AKA Mehmet Fesa Evrensev & Mehmet Feza
LOCATION: THE AIRFIELD OF THE 1ST AVIATION COMPANY
THEIR NAMES? MEHMET, MEHMETCIK...
WHAT DO THEY SAY TO US?
LOOK CAREFULLY AND YOU WILL HEAR THEM SHOUTING:
LET OUR SOULS BE A GIFT FOR OUR CONTRY.
MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.
A Power Point Presentation
Courtesy of Bülent Yilmazer
History of Aviation
Department of History
Middle East Technical University
Ankara - Turkey
then click on the illustration to activate the presentation.
via email from Stuart Kline, 4-15-06
Thanks for the link regarding Salim Ilkucan. His surname is spelled I with a dot over the I and a tail on the "c". It means "First to Fly".
Actually, he was the 10th officer to return to Istanbul from France in 1912 with a pilot's certificate. Of the 10, only 4 or 5 made aviation their careers. Though I don't know it in complete detail, his story is quite colorful. He and Kemal and some of the others such as Fazil, Fethi, Nuri and Mehmet Fesa flew against the Bulgarians in the Balkan War of 1912-1913.
In November of 1914, after the Ottoman Empire entered The Great War on the side of the Germans and Austrian-Hungary Empire, Salim Ilkucan and Mehmet Fesa were dispatched to the Eastern Front on board a steamer with two Blériots. The convey was ambushed near the mouth of the Black Sea and some of the vessels were sunk, including the one the pilots were travelling on. They were taken prisoner, not to be released for five and a half years. I don't know if they were released or if they escaped. I do know that during the interim, Mehmet Fesa's family thought he had died and when Mehmet Fesa returned to Istanbul in 1920, he found that all his belongings were given away or thrown out.
Mehmet Fesa, for your information, was the first pilot in the Ottoman Army, having made his first flight in Istanbul on April 26th, 1912. Today, this date is celebrated in Turkey as "Pilot's Day". Mehmet Fesa applied for a replacement certificate from the Aero Club of France in 1948. He passed away in 1951.
Anyways, Salim and Mehmet returned to Turkey in 1920 to join the Nationalist Movement, headed by Mustafa Kemal, and they, along with a handful of pilots and even fewer aircraft and spare parts, had to basically start from scratch as the victorious Allies impounded whatever they could find at the various air stations in Istanbul and throughout Anatolia. Salim went on to become the Manager of the Air Machinists' School (Hava Makinist Mektebi) in Yesilkoy, which was established in 1926. He also was the Manager of the Flight School in Eskisehir Hava Mektebi Komutanligi). He passed away in 1937. There is a street named after him in Yesilkoy, Istanbul. His grandson, with whom I visited just a few days ago, is also named Salim Ilkucan.
Gotta fly. Take care of yourself, Ralph.
The page of Pioneers of Turkish Aviation was prepeared by METU Aeronautical Engineering Club and it is still under construction. There can be typing or other mistakes. All your suggestions, corrections, and additions are welcome.
The first balloon flight in Turkiye turned out to be true on March, 1785 from Istanbul to Bursa.
The first flight of an aircraft in Turkiye was succeeded by Baron De Cotters on December 2,1909. It is known that, the word 'aircraft' was first used as 'flying machine' in a document then secondly 'Alet-i Tayran' and 'Tayyare' was used.
The first aircraft, 'ORDU', used in Turkish Air Forces on March 15,1912 was a French made Rep (Robert-Esnolt-Pleteri) training aircraft.
The first regulation related to flight training was published on September 25,1912.
The first night flight in Turkish Air Forces was done as a reconnaissance mission by First Lieutenant Fethi Bey and Staff Major Sedat Bey.
Marking on the aircrafts of Turkish Air Forces was first used on March 6, 1913. Orange colored crescent and moon is used on the lower surface of the wing as marking.
The first pilots that got war mission in the War of II Balkan were Captain Fesa (Evrensev), Captain Selim (Ilkucan) , First Lieutenant Fethi , and Lieutenant Nuri Bey.
The first pilots of Turkish Air Forces were Captain Mehmet Feza (Evrensev) and Lieutenant Yusuf Kenan Bey.
The first Turkish pilot who flew in Turkiye was Captain Fesa Bey.
In 1927 the first machinist school of Turkish Air Forces was founded in Yesilkoy , Istanbul. And at the end of the first term two civils ,three second officers and one officer were graduated.
Turkish Air Forces' staff has been wearing the airforce blue colored uniforms (which is the symbol of aviation) since 1933.
The first woman pilot in Turkiye was Sabiha Gokcen. She was also the first woman fighter pilot in the world.
As you scroll down the page, you will find several references to Mehmet Fesa, as well as other prominent pioneers of Turkish Aviation. I am sorry that this resource has disappeared
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper