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Memorable Encounters with Atatürk

Gönül Bakay and Leyla Pekcan

The book is a collection of memoirs related to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The recollections of 27 people who met Atatürk in person reflect the environment in which they grew up. The accounts of their childhood during the founding period of the Turkish Republic provide a wealth of information enabling historians to reconstruct how the perception of Atatürk was transformed during a time of profound political change.

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Atatürk Saved the Professors that Escaped from Hitler (Muazzez İlmiye Çığ)


Muazzez İlmiye Çığ

Atatürk Saved the Professors that Escaped from Hitler

I am 94 years old, and I have worked all my life. I became a teacher in 1926, and I taught for four and a half years. Then I worked in a museum for 33 years before I retired. But I did not stop working; I continued by writing books.

Trip to Çorum when the Country was Under Occupation

There was fighting going on at Sakarya. Eskişehir was under British occupation. We lived in Eskişehir in those days, but we had to leave the city. It wasn’t only us; the whole city was retreating. First, under very difficult conditions, we went to Ankara by train. Everything was just like what you see in films. The enemy was coming and you had to flee and leave your home. You didn’t even have the chance to take your belongings. Everyone was trying to save his or her life. When we started out, Mother just rolled up a mattress. That was our only possession. We had great difficulty finding space on the train to Ankara. When we got there, there was no place, no home, no hotel to stay at. There were huge crowds everywhere. Father found an empty coffee shop. For a week, we lived there with a few other families. We hung bed sheets up for privacy. Then we decided to go to Çorum where my father’s sister...

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