ánna Komnēnḗ; 1 December 1083 – 1150s), commonly Latinized as Anna Comnena, was a Byzantine princess and author of the Alexiad, an account of the reign of her father, the Byzantine emperor, Alexios I Komnenos. The Alexiad is the most important primary source of Byzantine history of the late 11th and early 12th centuries. Although she is best known as the author of the Alexiad, Anna played an important part in the politics of the time and attempted to depose her brother, John II Komnenos, as emperor and seize the throne herself.At birth, Anna was betrothed to Constantine Doukas, and she grew up in his mother's household. She was well-educated in "Greek literature and history, philosophy, theology, mathematics, and medicine." Anna and Constantine were next in the line to throne until Anna's younger brother, John II Komnenos, became the heir in 1092. Constantine died around 1094, and Anna married Nikephoros Bryennios in 1097. The two had several children before Nikephoros' death around 1136.Following her father's death in 1118, Anna and her mother attempted to usurp John II Komnenos. Her husband refused to cooperate with them, and the usurpation failed. As a result, John exiled Anna to the Kecharitomene Monastery, where she spent the rest of her life. In confinement there, she wrote the Alexiad.She died sometime in the 1150s; the exact date is unknown.

Photo of Dionysius of Halicarnassus

8. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (-60 - -7)

With an HPI of 76.44, Dionysius of Halicarnassus is the 8th most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Greek: Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, Dionúsios Alexándrou Halikarnasseús, ''Dionysios (son of Alexandros) of Halikarnassos''; c.  60 BCE – after 7 BCE) was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Augustus Caesar. His literary style was atticistic – imitating Classical Attic Greek in its prime. Dionysius' opinion of the necessity of a promotion of paideia within education, from true knowledge of classical sources, endured for centuries in a form integral to the identity of the Greek elite.

Photo of Ammianus Marcellinus

9. Ammianus Marcellinus (330 - 395)

With an HPI of 76.16, Ammianus Marcellinus is the 9th most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 58 different languages.

Ammianus Marcellinus (born c. 330, died c. 391 – 400) was a Roman soldier and historian who wrote the penultimate major historical account surviving from antiquity (preceding Procopius). His work, known as the Res Gestae, chronicled in Latin the history of Rome from the accession of the Emperor Nerva in 96 to the death of Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378, although only the sections covering the period 353 to 378 survive.

Photo of Yunus Emre

10. Yunus Emre (1240 - 1321)

With an HPI of 74.65, Yunus Emre is the 10th most famous Turkish Writer.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Yunus Emre (Turkish pronunciation: [juˈnus emˈɾe]) also known as Derviş Yunus (Yunus the Dervish) (1238–1328) was a Turkish folk poet and Sufi mystic who greatly influenced Turkish culture. His name, Yunus, is the equivalent to the English name Jonah. He wrote in Old Anatolian Turkish, an early stage of Turkish. The UNESCO General Conference unanimously passed a resolution declaring 1991, the 750th anniversary of the poet's birth, International Yunus Emre Year.

Pantheon has 124 people classified as writers born between 800 BC and 1989. Of these 124, 13 (10.48%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Orhan Pamuk, Petros Markaris, and Adnan Oktar. The most famous deceased writers include Homer, Hesiod, and Constantine VII. As of October 2020, 17 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Petros Markaris, Muhammad Said Ramadan al-Bouti, and Marie-Joseph Chénier.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.