An Exhibition of Photographs, Posters and Books and Presentation on the Life of One of the Greatest Leaders of the 20th Century.By Yüksel Oktay, PE
Exhibition – May 1-31, 2011 Presentation – May 21, Saturday, 13:00 – 15:00
Hunterdon County Library, North County Branch, 65 Halstead Street, Clinton, NJ 908 730-6135
This year marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of a towering figure of the 20th Century and the Creator of Modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. A great military hero at the Battle of Dardanelles in 1915 against the Allied Forces, the commander-in-chief at Kocatepe in 1922 war against the invading Greek army, the President of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara in 1923, a world leader honoured at his death in İstanbul in 1938. (1).
The first president of the Republic of Turkey was born in 1881 in Selanik when it was a part of the Otoman empire and was given the name Mustafa. One of his teachers added ‘’Kemal’’ to his name in recognition of his intelligence while attending a military school, and in 1934, was given the name of ATATURK – the father of Turks- as his last name when Turks were mandated to take the last name.
As President for 15 years, until his death in 1938, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk introduced a broad range of sweeping reforms – in the political, social, legal, economic, and cultures areas – virtually unparalleled in any country. The world honoured his memory as a foremost peacemaker who upheld the principles of humanism and the vision of a united humanity. A White House statement, issued on the occasion of ‘’The Atatürk Centennial’’ in 1981, paid homage to him as a ‘’great national leader in times of war and peace.’’ In 1933, he told his admirers; ‘’I look to the world with an open heart full of pure feelings and friendship.’’
Opinions by World Leaders, including Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, are given below: This exhibition at the Hunterdon Public Library is intended to share Atatürk’s vision and the respect that he held towards the Americans, which he expressed in a letter that he sent to the U Senate in 1923. Mustafa Kemal took time to respond to a letter that a 10-year-old American student wrote to him during the wartime, given below. More books have been written about Atatürk than any other world leader, some of which are shown in this exhibition and also listed in the Bibliography.
Yüksel Oktay, PE
19 May 2011
Notes: (1) Emre Aköz, ‘’Atatürk’ün Çocukları mı? Osmanlı’nın Torunları mı- Children of Atatürk or the Grandchildren of the Ottomans’’ Sabah, 11 Ocak 2011.
The wall across from the Dolmabahce Palace in Besiktas and Cırağan Palace in Ortakoy, Istanbul exhibits 107 photographs of Ataturk, courtesy of Besiktaş Municipality, which chronicles his 57 years of life, including the house in Selanico where he was born in 1881, Dolmabahce Palace where he died in 1938 and the horse-drawn carriage carrying his coffin when Turkey stood still, as it does every year on November 10..
MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK AND PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON AND HIS LETTER TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
TO THE GREAT AMERICAN NATION:
The great George Washington, the foremost modern pioneer of liberty, who won independence for his country by driving out foreign despots oppressing it, is that man whose example inspired and influences me most deeply. America is the oldest democracy in the west and ours is the youngest in the ancient world.
You expelled tyranny and despotism from your country. You gained and established your freedom and independence after a long and bloody struggle, and you built up a civilized, strong, democratic state based upon the sovereignty of the people.
On the opposite side of the earth, there is today another nation that is struggling and shedding her blood fort he same aims of freedom, independence and democracy. Turkey’s detractors seek to blind your eyes to the purity and loftiness of those aims. The authors of this propaganda are either ignorant fanatıcs or the agents of those who are openly and secretly fighting against us to frustrate and destroy our newly won liberty. Do not believe the slanderers. Keep your hearts open to the Turkish people who are fighting for freedom and independence, who are striving to achieve progress and justice in the world, like yourselves.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha
The most significant (!) reply to Mustafa Kemal Pasha’s letter came after a full fifteen and a half years.
November 10, 1938, Turkish Nation lived in the greatest of sorrows Ataturk was dead. Status officially reported to all countries. Afghanistan, Finland Level delegations from Japan, the Republic of Latvia to join in all countries reported the biggest funeral.
Most was the war with the country United Kingdom a special ‘armored’ and sent by the beginning of his commander, Field Marshal Lord Birdwood continents Anafartalar poured into the sea and the UK to the Mediterranean Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Dudley Pound A crowd of 160 delegations and 12 officers with a valuable band participating in a firing squad and 56 devoutly yesterday’s ‘enemy’ Greece At the beginning, including Prime Minister Metaxas, Be found at the funeral said a delegation of 12 high.
In the United States did not respond for a long time. In the end, U.S. State Department Office of Protocol November 18, 1938, We sent to the Embassy in Ankara At the ceremony the United States only Ambassador’s reported would represent. In this paper, the real interesting (!) the expression were as
‘… In a telegram from the U.S. Embassy on behalf of the American Government to be used at your funeral Proposed authorization of $ 300 a wreath on ensuring the embassy, \u200b\u200bbut the high cost of what you find that the U.S. State Department embassy was authorized to spend $ 200 ‘.
Note: The “U.S.” Senate, unfortunately, did not ratify the Treaty of Lausanne, the only country among those who were as delegates or witnesses in Lausanne!
LETTER FROM 10-YEAR-OLD AMERICAN STUDENT CURTIS LaFrance TU MUSTAFA KEMAL PASHA IN 1923
I am a 10-year-old American boy. I am very much interested in Turkey and the Turkish government. I read an interview with you and Mrs Kemal recently. I have a notebook on Turkey and already collected many articles and photographs of you and Mrs Kemal. Please send a signed photograph of you to this American boy. I hope to visit Turkey someday.
With best regards.
Gazi Mustafa Kemal’s Response Letter to Curtis LaFrance
Republic of Turkey – Private
Mister Kurtis LaFransa,
I received your letter. Thank you for your interest and thoughts on Turkey. As requested, I am enclosing a photograph of myself. My only recommendation to the hard-working and intelligent youth of America is not to believe everything said about Turks as truth and to base their studies on scientific research. I wish you success and happiness in life.
Gazi Mustafa Kemal
President of the Republic of Turkey
Note: Curtis LaFrance, who lived in a small town in America, visited Turkey many years later. His letter was discovered by Dogan Uluc, the New York representative of Hurriyet Newspaper.
* * * * *
MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK AND HIS LEADERSHIP
Turkey is one of the countries talked about most due to its strategic location almost at the centre of the word. The creator and the first President of the Turkish Republic was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He was born in 1881 in Selanico, once part of the Ottoman Empire and now a city in modern Greece. This year marks his 130th birthday anniversary on May 19, 2011. He died at the age of 57 on November 10, 1938, leaving behind him a legacy of a great reformer, soldier and a statesman.
In 2002, the New York Times reported on a study by Prof. Dr Arnold M.Ludwig of University of Kentucky who placed Ataturk first in his list of 377 leaders of the world who changed the fate of their countries and the world. Reading books on the leaders of the 20th century from Roosevelt to Hitler, from Saddam to Bush, one can easily conclude that Ataturk comes out as the towering figure most devoted to his country and to his people and changed the course of history.
In his book ”On Leadership”, John W. Gardner lists fourteen attributes for effective leadership, including physical vitality and stamina, intelligence, willingness to accept responsibilities and, probably the most important one, adaptability and flexibility of approach. For the last attribute, Mr Gardner presents Kemal Ataturk as the model and states: ”It was said of Kemal Ataturk, the greatest figure in modern Turkish history, that he could shift swiftly and without a second thought from a failing tactic to another approach, and if that did not work, to still another. Whether the fields of action was war or diplomacy or domestic governance, he rarely clung to an approach that was not producing results. His goals were stable but his tactics flexible.”
In the same book, Mr Gardner again gives the example of Kemal Ataturk renewing a nation and writing history and states: ‘In some systems that have gone too long without renewal, people understand that change is needed and restless. This was spectacularly true of Turkey when Kemal Ataturk, one of the great renewers of modern times, was a young officer. Long before World War I he had joined the Young Turks who sought a constitutional government for the decaying 600-year-old Ottoman Empire. After the war, he drove out the various foreign powers threatening Turkey ‘s autonomy, created the Turkish Republic, and then as President, launched an extraordinary series of reforms. He dis-established Islam as the state religion; abolished old codes subordinating women; substituted the Roman alphabet for the Arabic; instituted a new civil and penal code; abolished the traditional, mainly religious educational system, and established secular states”.
In an article in Newsweek’s 2003 issue, George Will told the Californians that they need someone like Ataturk to solve their budget problems who was probably the only leader in Turkey’s history with a balanced budget. Not long ago, House Speaker Newt Gingrich had made a similar comment to the members of the US Congress to put their educational problems in order, just as Ataturk did after establishing the Republic of Turkey. The Governor of South Carolina, HE Mark Stanford in the US and others like him also made similar comments, praising Ataturk.
The legendary publisher of ‘’Times’’ magazine Henry Luce knew the greatness of Mustafa Kemal Pasha and put his picture on the cover of its 3rd issue on March 24, 1923. From Nehru to Anwar Sadat, many world leaders wrote in their memoirs that they were inspired by ATATURK in the reforms that they started in their own countries. Ataturk wanted everyone living in Turkey to be a citizen of Turkey and made sure they had last names. In 1996 Haiti’s President said his wish was to have the following written on his gravestone: “I died happy because my entire life I understood and followed Turkey’s leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.”
Ataturk travelled around his beloved country extensively, even visiting Tunceli in 1937 for the opening of a bridge, despite being the centre of a Kurdish revolt started by the instigations of the British. Lord Kinross wrote his famous biography of Ataturk and Andrew Mango presented Ataturk in every aspect in his book. Probably few leaders have been written about as much as Ataturk and many libraries in the US have some of the books. President Clinton in his opening statement at the Turkish Parliament in November of 1999 stated, “We are here today because of Ataturk” Clinton knew who Ataturk was and what he had done for Turkey and the world.
Then there are unfortunately the enemies of Ataturk and Turkey who will tell you all kinds of stories and invent mythical claims against a man adored by millions. The sad Armenian issue took place long before he came to power and those who do not know the truth twist the facts of history. But what is most saddening is the efforts of some people, including those pretending to be friends of Turkey, to diminish the importance of Ataturk and his role in shaping the 20th century. Even Graham Fuller from the United States, who was not allowed to speak at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara a few years back, goes around making statements on Ataturk that misleads the people.
Mustafa Kemal Pasa was a victorious general who won battles against the invaders of his country with the support of his people. As the president of Turkey for 15 years, Ataturk was also a successful statesman who abolished the Sultanate and declared to the world that the country h created, The Republic of Turkey, will follow his motto “Peace at home Peace in the World”, not afraid to state that “a war not in the defence of one’s country is murder.”
Ataturk established friendly relations with all of Turkey’s neighbours by sawing the seeds of alliances, from the Balkan Pact to the Baghdad Pact, knowing its importance in the economic development of his poor country. These pacts were destroyed in later years for reasons that I don’t know and obstacles were created to block the development of friendship and trade between Turkey and its neighbours. In 2002, the Turkish government rejected the trip of Syrian president to Turkey for a silly reason, stating that the Syrian maps show Hatay as part of their country, while the former Us Secretary of State Christopher was visiting Syria continuously, never stopping in Turkey. Turkey is still being discouraged from opening its border Gates between Armenia and eastern provinces, demanding that they change their constitution first and delete a statement on the so-called Armenian genocide that no one in his right mind believes anyway. This is what Ataturk stated on the Armenian issue during his inaugural speech of the 3rd annual session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1922:
The Armenian issue, which aims at meeting the economic interests of the capÃ½italist world rather than bearing in mind the veritable interests of the Armenians themselves, was best resolved with the Kars agreement. The friendly ties between two industrious people coexisting peacefully for centuries have been satisfactorily established anew.
Ataturk saved Turkey from external enemies and created the only democracy in the Middle East which will last forever. Now it is up to us to continue with Ataturk’s reforms, by teaching the principles and the lasting achievements of one of the greatest leader of the 20th century, MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK…
Worldwide Recognition and Honor of Ataturk (From Wikipedia)
In 1981, the centennial of Atatürk’s birth, his memory was honoured by the United Nations and UNESCO, which declared it The Atatürk Year in the World and adopted the Resolution on the Atatürk Centennial. The Atatürk Memorial in Wellington, New Zealand (which also serves as a memorial to the ANZAC troops who died at Gallipoli); the Atatürk Memorial in the place of honour on ANZAC Parade in Canberra, Australia; the Atatürk Forest in Israel; and the Atatürk Square in Rome, Italy, are only a few examples. He has roads named after him in several countries, like the Kemal Atatürk Marg in New Delhi, India, Kemal Atatürk Avenue in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Atatürk Avenue in the heart of Islamabad in Pakistan, the Atatürk Road in the southern city of province of Sindh of Pakistan called Larkana where Atatürk visited back in 1923, Mustafá Kemal Atatürk street in the Naco district of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the street and memorial Atatürk in the Amsterdam-Noord borough of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The entrance to Princess Royal Harbour in Albany, Western Australia is named Atatürk Channel. Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, who visited his tomb and praised him, also expressed his view regarding Atatürk’s legacy at his speech towards “the Muslim world” by stating Atatürk’s “greatest legacy is Turkey’s strong and secular democracy, and that is the work that this assembly carries on today.”
Notes and References
1. World Leader’s Opinion on Ataturk
2. Sayings by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
3. Selected Web Sites
4. Selected Books on Ataturk
5. Movies About Ataturk
World Leaders’ Opinion About ATATÜRK
‘’The soldier in Atatürk had saved his country, the statesman in him had won for it the honourable peace, the reformer in him was now to make of it a new country.’’
Lord Kinross, author of the book, ‘’Atatürk, The Rebirth of a Nation’’ and ‘’The Ottoman Centuries.’’
‘’Think of an instance when the renaissance, reforms, scientific and cultural revolutions of the west, the French Revolution and the Industrial revolution all were squeezed into the life span of an individual and imposed by law. Thus, Ataturk carried out his revolutionary program between 1920 and 1930, one which has not been implemented in any country.’’
– British Historian Prof. Arnold Toynbee.
I asked the Soviet Foreign Minister Litvinov, while we were having a conversation, who he thought was the most interesting and the greatest statesman in Europe. In his reply he said the greatest statesmen of Europe did not live in Europe but that he lived beyond the straights, in Ankara, and that he was the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal.’’ – President Franklin D. Roosevelt, United States
‘’The name Atatürk invokes one with the historical success of one of the great personalities of this century, his leadership that inspired the Turkish nation, his foresightedness in interpreting the civilized world and his strength and bravery as a military leader. – President John F. Kennedy, 1963, United States
‘’His value to Humanity goes beyond the boundaries of his country. For Europe, it is probably a negative value, in the sense that he has removed from the sphere of Europe imperial strife and exploitation one backward country. This is good for Europe since a corrupt and backward nation will always remain a demoralising influence on a strong and healthy one.
His value for the east is concrete and positive, for he has proved to us that our little fears of being culturally submerged by the west are groundless. He has shown the Eastern nations how to readjust their values without losing their national integrity.’’ (From an article by M.M. Moushrafa, Egyptian Author)
SAYINGS BY MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK
‘’Peace at Home and Peace In the World. This is one of the most fundamental tenets and ideals of the Republic of Turkey.’’
‘’Peace is the most effective way for nations to attain prosperity and happiness.”
“There is only one civilization, there are many branches.”
“Unless the life of the nation faces peril, war is a crime.”
‘’The genuine guide to Humanity is Science’’
“Marching on the road to progress and civilization the Turkish nation holds in her hands and in her head the torch of rational science.”
‘Full Pleasure and happiness in life can be found only by working for the honour and happiness of future generations.”