Mehmet Refik Fenmen:
A Turkish electrical engineer and dedicated intellectual
The electrical engineer Mehmed Refik Fenmen (1882-1951) witnessed both the last decades of the Ottoman Empire and the first decades of the newly established Turkish Republic. Born in an aristocratic family, he was educated in the leading private schools in Istanbul. He studied mathematics and physics in Lausanne University. Following his graduation, he attended L'Institut électrotechnique Montéfiore in Liège and obtained a diploma in electrical engineering in 1906. Back to Istanbul, he lectured in physics and electricity in the School of Engineering (Mühendis Mektebi; 1908-1913) and the University (Darülfünun; 1919-1925). He acted as director of the School of Engineering (1910 -1913) and School of Mining Engineering (Zonguldak Maden Yüksek Mühendis Mektebi; 1925-1931). He undertook the management of the Industrial Zone of Istanbul and the Electrification Office of Turkey in 1930s.
Fenmen was deeply interested in the electrification problems of Turkey in 1920s and 1930s. He researched the energy supplies used in various countries for electrification. To deal with Turkey's electrical energy problem, he examined the coalfields of Zonguldak and Söğütözü; the water powers and lignites of Thrace and Anatolia and he published his views about how to utilize these sources. Fenmen is a highly esteemed intellectual in the eyes of historians of science and engineering studying the first decades of Turkish Republic. He was among the founders of Osmanlı Mühendis ve Mimar Cemiyeti, the first organization of engineers and architects in Turkey. He was one of the scholars who introduced Einstein's relativity in Turkey. The number of his books on physics, engineering and technical issues is over 30. In this article, the biography of Mehmet Refik Fenmen will be reviewed with special emphasis on the less-known aspects of his professional career in electrical engineering
Key words: Mehmet Refik Fenmen, electrical engineering in Turkey, Ottoman engineers, electrification of Turkey, Einstein's relativity; Anahtar kelimeler: Mehmet Refik Fenmen, Türkiye'de elektrik mühendisliği, Osmanlı mühendisleri, Türkiye'nin elektriklendirilmesi, Einstein'ın görelilik kuramı.