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AĞAOĞLU, Ahmet

Writer (b. 1869, Shusa / Azerbaijan - d. 1939, Ankara). He attended a Russian gymnasium school in Karabağ and graduated from Tiflis High School (1887) and the Paris Faculty of Law (1894). For some time, he studied history and philology at the Sorbonne University (Paris). He defended the rights of Azerbaijani Turks in the newspapers Hayat, İrşad, and Terakki, which he published when he returned to his country, and for this cause he founded an organization called the Defence. Escaping the pressure of the Czarist government, he came to İstanbul after the Second Constitutional Monarchy.

He worked at the Ministry of Education when he came to Turkey and then as an elementary education inspector and as a lecturer at a university. He became the Afyon parliamentary deputy for the Union and Progress Party and a member of the central office. He was a political adviser to the army that was sent in order to help the foundation of an independent Azerbaijani state after the First World War (1918). The British expelled him to the Island of Malta at the time of the armistice. After returning from exile, he worked as the Director of the Press Department, as a parliamentary deputy and a teacher at the Faculty of Law. Under the directive of Mustafa Kemal, he was among the founders of the Liberal Party (1933). When the party was closed, he gave up politics and returned to the university. However, his office at the university was terminated later (1933).

He concentrated on writing in his later years. He continued to work on Turkism, which he had started in Azerbaijan. He was one of the founders of Türk Ocağı journal, which is the publishing organ of the Turkish Guild. His articles were published in Akın and Kültür Haftası (1936), Cumhuriyet, İnsan and other newspapers and journals. He was a true advocate of westernization. With the words of his close friend Resulzâde “Ahmet Bey is the most sincere ideologist of westernization movements in the Near East.” (quoted by Cemil Meriç)

WORKS:

Şii Mezhebi ve Menbaları (The Shiite Sect and its Origin, 1892), Üç Medeniyet (Three Civilizations, 1928), İngiltere ve Hindistan (The United Kingdom and India, 1929), Serbest İnsanlar Ülkesinde (In the Land of Free People, 1931), Devlet ve Fert (The State and the Individual, 1933), Ben Neyim (What am I?, 1939), Türk Teşkilat-ı Esasiyesi (The Turkish Constitution, 1941), Türk Hukuk Tarihi (History of Turkish Law, 1941), İhtilal mi İnkılap mı? (Is it a Revolution or a Reformation, 1942), Serbest Fırka Hatıraları (Memories of the Liberal Party, 1950), İslâmlıkta Kadın (Women in Islam, 1959)