MÜFİDE FERİT TEK 1892-1971
Müfide Şevket was born in 1892 in Kastamonu. Her father was an enlightened soldier; Şevket Bey and her mother was Feride Hanım; daughter of Kolağası Zaimzade İsmail Efendi, one of the martyrs of Plevne War. Şevket Bey and Feride Hanım met and married in Kastamonu.
Şevket Bey worked as aide-de camp of Müşir Recep Pasha for a very long time. Due to liberal views of Müşir Recep Pasha, he was sent to far provinces and in the end was exiled to Tripoli in 1898 with him. Şevket Bey and his family met Young Turks, who were also exiled such as Ahmet Ferit, Yusuf Akçura, Cami Bey, Ali Fahri (Ağa Baba) in Tripoli.
Şevket Bey and Feride Hanım had four daughters named Müfide, Fahire, Selma and Nemide, as well as a son named Mazhar Şevket. Şevket Bey and Feride Hanım attributed great importance to provide their daughters with a good education. They sent Müfide and her sister Fahire to Saint Joseph School in Tripoli. Müfide was sent to Paris to Lyceé Versailles to become a medical doctor; however, when Şevket Bey passed away in 1905, she ended her education that was ongoing for three years and returned to Tripoli. The family lived in Alexandria until 1908 and then returned to Istanbul. Müfide Şevket married Ahmet Ferit Tek in Alexandria in 1907, and their daughter Emel was born in Istanbul in 1912.
Müfide Ferit wrote her memories starting from 1902, and a part of those memories was published in different magazines as articles and stories from 1913 to 1923. Some of them are kept in the archives of the Foundation in her handwriting.
Müfide Ferit wrote the novel Aydemir in 1918 with the encouragement of her sister Selma and her husband Yusuf Akçura. The novel was based on her memories in the era she lived in. This was followed by Pervaneler – Fans in 1924, Leyla in 1925 and Affolunmayan Günah – Unforgiven Sin, also translated into German, in 1933. When Ankara Government appointed Ahmet Ferit Tek as Ambassador to Paris from 1919 to 1922, Müfide Ferit gave conferences on War of Independence, Turkish Thesis, Turkish Women and Feminism, and she also wrote articles.
Müfide Hanım got registered to Occidental Literature courses at Sorbonne to complete her education, which was interrupted upon death of her father. When Ferit Tek was appointed as Ambassador to London, she lived in London and Paris and completed her higher education in 1928 at Paris École libre des Sciences Politiques Diplomatiques.
Since Ferit Tek was appointed as Ambassador to Paris, London, Warsaw and Tokyo, Müfide Tek lived abroad in 1921 and between the years 1923 and 1943. After the retirement of her husband, she did not stay idle and with her friends she founded Soroptimist Club of Turkey, which she worked from 1945 to 1948. She worked for improving the Club until she passed away in 1971.