Zihni Derin (born 1880, Muğla - date of death August 25, 1965, Ankara), Turkish agronomist, educator. Of tea cultivation in Turkey led to the initiation and propagation; It is known as the “father of tea”.
He was born in Muğla in 1880. His father is Mehmet Ali Bey from Muğla's Kuloğulları family. He graduated from Muğla High School in 1897, Thessaloniki Agriculture Surgery School in 1900 and Halkalı Agricultural School in 1904. He started his civil service in 1905 with the duty of Forest and Mine Processing Clerk in Aydın Province.
He became a Forest Inspector in 1907 after serving as Forest Inspector Clerk in Rhodes (as he was known as Algeria-i Bahr-i Sefid Province) Forest Inspector Clerk, Gediz and Simav districts.
He worked as a chemistry, agriculture arts and geology teacher at Thessaloniki Agricultural School from 1909 to 1912. He married Maide Hanim in Thessaloniki in 1911; he had three children from this marriage.
He worked as a teacher in Bursa between 1914-1920 and served as the Deputy Director of Bursa National Education.
Participation in the National Struggle
He left Bursa just before the Greek invasion in 1920 and moved to Ankara; He became the first General Director of Agriculture in the Ministry of Economy, established by the National Struggle Government; He remained in this position until 1924.
The first tea initiatives
He took part in Ankara in April 1921 as the representative of the Ministry of Economy in a commission attended by ministry representatives to discuss the country's economic and social problems. After the Russian Revolution, with the closing of the Batumi border, unemployment and security problems increased, in the Eastern Black Sea region, to create new job opportunities for people. He read the report written by Ali Rıza Bey, one of the teachers of Halkalı High School of Agriculture, as a result of his examination in Batumi in 1917. In the report, it was stated that it is possible to grow tea around Rize, together with its reasons. Zihni Derin read Ali Rıza's brain report to the commission in Rize, and it was decided to establish a nursery to start the implementation.
Zihni Bey, who was sent to Rize in 1923 to establish a tea and citrus nursery, started to work on a 15-decare land on Garal Hill, which belongs to the treasury. He saw that the tea seedlings that some enthusiasts brought from Batumi and planted as ornamental plants in the region developed very well; In 1924, he visited Batumi and examined the tea gardens, tea factory and Astropical Plants Research Station established by the Russians. It brought the tea seeds and saplings it brought with it, citrus fruits and some fruit varieties, bamboo rhizomes to the nursery. He concluded that the climate and regional structure of the region is suitable for growing tea. He attempted to bring saplings from Batumi and distribute them to the public, but this first attempt, which did not receive enough attention, failed.
Zihni Derin, who returned to his position in Ankara, prepared a law proposal on this subject and the bill was enacted with the support of the Rize Deputies of that period on February 6, 1924 and numbered 407. Law, Rize Province and Borcka Crash; Hazelnut, Orange, Lemon, Tangerine, Tea Law came into effect under the name of Cultivation.
Return to teaching
Due to the inadequacy of the law enacted and the lack of knowledge of the people of the region regarding the cultivation of tea, Zihni Bey returned to the teaching profession when the tea farming activities were delayed. He taught at various schools in Istanbul. He continued teaching in Ankara since 1930.
After the tea agriculture came to the agenda again in the country, he was appointed as the Second General Inspector Agricultural Counselor in Thrace in 1936 and the Chief Advisory of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1937.
At the Agricultural Organization, which will be established in Rize and its surroundings in 1938, the title of tea organizer worked extensively to spread tea production. After retiring due to the age limit in 1945, he continued to work as an organizer in the Ministry of Agriculture.
He became an independent deputy candidate in Rize in the 1950 elections; but he could not enter parliament.
Zihni Derin, who was called as the guest of honor for the "27th Anniversary of Tea" ceremonies held in Rize in 1960 after the coup of May 1964, 40, died on 25 August 1965 in Ankara.
His work was deemed worthy of the TÜBİTAK Service Award in 1969.