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Sabiha Gokcen
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    (March 22, 1913-March 22, 2001)
    Born in Bursa, Turkey
    World’s first female fighter pilot
    One of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s adopted daughters
    Attended Turkish Air Force Academy (1935)
    Flew around the Balkans for about 2,000 miles (1938)
    Wrote ‘A Life Along the Path of Atatürk’ (1981)
    Died in Ankara, Turkey
    There were conflicting sources regarding her ethnic origins, with one saying that she was Armenian, sparking massive outrage in Turkey.
    She terminated her studies in Moscow and isolated herself from social life upon the death of her adoptive sister Zehra.
    She participated in the suppression of the Dersim Rebellion, which ended with the continuation of the Kurds’ oppression. (1937)
    She lived in appalling living conditions prior to her adoption by Atatürk.
    Her surname means ‘of the sky’, which is appropriate because it foreshadowed her career as a pilot.
    Her first solo flight was hailed as a milestone of the newfound individual freedom Turkish women had been granted since Atatürk’s reforms. (1936)
    Istanbul’s second international airport on the Asian side is named after her.

Credit: Big Lenny

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