100 Turkish Last Names With Meanings And History

Turkish last names have a lot of tradition and influences that come with them.
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The last name or surname reflects the roots and lineage of a person and convey a unique cultural message.

Turks make up one of the most prominent sections of the European continent. But did you know that it was not long back when Turkish people got their surnames as the majority of the Turkish citizens did not have a surname till 1934?  

The surname law enforced in the year 1934 required all the citizens of Turkey to choose a last name for themselves. It was a profound step to save the citizens, who were a victim of radical reforms in their recently established nation. Before this, people used the name of the village, teacher, pilgrim, or words from the Holy Quran as their surname. Let us have a look at the top 100 Turkish surnames with their meaning and history.

For more last names ideas, take a look at Arabic Last Names and Greek Last Names.

Popular Turkish Last Names

The historical traces are evident in the last names of the citizens. Let us have a look at some of the most popular Turkish surnames, as per the surname law.

1. Aydem Means "bright or enlightened".

2. Badem Means "almond".

3. Kucuk Means "small or tiny".

4. Kundakci Means "the stock or the wooden part of a rifle".

5. Macar Means "Hungarian".

6. Polat Means "steel or metal".

7. Simsek Means "lightning".

8. Solak Means "a left-handed person".

Turkish Last Names Inspired By Living Things

Although many last names of Turkish citizens carry a legacy with them, some also have an animal, fish, or bird reference to them. Here are some more surnames according to the surname law that is inspired by living creatures.

9. Balik Means "fish".

10. Karga It is one of the best names that mean "crow".

11. Kartal It is one of the most unique names that means "eagle".

12. Arslan It is one of the most powerful names in the country, which means "a lion".

13. Dogan Means "hawk".

14. Kaplan Means "a tiger".

15. Sahin The meaning of Sahin is "a falcon".

Turkish Last Names Inspired By Occupation

People who are involved in a particular type of profession chose it for their last names. Let's look at some of the examples of the best Turkish names.

16. Avci The name means "a hunter".

17. Bardakci The meaning of Bardakci is "a glassmaker".

18. Binici The meaning of Binici is "a horseman or rider".

19. Degirmenci The meaning of this name is "miller".

20. Demir The meaning of this name is "an ironworker".

21. Demirci Means "blacksmith".

22. Ekici It means "farmer or planter" in the Turkish language.

23. Ekmekci The meaning of Ekmekci is "a baker".

24. Katirci Means "mule or a person who uses a mule for transportation".

25. Marangoz It is an occupational name for carpenter and joiner.

26. Mataraci It is an occupational name for an artisan that makes flasks or water bottle.

27. Teke Represents a person belonging to Teke. It is also an occupational term for a goat herder.

28. Terzi It is a Persian origin term that means "tailor".

Unique Turkish Last Names

Turkish surnames represent the community attached to them. After all, this was the prime motive of the surname law to protect the Turkish citizens from radical reforms. Let us have a look at some of the rare Turkish last names that you must not get to hear quite often.

29. Aksoy The meaning of this name is "ancestry or lineage".

30. Arap Means "Arab" in the Turkish language.

31. Bulut The meaning of Bulut is "a cloud".

32. Burakgazi The meaning of this name is "a warrior".

33. Caliskan The meaning of Caliskan is "hardworking".

34. Can The meaning of Can is "life, spirit, or heart".

35. Cetin Means "robust or tough".

36. Erdogan The meaning of Erdogan is "a hawk, fighter, or warrior".

37. Kilic The meaning of Kilic is "a sharp sword".

38. Koc The meaning of Koc is "little or small".

39. Kose The meaning of Kose is "beardless".

40. Nacar It is a Turkish name for Najjar.

41. Peynirci The meaning of Peynirci is "cheese".

42. Tilki It is a nickname used for fox in Turkey.

43. Tiryaki The meaning of Tiryaki is "stubborn".

44. Yavuz The meaning of Yavuz is "ferocious or resolute".

Common Turkish Last Names

There are certain Turkish citizens surnames that are approved by the surname law.  Check out the below-given names that are quite common in Turkey.

45. Akbas The meaning of Akbas is "a whitehead". It is one of the most popular Turkish names in Turkey.

46. Aydin The meaning of Aydin is "intellectual or intelligent".

47. Celebi The meaning of Celebi is "a gentleman".

48. Kara The meaning of Kara is "black" in Turkish.

49. Kaya  It is one of the most common names that means "hard as a rock".

50. Ozdemir It is one of the most popular Turkish origin last names that mean "pure iron".

51. Ozturk The meaning of this name is "core or pure Turk".

52. Sydin The meaning of Sydin is "the enlightened one".

53. Uzun This last name means "long or tall".

54. Yildirim The meaning of this name is "thunder and lightning".

55. Yildiz This surname means "a rising star".

56. Yilmaz The meaning of Yilmaz is "dauntless or the one who never gives up".

Ancient Turkish Last Names

Given names in Turkey were chosen when the surname law came into effect only recently.

Certain Turkish last names are inspired by its rich history and culture. Let's dive into some of the most ancient and good surnames that are historic.

57. Acikgoz This Turkish last name means "nimble, cunning, or crafty".

58. Agha The meaning of Agha is "the leader of the family".

59. Akpinar It is one of the most ancient names that mean "fountain or spring".

60. Aksu The meaning of Aksu is "white water".

61. Akyildiz The meaning of this name is "a white star in the sky".

62. Albayrak The meaning of this term is "a red flag".

63. Altun The meaning of this name is "gold".

64. Asker The meaning of this name is "a soldier".

65. Ataturk It was one of the most ancient and first last names used in Turkey. It means "the Father of the Turks".  

66. Aydinlisoy Means "an enlightened family".

67. Bagci Means "a person who is into grape cultivation for winemaking". It is originated around 1920 after the Balkan war.

68. Baig It is one of the most ancient names that is taken from the Ottoman Turkish title, Beg. It means "Lord, chief, ruler, or master of the family".

69. Balci Means "a person who is involved in beekeeping".

70. Begum Derived from a Persian word Beygom, it means "madam or lady". It was a royal title used for the Muslim females in South and Central Asia. Interestingly, Begum is also a feminine title used during Ottoman Turkish that is equivalent to Beg.

71. Bey It is one of the those Ottoman Turkish last names that also denotes "master, lord, chief, and ruler".

72. Bosnak Bosnaik is the name given to a prominent ethnic group in Turkey that has adopted Islam during the Ottoman Empire. There are many Turks who carry a Bosnaik heritage.

73. Cerkez It refers to an ethnic group that is native to the Caucasus. Ideally, Cerkez means "Adyghe or Circassian".

74. Cevik Means "quick, agile, or nimble".

75. Ceylant It is one of the most unique Turkish last names. The meaning of this name is "gazelle". It is taken from the Persian word Caran.

76. Durmaz This term is taken from the Turkish work durmak that means "to persist or to stop".

77. Ersoy It is a Turkish origin surname that means "ancestors or descendants of soldiers".

78. Giray It was taken after the name of the dynasty, which ruled Crimea from 1427-1783. It means "a ruler or king".

79. Gul This surname is derived from the Persian dynasty that means "rise".

80. Gultekin This surname is taken from the name of the second Turkic Kaganate, Kul Tigin (575 AD). He was the second son of Ilterish Shad and brother of Bilge Kagan.

81. Guven It means "confidence or trust". It is a term used for a trustworthy and honest soldier in a kingdom.

82. Kahraman This surname is taken from a Persian word, Qahraman which means "hero" in native Turkish language.

83. Karakas Kara means dark or black. Whereas, Kas means eyebrow. Therefore, this surname means "a black eyebrow".

84. Kiraz this name means "cherry" and one of the last names that is also commonly a first name.

85. Kunt This last name is after the popular mountain range in Asia. It is believed that Turks originated from this mountain range. It means "solid" in the Turkish language.

86. Lepsy This surname is prevalent since the Ottoman Empire’s incursion of Europe. Lepsy means "veiled in mystery" and referred to as the people who came from the edge of the lake.

87. Nalci It is an occupational surname that denotes "a horse-shoe manufacturer".

88. Ottoman It is one of the names that are used in honor of Osman I.

89. Ozer It is a popular Turkish origin surname that means "a real male warrior". The name has its roots from the Ottoman Empire

90. Ozkan It means "the real Turk or the pure Turkish blood". People who are the original natives of Turkey use this surname.

91. Pasha Pasha is one of the oldest Ottoman Turkish last names that was also an honorary title in the military system.

92. Sakarya This surname is derived from the historic Turkish war of Independence. It took place near the ancient Sakarya River.

93. Soydan Soy means "ancestry or lineage". Whereas, Dan means from. Soydan means someone who has an excellent ancestry or lineage.

94. Suleymanoglu This name is created by combining Suleyman to a patronymic suffix Oglu. It means "the son of Suleyman".

95. Turan Turan is ideally is a historical place in Central Asia.

96. Turkmen It a person who is currently a native of Turkmenistan. The name means "religion, belief, and faith".

97. Ulusoy This is a popular Turkish surname that means "supreme lineage or ancestry".

98. Yigit It means "a brave man" in the Turkish language.

99. Zengin Derived from a Persian word Sangin. The meaning of Zengin is "wealthy or rich".

100. Zorlu The meaning of this Turkish surname is "powerful and strong".

Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Turkish Last Names then why not take a look at Serbian Last Names, or for something different take a look at Last Names That Start With Q.

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