Who is Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi?

People are curious by nature. The interest in the unknown and the desire to explore are found in man. Thanks to these feelings, very critical discoveries have been made in world history. And humanity has reached the level it has today. Also, aviation has reached the level it has today via curious and inventive people. In this article, we will examine the life of Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi. Let’s take a closer look at who is Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi, an essential name in Turkish and world aviation history.

Hazerfen Ahmed Celebi born in 1609, Istanbul – Died in 1640, Algeria. It would not be wrong to say that Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi was an aviator, scholar and inventor. He is one of the first people in the world who managed to fly with human-made wings. Besides, he is a Turkish scholar who managed to fly for the first time. Sultan IV Murad reigned during the Ottoman Empire between 1623 and 1640. During Murad’s time, Ahmed Celebi made flying experiments.

Meaning of “Hezarfen”

In those days, Ahmed Celebi was known as “Hezarfen” among the people due to his extensive knowledge. “Hezar” is a word of Persian origin and means 1000. “Hezarfen”, on the other hand, means “thousand sciences”, that is, “the one who knows a lot”. The information about the flight experiments of Hezarfen Celebi depends only on what Evliya Celebi told in his “Travelbook” until now.

Hezarfan Ahmed Celebi, who was doing experiments and researching various subjects at home, realised a primitive form of today’s aircraft by taking another Turkish scholar named Ismail Cevheri as an example. Before his historic flight, he also made trials in Okmeydani/Istanbul. One of the reasons for his trial flights was to measure the durability of his wings, which he prepared by examining the flight of birds. Then, one morning, in front of the eyes of the people of Istanbul, who gathered on the shores, he jumped from the Galata Tower into the air. He moved his wings and crossed the Bosphorus, and descended to the Uskudar district.

Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi
Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi

Hezarfen Celebi – Leonardo Da Vinci – Ismail Cevheri

Hezarfen Celebi studied and learned the findings of Cevheri thoroughly. It’s a fact that he was inspired by Ismail Cevheri, one of the Turkish scholars who lived in the 10th century. In his first flying experiments, he also drew attention to the drawings and studies of the Italian painter and scholar Leonardo Da Vinci. He was undoubtedly inspired Ismail Cevheri and Leonardo Da Vinci, and he conducted experiments on the subject.

Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci – Aviation

Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi attached bird-wing-like equipment to his body. Then he left himself in the void from Galata tower and passed the Bosphorus. This flight was about 3358 meters from Galata tower to Uskudar. Hezarfen Celebi is undoubtedly one of the crucial figures in Turkish and World aviation history.

This flight event of Ahmed Celebi had significant repercussions on the Ottoman Empire and Europe. IV Murad also appreciated it. Sultan IV Murad watched the flight from the Sinan Pasha Mansion in Sarayburnu. Sultan IV. Murad was very interested in Ahmed Celebi at first. Besides he even rewarded him with “a bag of gold”, according to Evliya Celebi. However, the Sultan doubted the existence of such a knowledgeable and resourceful man; he exiled him to Algeria, saying, “This man is a man to be hated (to be feared), whatever he wishes, he can do. It is not permissible for such people to stay.” Hezarfen died there.

The Flight and Today’s Knowledge

Ahmed Celebi can’t fly a distance of 3358 meters from Galata Tower to Dogancilar/Uskudar simply by flapping wings like a bird with arm and muscle power. When examined with today’s aerodynamics, it would not be wrong to think that this flight could only be possible with a simple glider, which can rise and advance by taking advantage of air currents. These gliders are mostly practised as an amateur sport in holiday resorts.

Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi – Istanbul Beneath My Wings

The 1996 Turkish movie “Istanbul Beneath My Wings”, directed by Mustafa Altıoklar, deals with the flight story of Ahmed Celebi. The representative image of the flight was on one of the three commemorative stamps issued by the PTT Administration for the International Civil Aviation Congress convened in Istanbul on October 17, 1950. In late 2010, Ahmed Celebi was the subject of a three-dimensional short animation called “Hezarfen The Movie”.