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Ataturk's wife's papers remain secret

Feb. 4, 2005 at 11:32 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The private papers of the woman who was briefly married to Turkey's founder will remain secret, the BBC reports.

A court in 1980 ruled that Latifa Usakligil's letters and diaries should not be published for at least 25 years. She was married to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk from 1923 until he divorced her in 1925.

Now, Turkish officials have agreed with her family and admirers of Ataturk that the papers should remain secret.

Ataturk founded the Turkish Republic amid the ruins of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 as a secular parliamentary democracy with women having full political rights. The BBC reports that Usakligil inspired some of his reforms.

Usakligil, who was 20 years younger than her ex-husband, outlived him by almost 40 years. She never spoke publicly of their relationship.

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