Sevket Dagdeviren

Sevket Dagdeviren

Mustafa Şevket Dağdeviren is a Turkish politician born in Edirne.

He published the newspaper Yeni Edirne, which was published between 1906-1913. He was the Mayor of Edirne between 1918-1920. He was one of the founders of the Trakya Pashaeli Defense of Rights Society, which was established after the workforce after the First World War.

His Life

Mustafa Şevket Bey, who was the son of Dağdevirenzade Arif Bey and Hacı Ayşe Hanım, one of Edirne’s prominent and wealthy families, was born in Edirne in 1863.

On August 29, 1882, he was awarded the 4th degree Ottoman order, on February 13, 1884, he was promoted to the third degree and on March 22, 1886 to the 2nd degree. On February 27, 1888, he received the order of Nişan-i Osmani and the 4th degree Mecîdi. On January 21, 1890, his rank was raised and became the Rank of Second Class. He was appointed as the district governor of Uzunköprü on April 15, 1890. 

Şevket Bey, who was brought to the Directorate of the Provincial Printing House on February 17, 1891, ordered new technology lithography and printing machines from France and took these machines from Alexandroupolis in June 1895 and brought them to Edirne, so that the printing house was rearranged and modernized. Şevket Bey published Edirne Yearbooks (Provincial Annuals) and Edirne Newspaper. 

He was assigned for the agricultural tax bids (âşar) of Uzunköprü, Mussel, Dimetoka, Mustafapaşa, Keşan and Ortaköy districts.

On August 5, 1892, he was appointed as a member of the Provincial Education / Teaching Staff for free, and due to the usefulness he showed in the construction of the school (today’s Edirne Technical and Industrial Vocational High School), where the sultan was named, on February 18, 1897, the second step, which was the civilian stage after the Rumeli Kazasker, he was transferred to Rütbe-i Ûla.

He received the Greek Combat Medal on 25 May 1897. On 12 July 1898, he became the Deputy District Governor of the Xanthi District, in the same year he was assigned to resolve the border disputes between Uzunköprü villages and served as the Deputy Governor of Dedeağaç Sanjak(administrative unit between the province and the district). On September 1, 1899, he was appointed as the Deputy Governor of the Sanjak of Dedeağaç for the second time. 

Şevket Bey has the 3rd degree Merit civil medal given by the Bulgarian Order on 13 February 1901, the 3rd degree Mecîdi medal given on 28 March 1901 and the 3rd degree Şîr-u Hurşit medal given by the Iranian State on 27 June 1901. 

Receiving the 3rd degree Ottoman medal on 8 August 1902, Şevket Bey was appointed as the Deputy Governor of Komotini Sanjak on 18 November 1902. On January 19, 1902, he received the 2nd degree Order of Şîr-u Hurşit, given by the Iranian State, and the Hamidiye Hejaz Railway Medal on November 22, 1903.

In the big fire that broke out in Kaleiçi District on 20 August 1905, approximately 1270 houses, 4 mosques, 1 lodge, Catholic Bulgarian, Orthodox Bulgarian and French Surde Sharite schools, 7 schools, 6 churches, 13 synagogues, 55 shops, 33 taverns, 4 pharmacies, approximately 1687 buildings including 1 police station, 210 shops, 16 coffee houses, 200 workplaces, 4 vineyard houses, 1 printing house, 1 restaurant, 1 coffee house, 2 horse mills, 1 bathhouse, 28 barns, 13 bakeries, 12 rooms, 2 inns has become unusable. It is estimated that the damage caused by the money on that day was around 500,000 lira. The head of the Provincial Printing Office, Şevket Bey, took an active part in the commission established for the resettlement of families who were left uncovered after the fire that lasted for 16 hours and to meet their needs.

He received the 2nd degree Mecîdi medal on 18 July 1904 and 1st degree Mecîdi on 9 April 1906. Şevket Bey was appointed as a member of the Edirne Province Industrial School Commission on 13 July 1893, as the vice president of the same institution on 14 September 1906, and as the head of the commission on December 1907. Painter Hasan Rıza Bey, who also made a portrait of Şevket Bey in 1908, was appointed as the principal of the school.

Yeni Edirne Newspaper

Yeni Edirne newspaper was founded in 1906 by Şevket Bey. The newspaper, which was undertaken by the concessionaire and responsible manager, initially broadcast 2 days a week and then 3 days a week. The newspaper’s administrative place was formerly the upper floor of Rüstem Paşa Hanı, then the government mansion, and finally a special building opposite the municipality. Yeni Edirne, a political-national Ottoman newspaper, continued its publishing life from 1913 until today, in the education of the poor Industrial Vocational High School students.

Mayor Period

Şevket Bey was caught in the Balkan War and was taken to Sarayiçi. After being taken back from the Bulgarians, Edirne was the Mayor of Edirne between 1918-1920.

Şevket Bey; On November 2, 1918, Edirne Deputy Faik Kaltakkıran, Lawyer Şeref Aykut, Merchant Kasım Yolageldili and some patriots from Edirne participated in the meeting held at the Kasım Yolageldili office in Küçük Kınaciyan Han in Istanbul and this meeting is very important in the defense of Thrace and determining its future. It was decided to establish the Trakya Paşaeli Defense of Rights Association, which will play a role. At the second meeting held on November 7, 1918, it was decided that the name of the association would be Trakya Pashaeli Defense Committee and the association was established under the secretariat of Şevket Bey and the chairman of the congress on December 1, 1918.

Şevket Bey, who was appointed as the president of the association at the congress held on October 16, 1919, carried out effective studies that will determine the future of Thrace during a very troubled period of nine and a half months until the occupation of Thrace by the Greeks. In May 1920, Mr. Naib Tahir left the governorship of Edirne to Mr. Şevket. On July 25, 1920, when Edirne was invaded by the Greeks, the prominent members of the association and the corps moved to Bulgaria, while Şevket Bey stayed in Edirne and signed the agreement as deputy governor.

During the invasion, when royalists came to power in place of Venizelos in Greece, Şevket Bey was exiled four times with other patriots, mainly to Chania on the island of Crete.

His last years and death

Returning to Edirne with the end of the occupation, Şevket Bey was appointed as the head of the Thrace Airplane Society and signed many useful activities. Şevket Bey, who was ill when he was the Thrace Chief Inspector of this association, which later became the Turkish Aeronautical Association, died on February 9, 1931 at his mother’s house in Erenköy, Istanbul, where he went for treatment. His funeral was buried in Erenköy Sahraycedit cemetery.



His Family

Şevket Bey, who is married to Nebiye Hanım, is the father of historian Arif Dağdeviren (1888 – 1979), founder of the Edirne Museum. The owner and manager of the Karapınar Farm in Vaysal, which was given by II. Mahmud to the Dağdeviren Family, but most of it is within the borders of Bulgaria, Şevket Bey had seven grandchildren under the names Sabire Dağdeviren, Melahat Berk, Selçuk Dağdeviren, Zerrin and Nermin Dağdeviren, Şevket Dağdeviren and Oya Altınel.

Historian and writer Osman Nuri Peremeci, Şevket Bey; “He was a very intelligent, very gentle, nice chatter, a patriotic man who liked to do good to everyone.”

His Publications

Edirne Yearbook

Edirne Yearbook (Edirne City Yearbook) prepared by Şevket Bey in 1892 consists of two parts. The first part is organized like its classical counterparts, and includes all administrative units in the province and the names of the employees in these positions and statistical information about the city. In the second part; In 1892, he dealt with the great Edirne Province, which extends from Thessaloniki to Çatalca, including Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Gelibolu, Komotini, Dimetoka and Alexandroupolis. Work; It is a heavy historical(Tanzimat) Turkish language written in Ottoman-Turkish alphabet. Salname from Trakya University, Dr. Ratip Kazancıgil and Lecturer Nilüfer Gökçe translated it into modern Turkish and published in 2005.



Balkan War Chronicles

During the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, Şevket Bey stayed in Edirne and kept his diaries about the 155-day siege of Edirne. These diaries are an important document in terms of explaining the civilian face of the Edirne defense and war-based events. The first part of the diaries was written by Behlül Cem Altınel, the grandson of Şevket Bey’s second generation,  It was given to by Dr. Ratip Kazancıgil and transferred to today’s Turkish and added to the last part of the Salname.

The same memories are shared and published by Edirne Governorship Culture Publications by making the second edition of Dr. Ratip Kazancıgil’s modern Turkish in May 2013 with the title “Memories of the Edirne Balkan War, Hafız Rakım Ertür M. Şevket Dağdevirenzade Dr. Rifat Osman” in May 2013.


If you want to know more about Şevket Dağdeviren, you can click on this link. 

During His Mayoral Period – with Orthodox, Cataoic and Juwish religion clergymen
During His Mayoral Period – with his councilors and guests at municipality palace of Edirne
Sevket Bey Mansion – Edirne
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