Writer (b. 22 February 1912, St. Petersburg / Russia – d. 1992, Ankara). She was the writer and lawyer Maksudi Arsal’s daughter. After attending primary school in Berlin, she completed her junior high school at Notre Dame de Sion Private French High School in İstanbul. She graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Law in 1932, and then she graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Language, History and Geography, Department of French Philology. After the Faculty of Law, she passed a foreign affairs exam and became the first Turkish woman diplomat of the Republican Period. But she left the diplomatic service two years later because of the rules and regulations that kept women diplomats from being posted abroad and she worked as a teacher in a conservatoire and at Ankara High School for Girls.
She became a French Literature assistant at the Faculty of Language, History and Geography in 1941, and became an associate professor in 1943. She worked as an academician at Ankara and İstanbul Universities for many years. She left university at the end of 1957 and resumed her career in the diplomatic service. She carried out diplomatic duties in The Hague, Belgrade and Rome embassies. In 1966 she worked at the Culture Affairs office at the Foreign Ministry as an assistant general manager. She was given the Italian Government Decoration of Merit and she was chosen as a contingency senator (senator nominated by the president of the republic).
She has written poems in French as she has spoken French like a native speaker since her childhood. Her literary critiques and memoirs were published in the newspaper Cumhuriyet (1946-56), Hisar review (1975-80), her academic articles about pre history and ancient history were published in Belleten review, published by the Turkish Historical Society. In addition to her well-known works, she has also written about Mallarme in French and articles about the Etruscans. Her connections in the areas of literature and art, her father’s friendships with people from the fields of science and literature and the literature and art discussions that took place at her family’s house, gave her the opportunity to get to know contemporary artists personally, so her works are valuable in terms of literature history.
RESEARCH: Yahya Kemal’in Fikir ve Şiir Dünyası (Yahya Kemal’s World of Thought and Poetry, 1979)
MEMOIR: Böyle İdiler Yaşarken (They were Like this While Living, 1984), Atsız’dan Adile Ayda’ya Mektuplar (Letters from Atsız to Adile Ayda, 1989), Bir Demet Edebiyat (A Bouquet of Literature, 1998)
BIOGRAPHY: Sadri Maksudi Arsal (Sadri Maksudi Arsal, 1991)