Uğur Mumcu   |   The Life of Uğur Mumcu
The Life of Uğur Mumcu

He was born on August 22, in Kırşehir. The third among four children of land registry cadastre officer Mr. Hakkı Şinasi and Mrs. Nadire.


1949 - 54

He started his primary education at Devrim Primary School in Ankara and completed it at Ulubatlı Hasan Primary School in Bahçelievler.


1957 - 61

After graduating from Ankara Cumhuriyet Secondary School and Ankara Deneme High School, he entered Ankara University Faculty of Law.



He started to write as a student. He was awarded with Yunus Nadi Prize with his article called “Turkish Socialism” published in Cumhuriyet Daily Newspaper.



He was elected as the president of Faculty Students’ Union.



Graduated from the Faculty of Law and worked as a lawyer for some time in the company of Cemal Reşit Eyüboğlu.


1965 - 66

On June 18, 1965, he started to write in Yön Journal with his article called “We defend the Constitution. What about you?”. In the libertarian environment of 27th May Revolution, by saying, “People are not just responsible with what they say, but also with what they stay silent for”, he defended Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s principles and revolutions, as well as a fully independent Turkey through his articles published in Yön Journal where Doğan Avcıoğlu was at the helm.



On June 30th, he started to write for Kim Journal with his article called “Banning Books is under constitutional”. On August 18th, his reviews started to be published in Akşam Newspaper with his article called “To the ones who attack the Constitutional Court: Respect for The Constitution”.



Went to England for language education. He continued his writings from there. On February 25th, his last review was published in Akşam Newspaper. On May 1st, his article “Enough is Enough Messieurs” that he sent from London, became his last review to be published in Kim Journal. As of May 25th, he started to write periodically for Türk Solu Journal.



On January 31st, he became the assistant of Tahsin Bekir Balta who was one of the professors of Ankara University Faculty of Law Administrative Law Chair. After July 15th, his reviews started to be published in Milliyet Daily Newspaper. After becoming an assistant, he quitted his job as a lawyer by unregistering from Ankara Bar Association.


1969 - 71

His writings were published in Ankara University Faculty of Law Journal.



His articles and reviews were published in Ant Journal as well as Cumhuriyet Newspaper. From March 24th, he started to write for Devrim Journal.



He received his share from the oppressive attitude of 12th March military coup towards intelligentsia. He was taken under custody on May 17th. Details “Kitaplarımı İsterim (I want my Books)”. He was released one month later.

On July 12th, his writings started to be published in Ortam Journal. That Journal ended its publications just after its issue published on November 29th in order to protest illegal restraints. On October 27th, he wrote his last article for Devrim Journal. During the period when he was getting prepared to do his military service, he was arrested on charges of insulting army. Together with many intellectuals, he stayed in Mamak Military Prison for about one year. He was committed to prison for 7 years during the lawsuit. However, the Supreme Court released him following the reversal of decision.



On October 10th, he was conscripted into military service following his release.



After his three months education until January 10th at Tuzla Infantry School, the school management blamed him with “misconduct” and sent him to Patnos as an infantryman.



On January 31st, he completed his military service as an objectionable infantryman in Ağrı Patnos district. By saying, “Yes, yes whatever happens, I wouldn’t change doing my military service as an infantryman together with the people of my country, for being a full general who gets tens of thousands liras in the managing boards provided by the government!” he entered a lawsuit claiming his rights as a reserve officer and his monthly salaries just for material compensation. He won the lawsuit and acquired his rights as a reserve officer.

Following his military service, he quitted his job at the university and started to work as a journalist professionally on February 25th with his article “Anarchist!..” published in Yeni Ortam Newspaper.

In his articles, he mentioned problems and pressed the illegal and unlawful practices. Demirel had said, “You cannot name a single agent provocateur” to Uğur Mumcu. However, he documented all anti-laic, anti-democratic entities with their practices and revealed the names of tens of agent provocateurs in his article titled “We Have a Story”.

Please click for his article “Shouldn’t We Ask?”



On March 12th, he quitted his job in Yeni Ortam Newspaper with his article called "When Parting".

On March 18th, he started to work as a columnist with his article titled “Equation” and continued to write articles regularly in his column “Observation” in Cumhuriyet Newspaper. At the same time, he was working at Anka Agency.

In April, his book “They are Guilty and Strong” that comprised his articles about 12 March period was published.

In October, his book Mobilya Dosyası (The File of Furniture) was published. The book was about the fictitious furniture export conducted by Süleyman Demirel’s nephew Yahya Demirel and was prepared by Mumcu and Altan Öymen together. By this way, the concept of “fictitious export” had been brought to the public attention.



In May, he got engaged with Güldal Homan, the couple got married on July 19th.



He quitted Anka Agency and became a tenure writer of Cumhuriyet Newspaper.

During the days when terror had driven the society into a mood of fear and pessimism, he took a stand against terror by his pen. After May 1st Taksim Massacre, he wrote articles analysing that event and the others similar to it. In May, his son Özgür was born.

His books “Objectionable Infantryman” and “A Petition Without a Stamp” were published.



What they have gone through during 12 March period was an unequalled material for the masters of humour. Uğur Mumcu himself used to draw upon humorous elements in his writings and talks frequently. He adapted his work “Objectionable Infantryman” to the stage together with Rutkay Aziz. Objectionable Infantryman was staged by Ankara Sanat Tiyatrosu/Ankara Art Theatre (AST) for the first time and was performed 700 times.

In December, his book “Our Seniors” was published. In that book, Uğur Mumcu tells the life stories and political histories of many celebrities who left their marks on certain periods in a humorous richness.



In July, his book Dead End Street was published in such an environment, where terror remounted, very young people were shot in the streets, coffeehouses and houses were bombed. His aim was to avoid history from repeating itself and ensure that the people have taken their lessons from the past. The book reflects the youth leaders’ experiences before and after March 12th with their own words and draws attention that armed actions will get us nowhere.



In the beginning of 1980’s, in February, his articles were published under the title of “The Rifle is Invented”. In those writings, Uğur Mumcu expresses that the only invincible power is the power of a public united.

On September 12th, a military coup was staged. "Bundan Sonra (From Now On)".

He criticised that period and its implementations such as the closing of political parties by the generals staging September 12th military coup.

"Freedom Without Terror"



His research book titled Smuggling and Terror was published in March. In his own words, he said that he wrote the book in order to “reveal the connection between terror and smuggling as well as bring it to the public attention..”.

On May 13th, Mehmet Ali Ağca attempted to murder the Pope. “Ağca, Again”. Before, in 1979, he carried out research on Ağca who had been captured as Abdi İpekçi’s murderer. He concentrated his investigations just after the Pope case.

In June, his daughter Özge was born.

His book The Words in Context’s first edition was published in October. Here is how he described that book: “With this book, I just held up to criticise the ugliness that is exposed by an irresponsible minority who blocks the Parliament’s operations, prevents people from speaking about the national and international problems freely.” "



Following “The File of Ağca”, his edited book from his articles titled “Freedom without Terrorism” was published in November.

Association for Peace was closed down. Its directors and members were taken into custody being accused of articles no.141 and 142. Association for Peace Case, was brought into action in order to threaten the society against Turkish intellectuals during 12th September period. Mumcu discussed this issue in many of his writings.



General elections were done. In such a period, when many politicians were banned from politics, Mumcu conducted his researches. His researches and investigations revealed economic and social corruption, as well as illegal practices. Please click for his article titled “Lozan and Sevr”.

In February, he made an interview with Ağca while he was in prison. NBC directors wanted to publish that interview on NBC. However, he rejected their proposal by saying that he did not think of publishing that interview any other newspapers than Cumhuriyet which was closed during that time.



In March, he participated in the preparation of Petition of Intellectuals. The Petition was prepared by a group led by Aziz Nesin and was submitted both to Presidency and Turkish Parliamentary Speaker’s Office. Nevertheless, Kenan Evren brought a suit against it by accusing the signatories of “treason”.

He wrote the play titled Unobjectionable. The play was about the corruption in media and turncoats, as well as the tortures that the intellectuals were objected to during 12th September period. The play was staged at İstanbul Hodri Meydan Cultural Centre between the dates 3rd April and 7th May, and Ankara Art House between 10th and 27th May.

His book “The Pope-Mafia-Ağca” was published in June. The book was the outcome of a long and exhausting investigation period.



In June, his books “Liberal Farm” and “Revolutionist Democrat” were published. He went to Rome. For Pope Trial, they asked for information from Uğur Mumcu.



His book Interview With Aybar on Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) and Marxism was published in July.



In February, his book “The Letters of Reform” that includes Osman Köksal’s memories and letters in order to shed light on our recent history was published.

He had an interview with the former Adana Mufti Cemalettin Kaplan in front of his community together with Örsan Öymen from Milliyet Newspaper. That interview was published in Cumhuriyet Newspaper on February 10th.

In May, his book “The Connection” which was accepted as significant success in the field of journalism was published. Also in November, “The Justice of September 12th” was published.



In August, his book “A Long Walk” that includes an interview with the Former Leader of Workers’ Party of Turkey, Behice Boran was published. Also in August, his book Sect-Trade-Politics was published. That is still an unfading work which collects Mumcu’s articles on the relationship between those three parties.



He wrote articles about the corruptions related to the armoured vehicle that were bought in order to provide the security for diplomats and the staff in foreign duty. Ercan Vuralhan had those vehicles bought while he was the Vice Head of Administrative and Financial Affairs Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also appointed as the Minister of Defence during Özal’s term of government.



He collected his research works that he had conducted in his book “The Den of Intrigue of 1940s” so as to set the political framework of the 1940s and represent the circumstances of that period. In August, another book of his titled “Kazım Karabekir Narrates” was published.



In July, one of his most significant works Kurdish-Islamic Revolt 1919-1925 was published.

On November 6th, due to the developments that he didn’t approve, he, together with his 80 friends, quitted his job in Cumhuriyet newspaper.



He wrote in Milliyet Daily Newspaper in 1st February-3rd May. In those articles, he often raised the topic of Kurdish Issue, while following PKK’s publications abroad. On May 3rd, his last article for Milliyet Daily was “The Journalist”.

In February, his book titled “Assassination of Gazi Paşa” was published with some documents being published for the first time.

On May 7th following the management change in Cumhuriyet Daily News, he returned to his newspaper.

He wrote articles examining the subjects of Hezbollah, PKK and counterinsurgency thoroughly.




On 13th January, he gave a lecture on journalism at Military Academy. For his text of speech Journalism.

Before he was murdered, he was working on PKK and Kurdish Issue from a perspective where he separated those two.

For detailed information, his last work: Kurdish File.

His last article was called “Addendum”.


24 January 1993

On Sunday, he was assassinated by the explosion of a bomb fixed to his car.

You can read the full text of his 1975-dated article titled “Call” from here.