Hasan Âli Yücel (b. 17th of December 1897, İstanbul- d. 26th of February 1961, İstanbul), teacher, former Minister of National Education, founder of the Village Institutes
His father, originally from Göreleli, is the son of Admiral Osman Bey who was the captain of the Ertuğrul Frigate. His mother is Neyire Hanım and his wife is Gülsüm Refika Hanım. He received his education in Mektebi-i Osmani, Vefa İdadisi and Darülmuallimin-i Âli’ye (Teachers College). He graduated from the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Letters of İstanbul University and started teaching on the 19th of December 1922. With the establishment of Türk Dili ve Tetkik Cemiyeti(Turkish Language Association) on the 12th of July 1932, he was appointed as the head of the etymology branch. He entered parliament as a Republican People’s Party Member of Parliament from İzmir and he served for four consecutive terms.
Time as Minister
On the 28th of December 1938 Hasan Ali Yücel was appointed as Minister of National Education of the second Celal Bayar government. Developments such as the university reform (establishment of the Science Faculty of the University of Ankara, the transformation of the Engineering School to the Istanbul Technical University and the establishment of Ankara University Faculty of Medicine), the establishment of the Village İnstitutes, translation of the world classics to Turkish, and the preparations for the İnönü Encyclopedia, the first official and copyrighted Turkish encyclopedia, took place during his time as Minister. His efforts as Minister were central in the establishment of the State Conservatory and Turkey’s acceptance to UNESCO. In result of Yücel’s four years of effort, the Universities Act of 1946 was put into law. “With this act, ‘the strong ties’ between the higher education institutions and the Ministry of National Education was significantly loosened, the structural integrity of the existing institutions was established, and therefore the university had gained an organic character. Another result of this act was the replacement of “outside tension” by “internal review”. Ankara University was established as a result of this law.”
His son Can Yücel wrote his poem “Hayatta Ben En Çok Babamı Sevdim” for his father.