World Bulletin / News Desk
Ahmet Ali Effendi (Ahmet Ali Çelikten) was an Ottoman aviator who may have been the first black military pilot in aviation history. Ahmet born in 1883 in İzmir to his mother Zenciye Emine Hanım and father Ali Bey, of African Turkish descent. (His grandmother and grandfather are from Nigeria) He aimed to become a naval sailor and entered the Naval Technical School named Haddehâne Mektebi (literally “School of the Blooming Mill”) in 1904. In 1908, he graduated from school as a First Lieutenant. And then he went to aviation courses in the Naval Flight School that was formed on 25 June 1914 at Yeşilköy. He was then a member of the Ottoman Air Force.
During World War I, he married Hatice Hanım who was an immigrant from Preveza. He became first black military pilot in aviation history when he started serving in November 1916. On 18 December 1917, Captain Ahmed Ali was sent to Berlin to complete aviation courses. He died in 1969.