Zaro Aga

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Zaro Aga
Zaro Agha, de oudste Turk ooit Zaro Agha, the oldest Turk ever.jpg
Born c. 1777
Mutki, Ottoman Empire
Died 29 June 1934 (aged 157)
Istanbul Province, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Citizenship Ottoman Empire, Turkey
Occupation Porter, laborer, doorman
Known for Longevity
Children 13

Zaro Aga (Turkish: Zaro Ağa, Kurdish: Zaro Axa‎) was a Turkish-Kurdish man who was believed to be one of the longest-living humans ever. His was believed to be born between 1774 and 1777, and died on 29 June 1934[1] in Istanbul, Turkey. He was allegedly aged 157 when he died, and thus claimed to be one of the longest-living humans ever.

There is a debate as to his actual age when he died. According to the death certificate given by his Turkish doctor, Zaro Aga's age was 157. He died in Istanbul, although there exists some confusion about the death place, probably because the body was sent to the US right after his death. However, an investigation report published by Walter Bowermann in 1939 indicated that Zaro Aga was around 97, not 157. The investigation wasn't however reliable.

He was born in Medan village (present-day: Meydan )[citation needed] in Mutki (Bitlis Province, Ottoman Empire), worked as a construction worker when he was young, and then moved to Istanbul, where he worked as a porter for more than 150 years and finally retired as a janitor. He was a major attraction to press during his last years as the world's oldest living man and one who had traveled to many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. His body was sent to the US for research purposes after he died.[citation needed]

Zaro Aga had come into Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's presence twice and called him "Sultan". Turkish newspaper Taraf claimed that when Zaro met with Mustafa Kemal, he mentioned his having done very good jobs, but he allegedly criticized his giving much freedom to the women.[2]


  1. ^ Mecid Efendi (one of the son-in-law of Zaro Aga), Cumhuriyet, July 1, 1934.
  2. ^ "'Modern Methuselah' Zaro Ağa - Ayşe Hür - - Düşünmek Taraf Olmaktır". 14 February 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Rohat Alakom, Dünyanın En Yaşlı Adamı: Zaro Aga (1774-1934), Avesta, 2009.
  • Rohat Alakom, Eski İstanbul Kürtleri (1453-1925), Avesta Yayınları, 1998; ISBN 975-7112-47-X, s. 155-161.