Kemal Ataturk and Dimitrina Kovacheva – doomed love, which has become almost a legend, one of the great love stories of the twentieth century
“I left my heart in Bulgaria.”
There is hardly a person who has not heard of the founder of the modern Turkish state – Kemal Ataturk. What not everyone knows is that the great and only love of the father of the Turkish nation is a beautiful Bulgarian woman – Dimitrina Kovacheva, also called Miti.
There are so many stories of love between Kemal and the beautiful Miti that today it is difficult to distinguish myth from truth. However, their story is captivating, real and filled with a very strong and ardent love that stays with the two until the very end.
On a foggy November day in 1913, Mustafa Kemal arrived in Bulgaria as a military attache. He is 32 years old – tall, handsome and sociable. He had previously been in France and adopted the European way of life. French magazines describe him as one of the most charming and elegant men in world diplomacy. The blue-eyed major gets off at the muddy central station in Sofia and heads to the Tsar’s Hotel Bulgaria to spend the night.
A few days later, friends advised him to move to the newer Splendid Hotel, the building behind Central Bath. Once in the casino, the young Turkish diplomat met the wonderfully beautiful girl, the second daughter of General Stilian Kovachev, former Minister of War, his favorite and greatest pride, the military’s contemporaries are adamant.
Miti was an impressive young lady, terribly beautiful, very radiant and extremely intelligent. And the love between the two blazed at first sight. The blonde beauty with brown eyes, who turned down a proposal to marry a wealthy French aristocrat because she did not want to live abroad, had just returned from Switzerland, where she had completed her education. And no wonder – Dimitrina knew three languages, was a distinguished pianist and undoubtedly one of the most intelligent young ladies in Sofia’s high society at the time.
Naturally, Kemal was strongly attracted to Miti from their first meeting and, with her father’s permission, began dating her. The two spend every free minute together in long walks in nature or as guests at concerts and other social events. Miti is fascinated by the young military diplomat and openly enjoys his company, not forgetting to often invite him to official dinners at her home.
With bated breath, their contemporaries remember and tell of a memorable evening in the spring of 1914, in which the elegance and beauty of pure and innocent love between Kemal and Dimitrina is fully revealed. At a ball at the royal palace, the Turkish diplomat, dressed in a special military uniform sent all the way from Istanbul, dances with the gentle Miti, dressed in a white dress.
To this day, this toilet is kept as a valuable relic in the Ataturk Museum in Ankara. For Kemal and Miti, this seemingly ordinary dance was actually something very special – a mutual explanation in love, a wordless promise, a merging of two loving souls into one. And everyone in the room understood that.
This is the beginning of a beautiful and romantic love. The two love to walk in Boris’s Garden. She loves ice skating, and he is waiting for her after the slide on Lake Ariana. Their favorite place is Boyana waterfall. Increasingly convinced that Miti was the love of his life, Mustafa Kemal spent a long time considering the obstacles to a possible marriage between them. He is 11 years older and also has many political opponents among the Young Turks in Istanbul who would make their life together bitter.
Mustafa Kemal goes to Dimitrina’s father to drink coffee and sincerely asks him to give him his daughter’s hand. While the women in the kitchen prepare the cakes, the two soldiers talk to each other. It turns out that only a year ago, during the Balkan War, they were opponents on both sides of the front. The general takes out the card and they both come to the conclusion of how pointless the war is. How far from true human relations is it for people to fight and resolve issues through battle. This thought of Ataturk goes on like a red thread throughout his life.
General Kovachev has another girl and a boy, but as he himself says he cannot part with his beloved child. The father believes that Miti will not tolerate the conventions of another religion. And Mustafa Kemal leaves bitter, but continues to see her secretly. “You and only you will remain the woman of my life” – he will share during his last meeting with Dimitrinka, authorized by General Kovachev, Mustafa Kemal.
However, political events are hampering their relationship. On October 29, 1914, Turkey joined the war between Germany and Austria-Hungary, and in 1915 Atatürk, now a lieutenant colonel, was ordered to return to Istanbul. Then he secretly comes and asks for his beloved’s hand again. General Kovachev again refused and hastily betrothed her to an engineer from Ruse. She faints and returns the ring, but obeys her father’s will and separates from Kemal. Later she married the wealthy lawyer Deyan Deyanov, who later became an MP.
Miti has experienced many life dramas. After September 9, 1944, her husband was sentenced to death. At the last moment, his name was deleted from the lists. The two were interned in Deliorman and their property confiscated. Although Dimitrina never talks to her husband and children about her past, the spark of love for Mustafa Kemal remains in her soul. She monitors events in Turkey, cuts out messages about him and keeps them in a notebook.
According to Atatürk’s relatives, he also did not forget her for the rest of his life. Even during his greatest glory, he was discreetly interested in her fate.
A group of Bulgarian writers are visiting Turkey. Among them is Elisaveta Bagryan. Ataturk invites her to dinner. Later, in her memoirs, the great poet wrote: “He invited me to a dance. He looked me in the eyes so kindly, warmly and said: “I left my heart in Bulgaria. Tell me how Miti lives now? ”“ Okay, she shares her loneliness with her husband, ”I said, realizing that I was not in his arms — he was embracing Miti.
Olya, Dimitrina Kovacheva’s daughter, says she only heard her mother mention Ataturk’s name once. This happened on her last earthly day, August 9, 1966. In the morning, she woke up and said, “I was dreaming about Kemal tonight,” nothing more.