Famous Turkish people who passed away in 2013

The key Turkish celebrities who passed away in 2013, from journalist Mehmet Ali Birand to singer Muslum Gurses...

Famous Turkish people who passed away in 2013

World Bulletin / News Desk

Year of 2013 witnessed notable deaths of Turkey's celebrities who made great effort in art, cinema, media and science, leaving deep sorrow for those behind. 

Grief loss started with the death of Mehmet Ali Birand, the doyen of Turkish journalism, in early 2013 and continued with deaths of another renowned journalist Savas Ay and authors Nevzat Koseoglu and Turgut Ozakman, singers Muslum Gurses and Adnan Senses. 

Here are some of those who died in 2013:


Burhan Dogancay, a famous photographer and painter, received his artistic training from his father Adil Dogancay, and Arif Kaptan, both well-known Turkish painters. He was primarily known for a body of work that grew out of his fascination with urban walls. In his youth, Dogancay also played for the Turkish Genclerbirligi soccer team and decided in 1964 to devote himself entirely to art and make New York his permanent home. He passed away in Istanbul on January 16.

Mehmet Ali Birand was a doyen of Turkish journalism who worked as a columnist, an anchorman and a television producer as well. Birand began his journalistic career in 1964 by writing in a Turkish daily and worked as a correspondent in Brussels where he spent nearly twenty years. In 1985, he started to present a monthly program called "32. Gün" (32nd Day) on state-run TRT channel, by which he became renowned then. Birand returned to Turkey in 1991 and continued his profession in journalism in various media organs since then. He died at American Hospital in Istanbul on January 17 where he was having treatment of cancer. He was aged 72. 

Ahmet Mete Isikara was a Turkish geophysicist and earthquake scientist, well known for his efforts to create public awareness of the need for protection and safety during earthquakes. He began his academic career as a geophysics assistant at the Faculty of Science of Istanbul University in 1965. Known as "Deprem Dede" in public opinion, Isikara passed away in Istanbul on January 21 due to respiratory insufficiency. 

Ismet Kur, a teacher of Turkish literature and authoress, was born in 1916 and graduated from Literature Department of Gazi Education Institute. She worked as a teacher for 21 years and an attache in US for four years. She has written books of poem, novel and memory as well as radio and theatre plays. She lost her life at 96 on January 23 due to cerebral infarction.

Ferdi Ozbegen was a pianist and an artist whose music carrier started with a contest called "Altin Mikrofon" (Golden Microphone) which was held by Turkish Hurriyet daily in 1965. Ozbegen passed away at 72 on January 27 during his treatment of respiratory insufficiency. 


Tekin Akmansoy, a notable theatre and cinema player and one of public storytellers, started his acting career when he was 17. He reached his fame with his role in a tv series called "Kaynanalar" (Mothers-in-law) as a vigilant businessman from central Kayseri province. In 1998, he gained title of state artist. Akmansoy, aged 89, died on February 12 due to lung failure. 

Enver Oren was an academician and a leading businessman who was the head of executive board of Ihlas Holding which operated in many sectors such as construction, media, automotive, beverage, food, household appliances and tourism. He founded Ihlas Holding and TGRT tv channel in 1993. Oren, 72, died on February 22 in Istanbul.


Muslum Gurses, a popular Turkish singer adored by many people for his melancholic, Arabic-inspired songs, was nicknamed as "Muslum Baba" who was best known for his mournful tunes blending Turkish folk instruments with Arabic melodies. Gurses, who recorded more than a dozen albums, died of heart failure at 59 on March 3.


Gunseli Basar, a Turkish beauty contestant, attended a beauty contest which was held by a Turkish daily in 1951 and was elected Miss Turkey. In 1952, Basar represented Turkey at European Beauty Contest which was held in the capital of the Italian region Campania and became the first Turk who gained title of Miss Europe 1952. She passed away at 82 on April 20. 


Nazmiye Demirel was spouse of Suleyman Demirel, Turkey's ninth president. She got married with Suleyman Demirel in 1948 and became "First Lady" in 1993 when her spouse was elected as a president. Having struggled with alzheimer’s disease for a while, the First Lady passed away on May 27, aged 86. 


Peride Celal, one of the key novelists of Turkish literature and a story writer, entered literature world with her story named "Ak Kız'ın Hikayesi" (Story of White Girl) in 1935 and also worked at press attache's office in Bern of Switzerland. She has authored upwards of 20 novels and hundreds of stories in her long and celebrated literary career. Celal, 97, died on June 17. 


Nurettin Ok took office as deputy of Cankiri in Turkish Parliament for 5 terms and was also Cankiri mayor and lawyer before being a member of parliament. He was also the former minister of public works and settlement. Former minister passed away on July 17 at the age of 86. 


Selcuk Yula was the legendary football player of Fenerbahce and a player for national team. Yula wore A National Team uniform for twenty-one times and was a goal scorer with 16 goals between 1981-1982 and 19 goals between 1982-1983. He died at his 59 on August 6. 


Tuncel Kurtiz, a cinema and theatre player, director, producer and scenarist, started acting for the first time at Dormen Theatre in 1959. He played in numerous cinema films and tv series acting in different roles. He also vocalized a documentary of BBC called "Life" in 2010. Kurtiz received many national and international awards and in October of 2011 he was conferred to "Lifetime Honorary Award" at Golden Orange Film Festival. Kurtiz passed away on September 27, aged 77. 

Turgut Ozakman, a lawyer, bureaucrat and popular author, was significantly known for his work on Kurtulus (Salvation), Gurbet Kuslari (Birds of Exile), Cumhuriyet (Republic) and Su Cilgin Turkler (These Crazy Turks) which was launched into market in 2005. Ozakman died at a private hospital where he was receiving treatment for coronary artery disease and heart failure on September 28 at 83. 


Tomris Oguzalp, a theatre, cinema and tv series actress, played in tens of cinema films such as "Beyaz Melek" (White Angel), "Teyzem" (My Aunt) and "Akrebin Yolculugu" (Voyage of Scorpion). She was also a vocal artist and vocalized Molly Weasley, one of the leading characters in Harry Potter series. She last performed the play called "King Kong'un Kizlari" (King Kong's Daughters) at State Theatres in 2011. Oguzalp lost her life on October 28, aged 81.


Savas Ay, an experienced Turkish journalist, started journalism in Dunya (World) newspaper in 1973 as a journalist. Ay made  "A Team" talk show program, which was a discussion program on social and political agenda of Turkey. The renowned journalist, 59, passed away in Istanbul Training and Research Hospital, where he was receiving treatment for throat cancer, on November 9. 

Nejat Uygur, a prominent actor, started his career in drama in 1949 by launching Nejat Uygur Theatre. He was granted “State Artist” title in 1988 by the Ministry of Culture. Uygur had many awards in drama, and he played in many famous Turkish films. Uygur had a paralysis in 2007 stemming from cerebral embolism and died in Istanbul at the age of 86 on November 18.


Zafer Onen was a theatre, cinema and tv series player and a dubbing artist. He performed his first theatre play in 1942 and played in various cinema films and tv series. He was particularly known for his dubbing of cartoon characters. Onen lost his life due to heart failure on December 13. 

Adnan Senses, another prominent singer, began his music career in 1956 after dealing with carpentry for a while. Senses worked for the Ankara Radio, the radio department of the Turkish state broadcaster TRT, for 16 years. He published several music albums along with acting in 47 Turkish movies in his career. He also claimed numerous music awards, including the "Altin Plak," the Golden Record Award. Senses, 72, died at Memorial Sisli Hospital in Istanbul on December 25, where he was receiving treatment at cardiology, oncology and hematology departments.

Last Mod: 31 Aralık 2013, 15:12
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