Fikriye Hanım

Atatürk Yakını

31 Mayıs, 1924

She was one of the famous women in the first years of the Republic (B. 1887, Selanik / Ottoman  (Thessaloniki / Greece) – D. 31 May 1924, Ankara).  She was the daughter of Memduh Hayretin Bey, the brother of Galip Bey who was the second spouse of Atatürk’s mother Zübeyde Hanım and Vasfiye Hanım. She married an Egyptian while she was young but returned to her family home because she couldn’t continue her marriage due to harem life.

She was a well-educated young woman. She was speaking French, Greek and playing the oud and piano. She knew Mustafa Kemal since her childhood and called him “ağabey” (T.N. the elder brother). During the early periods of the War of Independence, Mustafa Kemal was living uncared in Çankaya. There were his assistants, stablemen and driver around him but he was relying on Bekir Çavuş for all personal care services. Bekir Çavuş was trying to deal with everything but as much as he could. Mithat Bey, one of Atatürk’s friends from Salonika, witnessed this situation during his visit to Mustafa Kemal and closely dealt with. He not only identified the need, but also found the suitable person. The most suitable person could be Fikriye Hanım. Mithat Bey’s intention was found appropriate by all related people and Fikriye Hanım was invited to Çankaya within a short time. Soon after she had a grip on the work routine and made herself loved and respected thanks to her soft attitudes.

This order continued until 1923 but meanwhile Fikriye Hanım became sick due to a lung disease. Mustafa Kemal’s upcoming marriage with Latife Hanım negatively affected the disease of Fikriye Hanım, who fell for him. The one sided peevishness she lost herself in worsened her health and she had to go Munich for treatment unwillingly, influenced by the insistence of Mustafa Kemal. During that treatment, she learned that marriage, which stretched her nerves, was realized and immediately returned to Turkey. She stayed in Çankaya Manor for a few days. When she realized that Latife Hanım didn’t like that visit, she accepted to live in Istanbul complying the advice of Mustafa Kemal. When she left Çankaya, she stayed in a city hotel for about two days and found her lost suitcase. In that suitcase, there was a gift she brought to Mustafa Kemal from Munich. When she went to Çankaya once more in order to give that gift to Mustafa Kemal before leaving Ankara, however Rüsuhi Bey, a chief assistant, who did not know her, prevented her from seeing Mustafa Kemal. With this bad mood, Fikriye Hanım left Çankaya Manor by a car and committed suicide with a gun a few hundred meters ahead. In the hospital she was taken to, she couldn’t survive despite the special care exhibited upon the directive of Mustafa Kemal.

On the other hand, in the novel based on documents named Gazi ve Fikriye, written by Hıfzı Topuz, it is written that, Fikriye Hanım was treated in the hospital from her suicide attempt till her death, and that she died from the infection of the bullet wound and from the worsened tuberculosis, not from the bullet wound itself. Researcher Eriş Ülger, based on the memories of Ata’s assistant Salih Bozok, asserts that her grave is in Kuğulu Park. On the other hand, Fatih Bayhan, the author of Fikriye Hanım, has said that her grave was in the old cemetery in Ulus, Ankara, on which there are bank buildings today. Can Dündar has said that she was buried to the location in Ankara Ethnography Museum where a huge sculpture of Atatürk on a horse is placed.



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