Leyla Saz

Composer

1850 – 1936

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Who was Leyla Saz?

Leyla Saz, also called Leyla Hanimefendi in her time, was a Turkish composer, poet and writer.

Born in 1850 in Istanbul to a family of Ottoman aristocrats of Cretan Turkish origins, she was the daughter of İsmail Hakkı Pasha, often called Hekim İsmail Pasha (İsmail Pasha the Doctor). She spent her childhood in the Dolmabahçe Palace, where she took private lessons in French, and later in ancient Greek and theology, when her father was the Ottoman governor of Crete.

She married Giritli Sırrı Pasha, a high-ranked Ottoman administrator of Cretan origin and a poet of his own right. In line with her husband's appointments, she traveled across Anatolia and the Balkans. She settled in Istanbul after the death of her husband in 1895, and kept in close relations with the Ottoman Palace. In 1873, she mothered a son named Vedat, who became a notable architect.

As of 1895, she dedicated herself to poetry and music, in both the Turkish and European schools. She took piano lessons and hosted people of art and science in her mansion.

She composed more than fifty songs, the texts of which were written by her contemporary romantic poets.

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Born
1850
Istanbul
Spouses
Children
Died
1936
Resting place
Edirnekapı Martyr's Cemetery

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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