HASAN ALİ YÜCEL
He was born on December 16, 1897 in Istanbul. He graduated from Istanbul University, Faculty of Literature, Department of Philosophy in 1921. In 1922, he was appointed to Izmir Teacher Training School as a literature teacher. Later, he was appointed as a philosophy teacher at Kuleli High School, Istanbul Boys' High School and Galatasaray High School. He taught philosophy, sociology and literature in these schools.
He was assigned to the education inspectorate in 1927. He was then sent to France for a year to study the education system. Upon his return, he was appointed as the director of Gazi Education Institute. Between 1933-1935, he served as the General Manager of Secondary Education.
In 1935, he was elected as İzmir Deputy. He was appointed to the Ministry of Education in the government of Celal Bayar. He continued this duty in the governments of Refik Saydam and Şükrü Saraçoğlu, and served as the Minister of National Education for 10 years without interruption. Thus, it became an example of the management discipline that ensures continuity and stability in national education.
In 1939, he gathered the 1st Education Council and prepared a comprehensive education program. He opened Ankara Science and Medicine Faculties, Izmir High School of Commerce and Economics, Balıkesir and Edirne Teacher Training Schools. He enabled the High School of Engineering to transform into Istanbul Technical University. He disciplined higher education by enacting the Universities Law. He struggled and succeeded in making theater and opera a state service. He planted the seeds of scientific orientation in rural areas by establishing the High Village Institute.
In order to translate world classics into Turkish, he established a famous translation office under the Ministry of Education. He published the Islamic Encyclopedia and the Turkish Encyclopedia.
When he could not be elected as a deputy in 1950, he settled in Istanbul. He published articles on culture, art and philosophy in Aksam and Cumhuriyet newspapers. Between 1955-1960 he directed the publication of Turkey Business Bank.
In 1958, he was appointed as a member to General Assembly membership of UNESCO National Commission of Turkey. He was a member of the Founding Assembly in 1961. UNESCO declared 1997, the centennial of his birth, as the Year of Hasan Ali Yücel.
He was known for his distinguished personality, always standing out with his education and statesmanship. He started literature with poetry. During the Turkish War of Independence, he expressed his love for the country and the nation with his passionate poems. Also, most of the love poems were composed by numerous composers. He composed the famous song Sûznâk, which started with the line "It is not night when you come to our council" , which is still popular today.
His main works are as follows.
- Goethe: A Novel of Genius (Goethe: Bir Dehanın Romanı)(1932)
- Overview of Turkish Literature (Türk Edebiyatına Toplu Bakış)(1932)
- Monday Talks (Pazartesi Konuşmaları) (1937)
- Inside Out (İçten Dışa) (1938)
- Lawsuits and Consequences (Davalar ve Neticeleri) (1950)
- Towards Freedom (Hürriyete Doğru) (1955)
- Good Citizen, Good Person (İyi Vatandaş, İyi İnsan) (1956)
- From Our History of Literature (Edebiyat Tarihimizden) (1957)
- Letters of England (İngiltere Mektupları) (1958)
- The Education in Turkey (Türkiye’de Maarif) (1959)
- Freedom Agin Freedom (Hürriyet Gene Hürriyet) (1960)