Rauf Orbay

Hüseyin Rauf Orbay
Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
4 November 1922  4 August 1923
Preceded by Fevzi Çakmak
Succeeded by Ali Fethi Okyar
Personal details
Born Hüseyin Rauf
(1881-07-27)27 July 1881
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 16 July 1964(1964-07-16) (aged 82)
Istanbul, Turkey
Political party Progressive Republican Party (1923–1924)
Alma mater Turkish Naval Academy
Religion Sunni Islam
Awards Medal of Independence
Military service
Nickname(s) "Hero of Hamidiye"
Allegiance  Ottoman Empire
Service/branch  Ottoman Navy
Years of service 1895–1918
Rank Colonel
Commands Ottoman cruiser Hamidiye
Battles/wars Balkan Wars
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, Turkish statesman and diplomat.

Hüseyin Rauf was born in Istanbul in 1881 to an Abkhazian family Ashkharua.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] Rauf Orbay also played a role in assisting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in a near court-martial during a feud with Djemal Pasha and Enver Pasha.[4]

Rauf Orbay as the captain of the cruiser Hamidiye.

On 31 October 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 Mustafa 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 4 September 1919 and was elected deputy chairman.

When the War of Independence ended he became the first Prime Minister of the new provisional Government of the Grand National Assembly on 11 August 1922. In 1924, he was one of the founders of the Terakkiperver Cumhuriyet Fırkasi (Progressive Republican Party) at the request of Atatürk as part of Atatürk's attempt to begin the tradition of multiparty democracy in the young Republic, in opposition to Atatürk's Republican People's Party. When this party was closed down in 1925 after Atatürk found that Islamist reactionaries had infiltrated its ranks, Rauf went to exile in Europe for 10 years. Later, he was cleared of all accusations and became a member of the Turkish parliament.

Bust of Rauf Orbay in the Istanbul Naval Museum.

During World War II, Rauf Orbay was the Turkish ambassador in London,[5] helping keep Turkey out of the war. He always firmly believed in the Republic of Turkey and always stressed that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the only person who could have organised and lead the transformation of the crumbling Ottoman Empire into modern Turkey.



  1. Berzeg, S.E. (1990). Türkiye Kurtuluş Savaşı'nda Çerkes göçmenleri. Nart Yayıncılık. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  2. 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.
  3. Huseyin Ra'uf Orbey, W.M. Hale,The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. VIII, 174.
  4. Mango, Andrew (1999). Ataturk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey. Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press. p. 171. ISBN 1-58567-011-1.
  5. Selim Deringil, Turkish Foreign Policy during the Second World War: An 'Active' Neutrality, (Cambridge University Press, 1989), 206 n48.
  6. Book summaries (Turkish)
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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