Magazine article New Internationalist

Madam Atatürk: The First Lady of Modern Turkey

Magazine article New Internationalist

Madam Atatürk: The First Lady of Modern Turkey

Article excerpt

Madam Atatürk: The First Lady of Modern Turkey

by ipek Çali$lar translated by Feyza Howell (Saqi Books, ISBN 978 0 86356 842 8)

You'd be forgiven for never having heard of Latife Hamm. Despite having been married for two and a half years to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - the man who led Turkey to independence and secularism in the 1920s and who remains a hero to much of his country today - Latife barely gets a mention in Turkish history books. The reason? Kemal decided to divorce her, and, because he was the great leader and therefore 'beyond reproach', blame for the failure of the marriage had to be attached to his wife.

Journalist îpek Çaliçlar redresses the balance in this eye-opening biography, which is meticulously researched and offers compelling reasons to believe that Kemal, who prided himself on being a fervent advocate for women's rights, wasn't quite so open-minded when it came to his own wife. …

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