Latife Hanım

Atatürk's Relative

17 June, 1898
12 July, 1975
Sorbonne University
Other Names
Latife Uşşaki, Uşakizade Latife, Latife Uşaklıgil

Wife of Mustafa Kemal (B. 17 June 1898, Izmir – 12 July 1975, Istanbul). She is known and mentioned as Latife Uşşaki, Uşakizade Latife or Latife Hanım in general. She came from a wealthy and well-known family emigrated from Uşak to Izmir. She was daughter of Uşakizade (called as Uşşaklı later) Muammer Bey, and also relative of Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil, one of the writers of Servet-i Fünun and Republic Period. After graduating from Izmir High School, she studied law in Sorbonne University in Paris, studied language in London (1921). When she returned to Turkey, the Liberation War was not yet ended. He heard that Commander in Chief Mustafa Kemal was in the city on the second day that the Turkish Army entered Izmir (11 September 1922). Upon hearing, she went to Command Headquarters and offered Mustafa Kemal to stay in their mansion in Göztepe for security reasons. Ghazi was pleased to accept the invitation.

This meeting was the beginning of the continuous communication between them. Mustafa Kemal and Latife Hanım got married on 29 January 1923 in the house of Muammer Bey with a simple wedding ceremony. Marshal Fevzi Çakmak and Kâzım Karabekir were Mustafa Kemal’s, and Abdülhalik Renda and Salih Bozok were Latife Hanım’s marriage witnesses. Latife Hanım came to Ankara and lived in Towered Villa (Old Villa by the current name, now it is used as Atatürk Museum), which was the first Presidential Palace of the Republic, in Çankaya. Upon her husband’s request, she watched the sessions in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). She accompanied her husband in many national tours.

Latife Hanım, who stayed married to Atatürk for approximately two and a half year, was the lady of the Towered Villa in Çankaya. She covered the room at the entrance of the Old Villa with Damask sets and placed blue seats in the guest room. Atatürk stayed in the old villa after divorcing his wife and moved to the new Çankaya Villa in 1932. Latife Hanım returned to Istanbul after her short-lived marriage by taking her belongings, which she brought herself.

Mustafa Kemal brought little girls to the Villa while he was married to Latife Hanım, both for having them assisting him and for raising them. However, Latife Hanım brought a Swedish housekeeper to the house when she realized that both they and the villa needed to be taken care of. As soon as Madame Bauer, who was speaking French and middle aged, came, she tried to organize the villa in her own way. She disciplined the waiters strictly and made them wear gloves and tailcoat. However, this arrangement did not last long because Atatürk got bored of it.  Madame Bauer started to go visits like a lady, and when she also started to accept guests she was discharged immediately.

Mustafa Kemal and Latife Hanım could not continue a marriage in which they were compatible with each other. The first big conflict between them emerged in Erzurum tour and Latife Hanım left the table as a result of the argument they had at the dinner table, she did not meet him, and on the following day she was sent to Ankara in company with Salih Bozok, who was the first aide-de-camp.

This event was followed by the extreme conflicts. Fikriye Hanım, who was near Mustafa Kemal and took care of him before, suddenly came back in a period while Latife Hanım was in Europe for receiving a treatment. However, when she was not accepted by Mustafa Kemal, she committed suicide while she was leaving Çankaya Villa. Extreme sadness of Mustafa Kemal towards this situation caused one last argument between Latife Hanım and him. After a harsh debate and resentment, Mustafa Kemal sent Latife Hanım to her family in Izmir by train in company with Salih Bozok. The Prime Minister and some ministers saw her off at the train station. Atatürk did not accept to make farewell meeting. A few days later, dissolution of marriage was notified to Latife Hanım in Izmir. News of the divorce was announced on the radio on 5 August 1925with a government announcement. During their marriage for two and a half year, they did not have any child. Latife Hanım lapsed into deep silence after divorce. She did not interview with anybody about her memories. After she lost her family, she moved to Istanbul completely.

Marriage of Atatürk and Latife Hanım, who he met and married to in Izmir in the period he was “Ghazi Mustafa Kemal”, lasted for 2 years, 6 months and 4 days. Latife Hanım lived in Izmir and in Istanbul time to time until her death on 12 July 1975.  She died of breast cancer and interred at the family graveyard at Edirnekapı Martyr's Cemetery. Despite all the insistence, she did not tell her memories related to Atatürk. Memoirs and valuable documents that she kept are at Turkish Historical Society.  


HAKKINDA: Türkiye Ansiklopedisi (c: 1, 1974), Büyük Larousse Ansiklopedisi (1986), İsmet Bozdağ / Gazi ve Latife (2010), Cumhuriyetin 91’inci yılında 91 sembol kadın (, 30 Ekim 2014).



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