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Refik Saydam

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Refik Saydam

Refik Saydam
4th Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
25 January 1939 – 8 July 1942
President İsmet İnönü
Preceded by Celâl Bayar
Succeeded by Ahmet Fikri Tüzer
Minister of Interior
In office
11 November 1938 – 25 January 1939
Prime Minister Celâl Bayar
Preceded by Cemil Uybadın
Succeeded by Faik Öztrak
Minister of Health
In office
4 March 1925 – 25 October 1937
Prime Minister İsmet İnönü
Preceded by Mazhar Germen
Succeeded by Ahmet Hulusi Alataş
In office
30 October 1923 – 21 November 1924
Prime Minister İsmet İnönü
Preceded by Rıza Nur
Succeeded by Mazhar Germen
In office
10 March 1921 – 20 December 1921
Prime Minister Fevzi Çakmak
Preceded by Adnan Adıvar
Succeeded by Rıza Nur
Minister of National Education
In office
13 August 1933 – 26 October 1933
Prime Minister İsmet İnönü
Preceded by Reşit Galip
Succeeded by Yusuf Hikmet Bayur
In office
17 September 1930 – 26 September 1930
Prime Minister İsmet İnönü
Preceded by Cemal Hüsnü Taray
Succeeded by Esat Sagay
Personal details
Born (1881-09-08)8 September 1881
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 8 July 1942(1942-07-08) (aged 60)
Istanbul, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Political party Republican People's Party (CHP)
Alma mater Gülhane Military Medical Academy
Profession Physician
Religion Sunni Islam

Refik Ibrahim Saydam (8 September 1881 – 8 July 1942) was the 4th Prime Minister of Turkey, serving from 25 January 1939 to 8 July 1942.[1]


He was born in Istanbul in 1881 and is the son of Hacı Ahmet Efendi of Çankırı. After completing primary and secondary education in Fatih Military Junior High School, he entered to Military School of Medicine in 1899. He went on training course at Gülhane as of graduating with the rank of doctor captain on 4 November 1905. He was assigned as doctor at Maltepe Military Hospital and Feshane Factory between the years 1907-1910 and improved his expertise on military camps and hospitals by being sent to Germany in 1910.

He was a medic in the Ottoman Army during the dissolution of the empire. He created a medicine to cure typhus, which was used largely by the Central Powers.

He was one of the key people of the Independence War. He landed at Samsun with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1919 to start the resistance in Anatolia. He was known as a reformist while he was the Prime Minister. Just four years after his death, the single party period came to an end in Turkey.

Political life

He became the vice-president of the Department of Health of the Ministry of War on 1 December 1913 and was promoted to the rank of major on 1 June 1915. Meanwhile, he established the Institute of Bacteriology and his vaccines against epidemics and especially typhus had been effective. After the truce, he assigned to the order of 9th Army Inspectorship, and passed to Anatolia along with Mustafa Kemal as the health inspector of the army, soon named as the 3rd Army Inspectorship, on 15 May 1919. He attended to Erzurum and Sivas Congresses, came to Ankara with the delegation committee and joined to the opening ceremony of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey with the elections held for the first term as the deputy of Bayazıt on 23 April 1920. He was elected as the Minister of Health in the Council of Ministers under the presidency of Fevzi Pasha, as the Minister of Health and Social Relief upon the resignation of Adnan, and resigned from ministry suggesting his sickness on 14 December 1921.

Being elected as İstanbul deputy, he officiated as the Minister of Health under the cabinet of İsmet Pasha in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th sessions.

After the death of Atatürk, at the Second Bayar Government formed on 11 November 1938, he performed as the Minister of Interior and was assigned as the general secretary of the Republican People's Party. He was appointed to Prime Ministry of the 11th and 12th government of Turkey by President İsmet İnönü as İstanbul Deputy at the 6th session elections on 25 January 1939.

During this duty, he died in İstanbul on 8 July 1942 and was buried in Ankara.

Endeavoring to extend the health services and establishing health facilities, especially the Hıfzıssıha Foundation which is today known with his name, at the period of his health ministry, he also tried to protect the nation from the negative impacts of World War II during the period of prime ministry. He never married.

See also


  1. ^ "Prime Ministers of the Turkish Republic", All about Turkey


  • Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the General Directorate of Cultural Heritages and Museums

External links

  • Refik Saydam Hıfzısıhha Center
Political offices
Preceded by
Adnan Adıvar
Minister of Health
10 March 1921 – 20 December 1921
Succeeded by
Rıza Nur
Preceded by
Rıza Nur
Minister of Health
30 October 1923 – 21 November 1924
Succeeded by
Mazhar Germen
Preceded by
Mazhar Germen
Minister of Health
4 March 1925 – 25 October 1937
Succeeded by
Ahmet Hulusi Alataş
Preceded by
Cemal Hüsnü Taray
Minister of National Education
17 September 1930 – 26 September 1930
Succeeded by
Esat Sagay
Preceded by
Reşit Galip
Minister of National Education
13 August 1933 – 26 October 1933
Succeeded by
Yusuf Hikmet Bayur
Preceded by
Cemil Uybadın
Minister of the Interior
11 November 1938 – 25 January 1939
Succeeded by
Faik Öztrak
Preceded by
Celâl Bayar
Prime Minister of Turkey
25 January 1939 – 8 July 1942
Succeeded by
Şükrü Saracoğlu
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