Ziya Gökalp (1875 or March 23, 1876, Diyarbakır—October 25, 1924, İstanbul) was a prominent Turkish ideologue of Pan-Turkism or Turanism.
Gökalp was publicist and pioneer sociologist. He was influenced by modern western European, especially French and German, thought and elaborated an ideology of Turkish nationalism which was largely implemented, after his death, by Kemal Atatürk.
Ziya Gökalp (this last name, Old Turkish Sky warrior or Blue warrior, was originally a pen name), after attending a local secondary school, settled in the capital İstanbul (in 1896). He had already imbibed the liberal and reformist ideas which were associated with what became the Committee of Union and Progress, and his attitudes soon attracted the attention of the despotic Sultan Abdul Hamid II's secret police, leading to Gökalp's imprisonment for a year.
He was a major influence on Kemalism, the ideology that would shape Turkish Republic after its foundation in 1923.
The thesis of his major sociological work was that the difference between Avrupalılık ("Europeanism", the copying of Western societies) and Modernlik ("Modernity", taking initiative) was being
e by Japan and Turkey.
Gokalp was also one of the important poets of his time. He revived the pure and simple style of pre-Islamic Turkish epics. He was also a well-known newspaper columnist and a political figure. He was one of the primary ideologues and leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress