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Ataturk's Daughter

Afet Inan

"Afet, who was later given by Ataturk the surname Inan (meaning 'Believe!'), became Mustafa Kemal's lifelong favourite woman companion. She was content to serve as his amanuensis, working to his dictation, amplifying his theories, and falling in with all his views."

Andrew Mango, Ataturk, p.439

After Mustafa Kemal Ataturk divorced his wife Latife in 1925, he adopted five daughters. One of them was Afet Inan (1908 1985), born in 1908 in Thessaloniki. Inan graduated from the Bursa Teachers College for Girls in 1925, and worked as a primary school teacher in Izmir.

Writing a new national history was seen as central to the nation-building project of the Turkish Republic. In 1931 a 'Committee for the Investigation of Turkish History' was set up upon the initiative of Afet Inan. In the same year she wrote Vatandas icin Medeni ilgiler (Civic Instructions for Citizens) which became part of the school curriculum. In 1937, Afet Inan went to Geneva to study sociology. Her doctoral thesis was published as The Anthropological Characteristics of the Turkish people and History (1947). It argued that there was a pure Turkish race in Central Asia since before Christ. In 1962, she wrote The Emancipation of the Turkish Woman (Paris, UNESCO 1962), which argues that Turkish women lost their rights due to Islam. In another book What I wrote down from Ataturk (1971), she described discussions with Ataturk on extending the right to vote to women. Inan died on 8 June 1985 in Ankara.

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