Hatice Samiye Morkaya
The First Female Car Racer and Champion




She was born in Istanbul. She attended to Yedikule German School. She learned to play 'kamancha' when she was a child; she took kamancha lessons from Tanburi Cemil Bey for eight years.

Hatice Samiye Morkaya
Hatice Samiye Morkaya


She married to Burhan Cahid Morkaya, a famous journalist and writer of the time.


Being the only female candidate, she passed the exam of Darülelhan (today, it is the State Conservatory in Istanbul University) with a high score and became a kamancha instructor.


Her driving license was issued by Pangalı American Garage and according to the statistics she was the first Turkish woman to receive a driving license. She became one of the few drivers on Istanbul streets with her car, a gift from her husband Burhan and moreover she was the only woman in traffic.


She was the first and only female driver in the car races organized by Istanbul Turing Club and the newspaper Milliyet! She came fourth in the race course of 9.5 km between Istinye Bridge and Zincirlikuyu. However since she was the only female racer, she was announced as the winner in female category.

Hatice Samiye Morkaya
Hatice Samiye Morkaya


She wanted to race with male drivers in the second race on Şişli-Istinye course since there was no other female driver. She finished the race in 5 minutes 40 seconds and became the champion. Vehbi Bey, who came second in the race objected to the result claiming that since she was a woman, she could not be the champion and filed a suit to get the trophy and but his petition was rejected. Samiye Morkaya presented the trophy to Fenerbahçe Sports Club of which she was a member of.


She also became the female champion in the third race.


She had a disastrous accident on the fourth race and her left arm was severely injured. She could not move her fingers therefore she could no longer raced.

1949 - 1955

She published her husband's newspaper Köroğlu which he first published in 1928, under a new name Bizim Köroğlu after her husband died in 1949.


Samiye Morkaya died leaving her inheritance to Darüşşafaka Foundation. Being a pioneer in car racing which no other women have ventured, she continues to be a role model for Turkish women.