Remember Atatürk, The Great Leader
Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey was born in Thessaloniki on 19th May 1981, and died in Istanbul on 10th November 1938. We remember Atatürk with respect and love at the seventythird anniversary at the time when he left us. At the end of the Revolution of Enlightment which was realized at his helm during and after the Turkish War of Independence that was made against all the western imperialist states, the Republic of Turkey, that is a democratic, secular, social and constitutional state based on human rights, was founded.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is one of respectable leaders throughout the world, whom we remember with respect and love at the seventythird anniversary of his death, as desribed in the UNESCO document which was signed by two hundred fifty two persons, all of whom were the members of the United Nations Organization: “Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, is an excellent person who made efforts for the purposes of international understanding, cooperation and peace, and a revolutionist who realized many reforms, and the first leader who faighted against imperialism and expansionism, and a statesman who was always respectful to human rights, and an undeniable avant-garde of the world peace, and who did not make any discrimination of colours, languages, religions and races amongst human-beings.”
The founding philosophy of the Rebublic of Turkey is Kemalism. Ahmet Tamer Kışlalı, who was a famous Kemalist, had described Kemalishm, thus: “Kewmalism is neither the wardership of Atatürk nor the total of what was done under the conditions of 1920’s. Kemalism is an ideology of modernisation which has a democratic sociable quintessence, and is based on the principle of revolutionism. Kemalism is not the wardership of the past, on the contrary, is the leadership of future.”
The objective that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk showed to the Turkish Nation is to create and sustain a contemporary, developped and civilized Turkey based on the latest principles of wisdom, science and technology. Atatürk bequeathed a spiritual inheritence only before he died and left us alone. At that time, Atatürk said: “I am bequeathing no religious verse, no dogma or no cliched and steretyped rule as any spiritual inheritence. My spitiual inheritence to you is wisdom and science forever. The leders to come after me will attest that we could not be fully successful against the radical and challenging difficulties which we had to overcome, and that we accepted wisdom and science as our unique guide.
Time has been rapidly elapsing. The concepts of nations, communities and persons about happiness and unhappiness are also changing. To claim that Atatürk imposed the provisions or rules which will never be changed means to deny the development of wisdom and science. Atatürk said “What I wanted to do and achive for the Turkish Nation were certainly clear. If those who want to adopt me as their leader after I died, they will be my spiritual inheritors.”
Atatürk has ordered the Turkish youth “to eternally protect and defend the independence of the Turkish Nation as well as the Republic of Turkey”. The Turkish Nation believes, knows and has the power that they shall keep the Republic of Turkey alive forever, which has been commended to themselves by Atatürk. The “Greater Middle East Initiative” aiming to divide and split the Republic of Turkey today can, therefore, go beyond neither Atatürk nor Kemalism.
Could we, as the Turkish people, appropriate Atatürk’s principles, reforms and spiritual inheritence as necessary? Whereas, Atatürk had warned us, thus: “I strongly advice my Esteemed Nation: Do not keep up with paying utmost attention to search in every nook and cranny the essential dispositionin the blood and consciousness of the persons whom my Nation will bring up and roll out the red carpet.” Can we follow this advice of Atatürk?
By Güngör BERK, Ex-Chairman of Atatürkist Thought Association Fethiye Branch