Leyla Achba

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

Princess Leyla Gülefshan Achba (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's court life and was the first Ottoman court lady to write memoirs.


Leyla Achba was born into the Achba dynasty in Ostanbul. Her father was Prince Mehmed Refik Bey Achba and her mother was Princess Mahsheref Emkhaa. The family belonged to the old Georgian nobility, which had emigrated to Istanbul during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). Her aunt from her mother's side, Empress Peyveste Hanım was a wife of the Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who ruled from 1876 to 1909. Her cousin Empress Pesend Hanım later became wife of Abdul Hamid II. Her paternal grandaunt was Empress Verdicenan Kadın, a wife of Sultan Abdülmecid I.

By 1919 she entered court service, alongside some of her relatives. She also became a Lady-in-waiting of the Empress Nazikeda Kadın. 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's court life. Princess Achba was the first Ottoman court lady who wrote memoirs. Her cousin Princess Mihri Müşfik Hanım was the first female artist in Turkey.


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