Münir Ertegün

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Münir Ertegün
Münir Ertegün.jpg
Ambassador of Turkey to Switzerland
In office
1925–1930
President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Preceded by Refik Birgen
Succeeded by Cemal Hüsnü Taray
Ambassador of Turkey to France
In office
1930–1932
President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Ambassador of Turkey to the United Kingdom
In office
1932–1934
President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Preceded by Ahmet Ferit Tek
Succeeded by Ali Fethi Okyar
Ambassador of Turkey to the United States
In office
1934–1944
President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,
İsmet İnönü
Preceded by Ahmet Muhtar Mollaoğlu
Succeeded by Hüseyin Ragıp Baydur
Personal details
Born Mehmet Münir Cemil
1883
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 1944 (aged 60–61)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Sultantepe, Üsküdar, Istanbul
Nationality Turkish
Children Ahmet Ertegün (son), Nesuhi Ertegün (son), Selma Göksel (daughter)
Alma mater Istanbul University
Profession Diplomat

Mehmet Münir Ertegün (1883 – 11 November 1944) was a Turkish legal counsel in international law to the "Sublime Porte" (imperial government) of the late Ottoman Empire and a diplomat of the Republic of Turkey during its early years. Ertegün married Emine Hayrünnisa Rüstem in 1917 and the couple had three children, two of whom were Nasuhi and Ahmet Ertegün, the brothers who founded Atlantic Records and became iconic figures in the American music industry.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Istanbul to a civil servant father, Mehmet Cemil Bey, and a mother Ayşe Hamide Hanım, who was a daughter of Sufi shaykh İbrahim Edhem Efendi, he studied law at Istanbul University and graduated in 1908. He was a legal counsel for the Ottoman Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when he saw the birth of his first son, Nasuhi, on November 26, 1917, in Istanbul, during the First World War.[1] Taking part in an Ottoman delegation with a mission to search reconciliation with the Nationalists in Ankara, by the end of 1920, changed his destiny. While the two Ottoman Ministers heading the delegation returned to Istanbul after not achieving an understanding with the revolutionaries led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha he chose to join the National Struggle and remained in Ankara, leaving behind his young wife and three-year-old son, Nasuhi.[2] He became an aide to Mustafa Kemal during the Turkish War of Independence and the chief legal counsel of the Turkish delegation to the resulting Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

After the Western powers recognized the newly founded Republic of Turkey in 1923, he was sent to Geneva to the League of Nations as an observer for the Turkish Republic. During this assignment, he frequently went to Paris for the Ottoman public debt negotiations. Following this posting to the League of Nations, he was appointed ambassador to Switzerland (1925–1930), France (1930–1932), the United Kingdom (1932–1934)[3] and the United States (1934–1944). As the Republic's ambassador to Washington, Ertegün opened his embassy’s parlors to African American jazz musicians, who gathered there to play freely in a socio-historical context which was deeply divided by racial segregation at the time.[4] He held this last post until he died in Washington, D.C. of a heart attack in 1944. In April 1946, a year after World War II had ended, his body was carried back to Istanbul by the USS Missouri[5] and buried in the garden of Sufi tekke, Özbekler Tekkesi in Sultantepe, Üsküdar.[6] near his shaykh grandfather İbrahim Edhem Efendi, who was once the head of the Tekke. (His two sons Nasuhi and Ahmet Ertegün also rest there.)[7]

When Ertegün died, there was not yet a mosque in Washington D.C. at which his funeral could be held. The Islamic Center of Washington was built as a result.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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