Politician, writer (B. 10 January 1858, Izmir – D. 11 August 1937, Istanbul). His full name is Mehmet Ubeydullah Hatiboğlu but he used the name Ubeydullah Efendi in most of his writings and known by this name. His father was Hoca Şakir Efendi, who was a scholar from the famous Hatiboğulları family of Izmir, and his mother was daughter of Musulluzadeler, also one of the famous families of Izmir. He was uncle of Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, one of the writers who were jurists in the single-party period of the Republic of Turkey. He came from an old and cultured family known for taking part in Bektashi tradition. According to what he wrote in his memoirs, there were two-three thousand volumes of books belonging to his father and fifty volumes of books belonging to his mother at their homes.
Ubeydullah Efendi finished the local school (primary school) and Rüştiye (T.N.Ottoman junior high school) (secondary school) in Izmir. In addition, he entered Mekteb-i Tıbbiye (Medical School) and went to Istanbul after he received ratification (competence, diploma) by receiving education from a madrasah. He dropped out of his education there and resided in Egypt, Hejaz and Syria for a while. After he went to Namık Kemal in Paris, he worked as a principal in a high school in Rhodes for a year. He worked as an English, Arabic and Persian translator for the newspaper Servet after 1887.
He joined Committee of Union and Progress in 1891. He went to Europe (April 1893) and from there to America in order to attend Chicago Exhibition that will be held in America, and stayed in America for more than four years. He wanted to return to Turkey because of financial difficulties and the anger he felt against the Young Turks. He made a visit to Plovdiv (1897) while he was returning to Turkey with the help of Paris Ambassador. He pursued a pro-Abdülhamid policy during Greco-Turkish War in 1879 and Armenian riots. After he came back to Istanbul (1899), he was relegated to Taif because of meddling in some political movements. He went to Egypt and then Izmir (1098) as he run away from Taif where he had stayed for five years. He was elected (1914) in Aydın, İçel and Izmir as a member of the Chamber of the Deputies.
Ubeydullah Efendi was both “a man with robes and turban on the spiritual side” and a Young Turk. His characteristic ridden with contradictions gives an idea about how far away are the Young Turks from homogeneity. Abdülhamid II relegated Ubeydullah Efendi to Fezzan (located south of Libya today, in the Sahara) and then Committee of Union and Progress elected him as a member of the parliament for three times during the Second Constitutional Monarchy. However, he was also put in prison. His expression, “We are considered to be experienced because of being imprisoned for one and a half year, being exile for five and a half year, and being fugitive for ten years in the period of Sultan Hamit” is the proof of his humorous personality. Also it was asserted that he reported to sultan and castigated Ittihadists during the period of Abdülhamid II. He was arrested two times during the Armistice and then relegated to Malta.
Ubeydullah Hatiboğlu was sent to Iran and Afghanistan in order to call for jihad during the First World War. He went to India from there. He was arrested and sent to Seydibeşir prison camp near Alexandria and Malta (May 1919) when he returned. His release from Malta and his return to Istanbul was only possible after two years (1921). Also, he was elected as a deputy at the republican era. He worked as Republican People’s Party Beyazıt (Ağrı) Deputy at the 4th and 5th periods of TBMM (T.N. Grand National Assembly of Turkey) (1931-35). After, he appointed as Istanbul/ Beyoğlu District Registrar of Marriages… He had a personality that could change the atmosphere of the Assembly by his carefree and witty speeches and attitudes.
He made a great contribution to publish and maintain the first Turkish literary magazine of Izmir, Nevruz (March 1894). Besides, he also published four issues of a magazine named Haver (1894) with Menemenlizade Tahir, Beşir Fuat and Küçük Azmi, and published Chicago Exhibition newspaper with the help of Ottoman embassy in America. He published a newspaper named Sada (1897) in Paris. He worked as editor-in-chief at the newspaper Gayret, which was published by Filibeli Rıza Paşa in Plovdiv. On the one hand he also continued to publish Sada. After, he published the newspaper Doğru Yol, and the newspapers Doğru Söz and El-Arab (1909), which was in Arabic language, in Cairo. He published eleven issues of the magazine Hak Yolu (1911).
period, in which Ubeydullah
Hatipoğlu worked for the Special Organization during the First World War, was particularly
interesting. Enver Pasha sent yet another committee to Afghanistan, which was
under the chairmanship of Ubeydullah Efendi, as well as committee of Rauf Bey
(Rauf Orbay), who was appointed by Enver Pasha as Kabul ambassador, within the
framework of instigating Afghan Muslims against the British maybe for surprising
the British or maybe in anticipation of allying with Emir of Afghanistan
separately from Germans. The two committees were unaware of each other.
Iran-Afghanistan journey of Ubeydullah Efendi, who was Aydın Deputy and sheik
of Merdivenköy Bektashi Lodge, was very colorful. Chief of staff of Ubeydullah
Efendi was Süleyman Şefik Pasha from the Special Organization, who was former
governor of Basra, and surgeon of the committee was Fahri Kutlar. Afghanistan
journey of Ubeydullah Efendi starting on 8 April 1915 was ended by his capture
by the British on 24 August
80 years of life of Mehmet Ubeydullah Efendi, who was working as register of marriages at Beyoğlu Registry Office in his last years, was truly an adventure. Deputy, traveler and writer Ubeydullah Efendi died in Istanbul on 11 August 1937. He was buried next to his beloved poet friend Abdülhak Hamit Tarhan at Zincirlikuyu Cemetery.
ve Dünya (1895),
REFERENCE: Hilmi Ziya Ülken / Çağdaş Düşünce Tarihi (1979), İbrahim Alâeddin Gövsa / Türk Meşhurları (1946), Yurt Ansiklopedisi (6. cilt, 1981), Ahmet Turan Alkan / Sıradışı Bir Jön Türk: Ubeydullah Efendi'nin Amerika Hatıraları (1989), Ömer Faruk Huyugüzel / İzmirli Fikir ve Sanat Adamları: 1850-1950 (2000), TDOE - TDE Ansiklopedisi (c. 4, 2004), Ömer Hakan Özalp / Ulemadan Bir Jöntürk: Mehmet Ubeydullah Efendi (2005), İhsan Işık / TEKAA (2006, 2009, 12. Cilt: 2017) - Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, c. 2, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).