Much information about the life, work and family of the first president of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) is still classified.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the reformer Mustafa Kemal Ataturk wanted every Turkish woman in republican Turkey to be like his wife, the lawyer Latifa Ushakligil, in whom he saw the symbol of a Turkish woman - an ideal, exemplary, emancipated, educated woman who had equal rights with a man.

Latifa received a brilliant European education and perfectly mastered all the manners necessary for a woman. She was distinguished by a flexible mind and far-sightedness. In a word, she was a real European woman. Maybe these facts can explain why Mustafa Kemal chose to marry Latifa. Indeed, we cannot call other manifestations of her character and behavior attractive, because Latifa was an unrestrained and hysterical woman.

On January 29, 1923, Mustafa Kemal and Latifa Ushakligil got married. Their wedding was secular, so Latifa did not wear a Muslim headscarf and looked modern.

Mustafa Kemal and Latifa divorced on August 5, 1925. They had no children, but they adopted several children, whose upbringing Mustafa Kemal paid considerable attention to. One of them received a higher medical education, the other chose history, and one daughter became the first female pilot in Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal died on November 10, 1938 from cirrhosis of the liver caused by chronic alcoholism.

After separating from her husband, Latifa never remarried and spent her life alone in Izmir and Istanbul. She died in Istanbul in 1975 and kept the family history of her relationship with her ex-husband secret until her death.


Key words: Mustafa Kemal; Latifa; Turkey;