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Sabiha Gürayman
İlk Kadın İnşaat Mühendisi

SABİHA (RIFAT) GÜRAYMAN

KAYDIR

1910

She was born in Monastir (Bitola), Macedonia. After her father Lieutenant Rıfat Bey came to Istanbul with the Movement Army, he brought his family from Monastir to Istanbul. She first went to Cherkess School and continued her education in Beşiktaş Esma Sultan Elementary School. Then she enrolled in Nişantası All Girls' Secondary School.

Sabiha Gürayman
Sabiha Gürayman

1927

She started in Istanbul All Girls' High School. She played in the volleyball team of the school. When she learned that female students were allowed in the Engineering School, she went directly to the school and managed to enrol in the school although she had only secondary school degree. She was one of the two female students (the other one was her friend Melek Erbul) and they studied with 350 male students.

1928

She was chosen for the school's volleyball team and then she started to play for Fenerbahçe Club. Fenerbahçe Men's Volleyball Team was missing a player; she was invited to the team and became the first female athlete in the team. Fenerbahçe Volleyball Team consisting of 5 men and 1 woman had the nickname of Flying Fingers.

Sabiha Gürayman
Sabiha Gürayman

1929

Fenerbahçe Men's Volleyball Team became the champion and Sabiha Rıfat was the team's captain! So she became the first female captain of a men's sport team. She continued to play volleyball and played in many official matches while studying at the university.

Sabiha Gürayman

1929

Fenerbahçe Erkek Voleybol Takımı şampiyon oldu, takım kaptanı ise Sabiha Rıfat idi! Böylece bir erkek spor kulübünün ilk kadın kaptanı oldu. Voleybol hayatı, okul yıllarında devam etti, birçok resmi maçta oynadı.

1933

She graduated from the university. She started to work in the Department of Public Works in Ankara. When Remzi Güreyman who was her friend from school and would be her husband in 1939 was transferred to Ankara, they went there together. Since her friend Melek Erbul did not work after she got married, Sabiha Rıfat became the first female civil engineer.

1933 - 1934

She worked in two secondary school projects in Erzurum which made her name known in this sector. When the projects of these schools were shown to Ismet Inönü in 1935 he noticed her name. And years later when she was in the presence of Inönü with a committee, he told her "I know you, weren't you the female engineer who built those schools?"

1935 - 1937

İlk sivil havacılık okulu Türkkuşu’na ilk kız öğrenci olarak kaydoldu. Buradaki planör eğitiminin ardından uçuş öğretmenliği için 8 erkek öğrenci ile birlikte Sovyetler Birliği’ne gönderildi. Döndükten sonra Eskişehir Askeri Hava Okulu’nda bir buçuk yıl daha eğitim gördü. Askeri pilot olarak başarıyla mezun oldu, aynı yıl içinde birçok askeri uçuşta görev yaptı. Böylece dünyanın ilk kadın savaş pilotu unvanını kazandı!

1936

After too much struggle, she managed to get the contract for the construction of the bridge on Ankara-Beypazarı road. Later the bridge would be known as the Woman's Bridge. She worked in the construction of many roads and bridges in Ankara.

1937

She started to work at the Department of Building and Construction

1938

She became the control engineer of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) construction.

1953

She became a Technical Consultant at the Department of Building and Construction and after working for 10 years in this position she retired in 1963.

1953

She was appointed as the Supervising Engineer of Anıtkabir (Atatürk's Mausoleum) and when she heard the news, she burst into tears. She would pay her debt to Atatürk. When construction of Anıtkabir was finished, many visitors including foreign diplomats expressed their awe and admiration to see a woman responsible for a colossal project.

2003

Sabiha Rıfat Güreyman proved that women could be as successful as men in civil engineering which was regarded as a man's job and died after raising so many female civil engineers.

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