Leyla Achba

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Leyla Achba
Full name
Leyla Gülefshan Achba-Anchabadze
House House of Anchabadze
Father Mehmed Refik Bey Achba
Mother Mahsheref Emukhvari
Born 10 August 1898
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 6 November 1931
Sivas, Turkey
Burial Sivas
Religion Islam

Princess Leyla Gülefshan Achba-Anchabadze (10 August 1898 - 6 November 1931) was a princess at the Ottoman court. She is known for writing memoirs, which give details of the sultan court life and became the first Ottoman court lady to write memoirs.


Leyla Achba was born in Istanbul into the Anchabadze dynasty as an Anchabadze princess, the daughter of an Abkhazian Prince Mehmed Refik Bey Achba and his wife Georgian Princess Mahsheref Emukhvari. The family belonged to the old Georgian nobility, which had emigrated to the Istanbul during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). Her aunt from the mother's side, princess Peyveste Hanımefendi was a wife of the Sultan Abdülhamid II, who ruled from 1876 to 1909. Also her cousin princess Fatma Pesend Hanımefendi, later became wife of Abdülhamid II. Her paternal grandaunt was Verdicenan Kadınefendi, a wife of Sultan Abdülmecid I.

By 1919 she also went in the court service, and as some of her relatives. She also became a Lady-in-waiting of the last Ottoman empress Emine Nazikeda Kadın Efendi. Princess Leyla Achba served her, until the empress and the rest of Sultan's family was sent to exile. In the palace she received private education and could speak French and English fluently. After the Turkish republic was founded, she moved to her aunt in Sivas, where she died of tuberculosis in 1931.

Shortly before her death she wrote memoirs, which give details of the sultan court life. Princess Achba was the first Ottoman court lady who wrote memoirs. Her cousin princess Mihri Achba (later known as Mihri Müşfik) was the first female artist in Turkey.


  • Leyla Achba-Anchabadze, Prinzessin: Harem Hatiralari, Istanbul 2004
  • Rumeysa Aredba: Sultan Vahdeddinin San Remo Günleri, İstanbul 2009