Poet, linguist (B. 1869, Konya – D. 4 May 1953, Ankara). His full name is Mehmet Bahaettin Veled Çelebi İzbudak. He used the pen name Bahaî in his poems. He is the paternal grand son of Mevlana Celalettin-i Rumi from the eighteenth generation. After completing High School, he attended Sultan Veled Madrasah.
He learnt Persian and Arabic from tutors and enhanced his religious knowledge by reading interpretation and traditions. He entered Konya Provincial Office of Letters in 1885, and upon gaining the appreciation of the governor; he was promoted to the office of chief writer of provincial newspaper Konya one year later. He gave calligraphy and Persian lessons in the Provincial High School in the same year. He received tradition lessons from Hoca Raik Efendi in İstanbul, where he went in 1889, and started working in the Matbuat-ı Dahiliye Kalemi in the same year. Meanwhile, he gave Arabic and Persian lessons in Kaptanpaşa School.
After the announcement of Second Constitutional Monarchy (1908), he gave Persian lessons in Galatasaray Imperial High School, and history of Iranian literature lessons in İstanbul University. After carrying out the office of sheikh of Galata Whirling Dervish Hall as deputy for a short time, he was appointed to the office of the highest authority in Konya Mevlana Dergâh* in 1910. He joined the Fourth Army commanded by Cemal Paşa in Damascus with Freedom Fighters of Sufism Troop, which he formed in the First World War. After staying three years in Damascus, he was removed from his office of highest authority in Dergâh* in the discretion of Mehmet VI (Vahdettin) in 1919, and was appointed as member of the Council of State. He went to Ankara to join the National Struggle in the same year.
He was appointed as Ankara High School teacher and as member of Council of Copyrights and Translation, to which Ziya Gökalp was a member, by the government of Ankara. He served as Kastamonu and Yozgat deputy between 1924 and 1943.
Veled Çelebi published articles and poems in newspapers and journals such as Tercüman-ı Hakikat, İkdam, Mektep, Hazine-i Fünun, Resimli Gazete. He is one of the leading intellectuals of Turkism movement. He enhanced his studies on Turkish language with Yusuf Akçura and Necip Asım in the Second Constitutional Monarchy years, and later he worked in Turkish Language Association until his death supporting the language revolution.
Turkish Dictionary, his most important work, which he prepared in 8 volumes and was not published, was prepared by scanning so many sources written in this field. His book called Letaif-i Hoca Nasreddin, which was published for eight times with old and new letters and which served as resource to so many publications in the country and abroad, comprises nearly forty four anecdotes compiled from written and verbal resources.
STUDY-RESEARCH: Bedayiü’l-Efkâr (1894), Leylâ ile Mecnun (Leyla and Mecnun, 1895), Muvazene (Balance, 1895), Birbirimizi Kırmayalım (Let’s Not Hurt Each Other, 1895), Letaif-i Hoca Nasreddin (collections of anecdotes and jokes of Nasreddin Hoca, 1909), Darülfünun Dersleri (University Lectures, 1912), Vasiyetname-i Şerife Şerhi (Last Will and Testament of Şarife Şerhi), Hayrü’l-Kelam (1914), Ferhengname-i Sadi Tercümesi yahut Muhtasar Bostan Tercümesi (Translation of Ferhengname-i Sadi or Translation of Muhtasar Bostan, editing, with Kilisli Rifat, 1924), Divan-ı Türki-i Sultan Veled (Turkish Divan* of Sultan Veled, 1925), Kuran-ı Kerim Elifbası (with Ahmet Edip, 1925), El-İdrak Haşiyesi (Manuscript to Teach, 1926), Atalar Sözü (Proverbs, 1936), Oğuz Ata, Orhun Abideleri (Orkhun Inscriptions, 1937).
LANGUAGE-DICTIONARY: Arapça Gramer (Arabic Grammar, 1908), Türk Diline Medhal (Summary for Turkish Language, 1922), Türkçeden Türkçeye Lügat (Dictionary from Turkish to Turkish, 1926).
MEMOIR: Hatıralarım (My Memories, 1946).
Moreover, he translated the Mesnevi* of Mevlana.