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Salih Zeki was Ottoman mathematician, astronomer and the founder of the mathematics, physics, and astronomy departments of Istanbul University.
He was sent by Post and Telegraph Ministry to study electrical engineering at the École Polytechnique in Paris. He returned to Istanbul in 1887 and started working at the Ministry as an electrical engineer and inspector. He was appointed as the director of the state observatory (Ottoman Turkish: رصدخانهيي امیره) (now Kandilli Observatory) after Coumbary in 1895. In 1912, he became Under Secretary of the Ministry of Education and in 1913 the president of Istanbul University. In 1917, he resigned as the president but continued teaching at the University in the Faculty of Sciences until his death.