Zübeyde Hanım

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Zübeyde Hanım
Zübeyde Hanım.jpg
Born 1857
Langadas, Thessaloniki, Ottoman Empire
Died 15 January 1923 (aged 66)
İzmir, Ottoman Empire

Zübeyde Hanım (1857 – 15 January 1923) was the mother of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. She was the only daughter of the Hacısofular family which included her two brothers. Zübeyde was born in Langaza village (now in Thessaloniki regional unit), Ottoman Empire in 1857 as the daughter of a Turkish peasant.[1]

Name conventions[edit]

Hanım is the respectful form of Mrs. and was always added after her name. Hacı, in Turkish, refers to those Muslims who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Sofular is the plural of Sofu, which means a religious devotee. It is assumed that some important person or persons in Zübeyde Hanım's ancestry had made the pilgrimage to Mecca and that her family had deep religious roots.

Early life[edit]

Zübeyde Hanım's education was basic and only consisted of learning to read and write. Because she could read and write, she was nicknamed Zübeyde Molla (someone knowledgeable and teaches other people, in particular, a teacher of theology) by some people.

Zübeyde Hanım was a devout Muslim and as a result of her pious upbringing she wanted her son Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to go to Mahalle Mektebi, an Islamic school that teaches the Qur'an.

Zübeyde Hanım's first marriage was to Ali Rıza Efendi. With her dark blonde hair, deep blue eyes and fair skin, she won the admiration of Ali Rıza, a border guard.

Ali Riza's older sister arranged this marriage - as was the tradition at that time. Zübeyde Hanım was in her early teens and 20 years younger than her husband. Their first child was Fatma, then Ömer and Ahmet were born, but they all died in childhood.

Mustafa, later to become Atatürk, was born in 1881, followed by his sister Makbule in 1885. They had a sister Naciye, born in 1889, whom they lost because of tuberculosis in childhood.

Zübeyde and Kemal[edit]

Kemal on the day his mother died.

Kemal's father, Ali Rıza, died when Mustafa Kemal was six years old, making her parental influence dominant. She was 27, Zübeyde Hanım and her two children lived for a period with her brother, Hüseyin, who was the manager of a farm outside Salonica.

In her second marriage she was married to Ragıp Bey, who had four children from his previous marriage. She could not see Mustafa Kemal during the Turkish War of Independence in 1919.

Later life[edit]

After the Balkan Wars, when the Ottomans lost Salonica to Greece, she moved to a house in Beşiktaş-Akaretler, Istanbul with her daughter Makbule. She moved to Ankara in 1922, but the climate was not suitable for her, so she was sent to İzmir. She died there in 1923, and a memorial was built for her in 1940, where she rests now.


  1. ^ Isaac Frederick Marcosson, Turbulent years, Ayer Publishing, 1969, p. 144.


The permission is given by Yusuf Kanlı, the editor in chief of Turkish Daily News.