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Memorable Encounters with Atatürk

Edited By 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 and Memories from Atatürk (Prof. Dr. Halil İnalcık)


Prof. Dr. Halil İnalcık

Atatürk and Memories from Atatürk

Dear colleagues and dear students who are to be the great men of the future; this is not a day of mourning. The person who created the present is not with us, but the great Turkey that he imagined and dreamt of is alive. We live in that Turkey. This is a day to be proud. We shall remember Atatürk not by crying, but by being proud. The nation state, whose foundations he laid by taking up the leadership of Kuvay-ı MIlliye (National Forces) and by gathering together the national assembly, was a ruined and destitute country of thirteen million people. For eleven years, Turkish men were sent from one front to another, and they paid the price with their blood. The country he founded by fighting with the enemy, the foreign ambassadors, and even with his own colleagues, is one of the strong states in the world and it is still growing. What we call the big states have always been ready to bury us at any time. Standing up against them today is a great Turkey.

As Turkish citizens, with our heads up, we are today looking forward. We owe our present existence to him. Yes, there are tears in my eyes, but they are tears of joy. I met Atatürk personally. He talked with me. I will tell you about that. I am a historian. I...

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