Writer and scholar (b. 12 December 1916, Reyhanlı / Hatay – d. 13 June 1987, İstanbul). He attended Reyhanlı High School (1928). He studied at Antakya High School, afterwards known as the French High School. He received private lessons both from Turkish and French teachers at this school, which he called “My University”. He attended İstanbul Pertevniyal High School where Nurulllah Ataç and Reşat Ekrem Koçu were among his teachers. He worked as a teacher for a short time in one of the villages of İskenderun in 1937. He was appointed to the translation office in İskenderun after an examination and worked in this job for 5 months. The French administration of the time (1938) appointed him District Principal for Aktepe and this job lasted for only 20 days. He returned to his hometown Reyhanlı and started to work as a teacher in a village (1938). He studied in the Faculty of Literature, the Department of Philosophy but did not graduate. A couple of years later, he graduated from the Department of French Philology at the same faculty (1944). He gave French lessons at Elazığ High School (1942-1945), at İstanbul Işık High School (1952-53) and at İstanbul University, Faculty of Literature (1946-1974). When he retired in 1974, he devoted the whole of his time to his works. He had two children named Mahmut Ali and Ümit (Meriç Yazan) with Fevziye Menteşoğlu whom he married in 1942. He is buried in Karacaahmet Cemeterey.
His first published writing Geç Kalmış Bir Muhasebe (Late Accounting) appeared in the journal Yenigün (23.9.1933). His first serious work Honoré de Balzac (Honoré de Balzac) was published in the magazine İnsane (1941). Cemil Meriç, who also wrote poems in prosodic meter, is famous for his works in which he examines issues regarding Westernization, a matter he had absorbed thoroughly. In his works, where Western philosophers and artists are put on show, he competently criticizes the “weakening” of the Turkish elite. He wanted people to first know their own culture. The characteristic of his being an intellectual and sociologist is dominant. In particular, some of the words he used in his works can almost be considered as belonging to him.
His articles and translations written in his individual plain style were published in the magazines Amaç, 19. Asır, Gün, Yeni İnsan, Hisar (A periodical with the title Fildişi Kuleden until 1980), Hareket, Yirminci Asır, Yurt ve Dünya, Yücel, Dönem, Çağrı, Türk Edebiyatı, Doğuş Edebiyat, Kubbealtı Akademi, Pınar, Köprü, Gerçek, Millî Eğitim ve Kültür and the journals Yeni Devir (1980) and Orta Doğu.
ESSAY-RESEARCH: Balzac (Balzac, 1942), Hind Edebiyatı (Indian Literature, 1964), Saint Simon / İlk Sosyolog - İlk Sosyalist (Saint Simon the first Sociologist – the First Socialist, 1967), Dillerin Yapısı ve Gelişmesi (The Structure and Development of Languages, 1967), Sosyalizm ve Sosyoloji Tarihinde Pierre Joseph Proudhon: 1809-1865 (Pierre Joseph Proudhon in the History of Socialism and Sociology: 1809-1865, 1969), İdeoloji (Ideology, 1970), Bu Ülke (This Country, 1974), Umrandan Uygarlığa (From Prosperity to Civilization, 1974), Hind ve Batı (India and the West, 1976), Bir Dünyanın Eşiğinde (At the Threshold of a World, 1976, supplemented version of “Indian Literature”), Mağaradakiler (Those in the Cave, 1978), Kırk Ambar (Forty Storehouses,1980), Bir Facianın Hikâyesi (The Story of a Disaster, 1981), Işık Doğudan Gelir (The Light Comes from the East, 1984), Kültürden İrfana (From Culture to Enlightenment, 1985), Jurnal (The Journal, 1992), Sosyoloji Notları ve Konferanslar (Sociology Notes and Conferences, 1993).
He also translated from French.
In 1992, İletişim Yayınları obtained the copyright to all his works and continues to republish his books.
REFERENCE: M. A. Meriç / Entelektüel Bir Biyografi (Bu Ülke, 1974), Ahmet Kabaklı / Tercüman (19.5.1974), Muhsin Demirel / Yeni Asya (4.2.1978), İhsan Işık / Cemil Meriç ile Bir Konuşma (Yeni Devir, 9.1.1981), Ahmet Kabaklı - Necmettin Türinay - Emin Işık - Kemal Sülker - Alev Alatlı (Türk Edebiyatı, Ağustos 1987), Cemil Meriç Eki (Hürriyet Gösteri, Eylül 1989), 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), Mehmet Tekin / Cemil Meriç: Şair Filozof Yazar (1991), Ümit Meriç (Yazan) / Babam Cemil Meriç (1992, 1994), Ahmet Turan Alkan / Doğu ve Batı Karşısında Cemil Meriç (yüksek lisans tezi, 1994), Durdu Şahin / Peyami Safa-Cemil Meriç ve Attila İlhan'ın Eserlerinde Batı (1994), Ergün Meriç - Ayşe Çavdar / Cemil Meriç ve Bu Ülkenin Çocukları (1998), Süleyman Dereköy / Cemil Meriç'i Anmak (Kitap Haber, sayı: 11, Temmuz-Ağustos 1999), Behçet Necatigil / Edebiyatımızda İsimler Sözlüğü (18. bas. 1999), Şükran Kurdakul / Şairler ve Yazarlar Sözlüğü (gen. 6. bas. 1999), Mustafa Armağan / Cemil Meriç’i Anlamak İçin Bir Ön Deneme (Doğu-Batı, Mayıs-Haziran-Temmuz 2000) – TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi (c. 29, 2004), TBE Ansiklopedisi (2001), TDE Ansiklopedisi (c. 6, s. 268-270), Ahmet Yüter / Üstat Cemil Meriç'in Doğum Yıldönümü Münasebetiyle (Sur, Şubat 2003), Cafer Vayni / Cemil Meriç (2003), Turgut Bağrıaçık / Yalnız ve Dürüst Bir Fikir İşçisi (Bilim ve Aklın Aydınlığında Eğitim Dergisi, sayı: 52-53, Haziran-Temmuz 2004), Cemil Meriç / Bu Ülke (2004, 25. bas.), Mehmet Nuri Yardım / Yazar Olacak Çocuklar (2004), Dücane Cündüoğlu / Cemil Meriç’in Bilinmeyen Bir Tercüme-i Hâl Varakası (Yeni Şafak, 11.7.2006), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Fikir ve Kültür Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 3, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Veysel Dinçer / 19 Tarihsel Tespitiyle Münzevi Fikir İşçisi Cemil Meriç (listelist.com, 12.06.2015).