Historian (B. 1909, Konya – D. 5 February 2006, Istanbul). He was from the clan of Bedirhani containing pashas, governors, ministers, ambassadors and many famous people such as Fatin Rüştü Zorlu, Eşref Kuşçubaşı and Vasıf Çınar. Tahir (Kutay) was the father of Cemal Kutay and was born from the son of Bedirhan Bey named Hüseyin Kenan. After he worked in many places, Tahir (Kutay) worked in the Presidency of the Criminal Courts of Appeal in Konya, which was an institution between today’s Court of Appeals and Military Court. He worked also as the president of the Court of Appeals (Mahkeme-i Temyiz) centered in Sivas just in the beginning of the War of Independence.
Cemal Kutay’s mother Süreyya Hanım was the daughter of Miralay Mustafa Nuri Bey from Didymoteicho that is now on the West Thrace. Cemal Kutay was the fifth of the seven children of the family. Faika, who was one of his four sisters, married Mehmet Şevki Yazman, who was a member of parliament from Elazığ and the president of the War of Independence Committee in the period of the DP, and Tuncer Yazman, who was one of the first petrol engineers of Turkey, was born from this marriage. His other sister Fahrünisa was married to Captain Suphi Akgün. The only child of the couple, who was the father-in-law and mother-in-law of Haşim İşcan, was Prof. Dr. Sermet Akgün, one of the founders of the Ege University and one of the first heart surgeons of Turkey. The third sister Fitnat’s husband was Hasan Sıddık Haydari, who was one of the guardsmen of Atatürk and a member of parliament from Van in the first period. His fourth sister Hayrünnisa was married to the tradesman Mustafa Öztermiyeci from Konya. The brothers of Cemal Kutay are Kenan and Abdi Kutay.
When he was just ten years old, Cemal Kutay received ratification (proficiency) as a student of Velet Çelebi, who was the sheik of the Dervish Convent Mevlevi. He lost his father when he was thirteen years old. When he turned fifteen years old, he worked as an editor in the newspaper Babalık, which was published in Konya, in his holidays in order to support his house. He finished the high school in 1927 but he couldn’t get the chance to study higher education. In the year of 1928, he went to Ankara to search for a job with an amount of money that would save him for only three or four days in his pocket. He started to work as a reporter in the newspaper Hakimiyet-i Milliye (it took the name Ulus in 1934) that was the media organ of the government. In this period, he met the writer of the newspaper Falih Rıfkı (Atay), Ahmed Emin (Yalman), Hüseyin Cahit (Yalçın), the Mufti of Ankara Şerafettin Yaltkaya, Esat Sezai Sümbüllük, Ömer Rıza Doğrul who was the son-in-law of Mehmet Âkif, Ahmet Hamdi Akseki and he received support from them. Other names he met in these years were Abidin Daver, Refik Halit and Burhan Felek. He worked in Hakimiyet-i Milliye until 1939. After the termination of his employment, he published a newspaper with colored headings named Anadolu in Konya. This was the first eight paged, colored newspaper in Anatolia. After that, he went to Istanbul, he founded the printing house of Güneş together with Refi Bayar, the oldest son of Celal Bayar, and he published a newspaper named Halk. Two years after, he closed this unsuccessful newspaper and he published the magazines Millet and Hakka Doğru (1944-51).
His family had Cemal Kutay marry Melahat (Günan), the daughter of the couple Kamil-Nezahat who were Yugoslav immigrants settled in Niğde. He had five children from this marriage. Among his children, Zeynep Sırma married Erol Kuyaş, a professional mining engineer, Ayşe Mine married Adnan Koca, Ömer Faruk married Prof. Dr. Sevil Kutay, Gazale Nilgün married Mehmet Ciğeroğlu, a professional civil engineer and İnci Kübra married Moris Maçoro, a famous photography artist.
Cemal Kutay, who published a biography book named Selçuklu’dan Osmanlı’ya in the year of 1935, wasn’t interested in politics even though Naşit Hakkı Uluğ obliged everyone working in Ulus to join CHP during the time he was the managing director. In 1952, he wrote open letters to eighty thousand addresses in order to find one thousand and eight hundred subscribers despite the opposition of his friends Ebüzziyazade Velid, Hüseyin Cahit and Ahmet Emin, and he started his first big project. He published the book named Türkiye İstiklal ve Hürriyet Mücadeleleri Tarihi (1952-57), which was twelve thousand pages and twenty volumes when it was completed and which was published in fascicules according to the chronological values. In the following years, his media life starting with Babalık in Konya and continuing with Hakimiyet-i Milliye, continued in the newspapers Tan, Tanin and Son Telgraf. He broke a record in this field with the series published in Son Posta during eight hundred and seven days with the title “How the Union and Progress appeared, how it was founded and how it was broken”. Hür Anadolu and Yedigün owned by Sedat Simavi were other press establishments in which he wrote. While Sedat Simavi was giving 250 piasters to the writings of Hüseyin Cahit Yalçın, to the poems of Faruk Nafiz Çamlıbel and to the stories of Refik Halit Karay, he was giving 375 piasters to Cemal Kutay. Cemal Kutay, who ended his active journalism with the works he did lastly in Tercüman, put his signature to an important record by writing one hundred and eighty three books until the end of the year 2001. His book named Türkiye İstiklâl ve Hürriyet Mücadeleleri, which deals with the periods of Autocracy – Constitutionalism – Republic and composed of 12208 pages and twenty volumes, is the most extensive work prepared in this subject.
Kutay, who was frequently rumored that he was a mason, indicated that there were big mason masters among his close friends, insomuch that Mim Kemal Öke, İbrahim Necmi Dilmen and Besim Ömer Paşa made him an offer in this subject but that he didn’t accept it.
HISTORY: Selçuklu’dan Osmanlı’ya (1935), Türkiye İstiklal ve Hürriyet Mücadeleleri Tarihi (1952-1957), Üç Devirde, İrfan ve Vicdanının Hasreti Millet ve Devletini Arayan Adam: Mehmet Şeref Aykut [1874-1939], Osmanlı’dan Cumhuriyet’e Son Yüzyılımızda Bir İnsanımız: Hamidiye Kahramanı Millî Mücadele Zafer Devri Başbakanı Hüseyin Rauf Orbay [1881-1964] Hayat Hatıraları [5 volumes with 618+683+828+799+691 pages under different covers, with hundreds of photographs], Etniki Eterya’dan Günümüze Ege’nin Türk Kalma Savaşı (1st volume, 1980; 2nd volume: The Independency of Ege, 1981), Türk-Alman Tarihi Kader Bağı Turkisch Deutsche Geschıchte Das Geminsame Srhirksal (big size with gravures and documents, 1986), Kurtuluşun Ve Cumhuriyet’in Manevi Mimarları (1973); Yüz Kırk Üç Yılın Perde Arkası Anayasa Kavgası ve Nasıl Bir Anayasa (1982), Üç Devirden Hakikatler (3 volumes), Üç Devirde Bir Adam - Ali Fethi Okyar’ın Hayat ve Hatıraları 1880-1943 (1980), Türk Millî Mücadelesi’nde Amerika (1979), Sam Amca’ya Mektup Var (1955), Çerkez Etem Dosyası (1995), Atatürk Devri Ekonomisi: Celal Bayar (4 volumes), Bir Türk’ün Biyografisi: Celal Bayar (1949), Bilinmeyen Tarihimiz (4 volumes, 1974-1975), Örtülü Tarihimiz (1975), Sisli Tarihimiz (12 volumes, 1976-1977), Tarih Konuşuyor I (1-8 volume, with Mustafa Nurettin Peker, 1964-1968); Tarih Konuşuyor II (12 volumes, 1962-1968); 1- Anavatanda Son Beş Osmanlı Türkü: 1962, 2- II. Dünya Harbi’nde Teşkilatı Mahsusa Ve Hayber’de Bir Türk Genci: 1962, 3- Viyana Kapılarından Dönüş Ve Osman Ağa’nın Çilesi: 1962, 4- 1913’te Garbı Trakya’da İlk Türk Cumhuriyeti: 1962, 5- II. Dünya Harbi’nde Belgrad’ı Kurtaran Türk: 1963, 6- Trablusgarp’ta Bir Avuç Kahraman: 1963, 7- Necid Çöllerinde Mehmet Akif: 1963, 8- Millî Mücadele’de Öncekiler Ve Sonrakiler: 1963, 9- Siyasi Mahkumlar Adası Malta: 1963, 10- Prens Sabahattin Bey, Sultan II. Abdülhamit, İttihat Ve Terakki: 1964, 11-Üç Paşalar Kavgası: 1964, 12- Lawrens’a Karşı Kuşçubaşı: 1965), Tarih Sohbetleri (9 Books, 1966-1968), Cemal Kutay Kitaplığı ve Tarihsevenler Klubü (Two close friends of him published one part of his persistently sought books under this title in 1977: 1- 31 Mart İhtilalinde Sultan Hamit, 2- Müslüman Kardeşler Hareketi, 3- Şehit Tacidarlar, 4-5- İstiklal Savaşı’nın Maneviyat Ordusu - 2 Volumes 6- Avrupa’da Sultan Aziz, 7- Üç Paşalar Kavgası, 8- Necid Çöllerinde Mehmet Akif, 9- Siyasal Sürgünler Adası Malta, 10- Belgrad’ı Kurtaran Türk, 11- Trablusgarp’ta Bir Avuç Kahraman, 12- Lawrens’a Karşı Kuşçubaşı), Sohbetler (16 Books, 1968-1970), Dünümüz Bugünümüz Yarınımız Üzerinde Sohbetler, Geçmişten Günümüze Türk Kitaplığı (6 Books; Rıfat Paşa’nın Ahlak Dünyası, Beklenen Adam, Avrupa’da Sultan Aziz, Sahte Derviş, Nelere Gülerlerdi, Tarihte Türkler Araplar Hilafet Meselesi, 1971-1972), Hükümetleri İçinde Ahlak İçin Mücadele Cumhuriyet Devresinde Suiistimaller Divan-ı Aliler [Yüce Divan] Meclis Tahkikatı (1984), Türkiye İstiklal Ve Hürriyet Mücadeleleri Tarihi (20 volumes, 1957-1962), Türk Nedir, Ne Değildir? Osmanlı Nedir, Ne Değildir? (with pictures and gravures, 1986), Üç Devirde, İrfan Ve Vicdanının Hasreti Millet ve Devletini Arayan Adam: Mehmet Şeref Aykut [1874-1939] (with pictures and documents), Bediüzzaman Said Nursi [1872-1960], Bir Geri Dönüşün Mirası (1994), İnsanı İnsan Yapmış Bir İnsan [570-632] ve Günümüze Mirası (about Hz. Muhammad).
POCKETBOOKS: Atatürk Enver Paşa Hadiseleri, Talat Paşa’yı Nasıl Vurdular, Sivas Kongresi’nde Atatürk’ün İstanbul Hükümetince Tevkifi Girişimi, Karabekir Ermenistan’ı Nasıl Yok Etti, Millî Mücadele’de Yeşil Ordu Efsanesi, Türkiye’de İlk Komünistler, Lozan’da İsmet Paşa’yı Kim Öldürecekti, Mütareke’de Pontus Suikasti, Pembe Mendil, Halit Paşa Ali Çetinkaya Vuruşması, 150’likler Faciası, Lenin’e Karşı Enver Paşa, Şehitliklerimiz, Tarih ve Zaman İbrettir, Türk Emek Nuru, Beş Kıtada Bir Türk Paşası Daniş Kara Belen, Türk Kanadı, Selçuklu’dan Osmanlıya.
THE SERIES ON THE WAY OF ATATÜRK (His works on the topic of Atatürk): 1907 II. Meşrutiyet Öncesi Mustafa Kemal’in Önerdiği Misak-ı Milli, Atatürk’ün Son Günleri (1981), Ardında Kalanlar (1988), Atatürk Olmasaydı (1993), Atatürk Bugün Olsaydı (1996), Atatürk’ün Beraberinde Götürdüğü Hasret: Türkçe İbadet.
REFERENCE: İhsan Işık / Yazarlar Sözlüğü (1990, 1998) - Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi (2001, 2004) – Encyclopedia of Turkish Authors (2005) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, gen. 2. bas. 2007) – Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 2, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Vitrindekiler (Cumhuriyet Kitap, 3.9.1998), Vitrindekiler (Cumhuriyet Kitap, 20.8.1998), Cemal. A. Kalyoncu / Ku(ü)rt Tarihçi (Aksiyon, 8.9.2001), Cemal Kutay 97 Yaşında Öldü (Hürriyet, 6.2.2006), Babam Atatürk’ün Son Kalesiydi (Hürriyet, 7.2.2006), TYB Türkiye Kültür ve Sanat Yıllığı (2007).