One of the longest living people in the world: Zaro Aga

One of the longest living people in the world! The story of Zaro Aga from Bitlis surprised.

The story of Zaro Aga from Bitlis, who was allegedly born in 1777 and died in 1934, lived close to 160 years. Zaro Aga is shown as one of the longest living people in the world.

It is very curious who are the longest living people in Turkey. There is such a name on this list that, due to its age, it is one of the most talked about names not only in Turkey but also in the world. This name is the famous “Zaro Aga…”


Zaro Aga, who is claimed to have died at the age of 160 based on the doctor’s death certificate, is the longest living person in Turkey, and according to some foreign sources, one of the few people living the longest in the world.

Zaro Aga


Allegedly, Zaro Ağa saw 10 Ottoman sultans, 28 grand viziers, 1 president, 5 prime ministers, participated in 6 wars and was married seven times according to some sources, 13 times according to some sources, 29 times according to some sources. He had 13 children, five girls and eight boys, and 29 grandchildren.

Zaro Ağa was born in 1774 according to some sources and 1777 according to some sources in Bitlis, Mutki, Meydan Mahallesi. He went to Istanbul towards the end of the 18th century and worked in the construction of Selimiye Barracks, Beşiktaş, Ortaköy Mosque and Tophane Nusretiye Mosque. In his fifties, he was the chairman of the Istanbul Hamal Group for many years. Later, he was appointed as the mayor during the isolation period of the manager Emin Bey and continued this duty until his death. Thus he spent his last days in Istanbul and died here. He worked as a janitor near his death.

Zaro Aga


He became the center of attention of the world press and visited Italy in 1925 as the world’s tallest living person, left Greece in 1930 at the invitation of an anti-alcohol association, and visited the United States in 1931. During the single party period, an advertising campaign was organized by the National Economy and Savings Association and Zaro Ağa was used. The picture of Zaro Ağa standing in the middle of two women on one side is on the other. Postcards with the phrase “Hungary” have been translated into four languages ​​and distributed around the world. He met with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk twice and complained that he gave too many rights to women.


Zaro Ağa died on 29 June 1934 in Şişli Etfal Hospital. In the autopsy, it was determined that although Zaro Ağa lived quite a long time, he had health problems such as tuberculosis, heart enlargement, vascular occlusion in the brain and three kidneys. According to the testimony of Şişli Etfal Hospital Chief Physician Rifat Hamdi, Zaro Ağa said that he was 162 years old before he died. His grave is in Eyüpsultan cemetery. It is on the left of the road where the road splits in two, in the middle of the slope leading to Pierre Loti Coffeehouse. The tombstone with the title of Hamidi bears the expression “Fatiha to the soul of Zaro Ağa, the son of Şemsi Ağa from Bitlis who died at the age of 160”.

Zaro Aga

Gül Demirci

Hi, I'm Gul. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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