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Rauf Orbay

Prominent nationalists at the Sivas Congress. Left to right: Muzaffer Kılıç, Rauf (Orbay), Bekir Sami (Kunduh), Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk), Ruşen Eşref (Ünaydın), Cemil Cahit (Toydemir), Cevat Abbas (Gürer)

Hüseyin Rauf Orbay (27 July 1881–16 July 1964) was an Ottoman naval officer and statesman, born in Constantinople.

As an officer in the Ottoman Navy, he achieved fame for his actions as the captain of the cruiser Hamidiye during the First Balkan War.[1] He was Chief of Naval Staff during World War I and by October 1918 was Minister of Marine and led the delegation that signed the Armistice of Mudros.[2] Rauf Orbay also played a role in assisting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in a near court-martial during a feud with Cemal Paşa and Ismail Enver.[3]

On October 31, 1918, he signed Armistice of Mudros as the Minister of Navy, which ended the Ottoman Empire's participation in World War I. When the Turkish War of Independence began, he resigned from his position and went to Ankara to collaborate with Kemal Atatürk. He was elected as a member of the representative committee in the Congress of Erzurum on 23 July 1919. He joined the Congress of Sivas as a delegate for Sivas on September 4, 1919 and was elected deputy chairman.

When the War of Independence ended he became the first Prime Minister of the new Republic of Turkey on 11 August 1922. In 1924 he was one of the founders of the Terakkiperver Cumhuriyet Fırkasi (Progressive Republican Party), in opposition to Atatürk's Republican People's Party. When this party was closed in 1925, he went to exile in Europe for 10 years. Later, he was cleared of all accusations and became a member of the Turkish parliament.

During World War II he was the Turkish ambassador in London,[4] helping keep Turkey out of the war. He always firmly believed in the Republic of Turkey and always stressed that Kemal Atatürk was the only person who could have organised and lead the transformation of the crumbling Ottoman Empire into modern Turkey.


  • Cehennem Değirmeni ("Windmill of Hell"), Emre Publishing, September 1993[5]


  1. Huseyin Ra'uf Orbey, W.M. Hale,The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. VIII, ed. C.E.Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P.Heinrichs and G. Lecomte, (Brill, 1995), 174.
  2. Huseyin Ra'uf Orbey, W.M. Hale,The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. VIII, 174.
  3. Mango, Andrew (1999). Ataturk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey. Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press. p. 171. ISBN 1-58567-011-1. 
  4. Selim Deringil, Turkish Foreign Policy during the Second World War: An 'Active' Neutrality, (Cambridge University Press, 1989), 206 n48.
  5. Book summaries (Turkish)
  • Rauf Orbay, Siyasi Hatiralar, Örgün Yayinevi, İstanbul, 2003.
  • Family knowledge.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Fevzi Çakmak
Prime Minister of Turkey
4 November 1922–4 August 1923
Succeeded by
Ali Fethi Okyar

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