Minutes before it fell into an eternal silence, the words "Look, a date is passing..." echoed in the corridors of Dolmabahçe Palace, and the calendars were showing 10 November 1938 at 09:05.
84 years have passed since the death of the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who declared "freedom and independence as his character" and saved a nation from captivity.
Great Leader Atatürk was born in Thessaloniki in 1881. Atatürk, who started his primary education in the neighborhood school of Hafız Mehmet Efendi in line with the wishes of his mother, Zübeyde Hanım, then completed primary school in Şemsi Efendi School, which he went to at the request of his father Ali Rıza Efendi.
Atatürk, who left Thessaloniki Civil High School, where he went for secondary school education, voluntarily continued his education in Thessaloniki Military High School. Captain Mustafa Efendi, who was a mathematics teacher at this school, named his gifted student "Kemal" as his middle name in order to distinguish Atatürk from the other "Mustafa" in the class.
After graduating from Thessaloniki Military High School, Mustafa Kemal graduated from the Manastır Military High School with second place. Atatürk, who received foreign language education besides his military education, took French lessons in Thessaloniki, where he returned during the summers.
After coming to Istanbul, he entered the Military Academy in 1899 and completed the rank of lieutenant in 1902, and graduated from the Military Academy in 1905 with the rank of staff captain.
Atatürk was appointed to the 5th Army in Damascus in 1905 for his staff internship. Atatürk, who was awarded the Medjidi Order from the Fifth Rank for his outstanding services in the Syrian region, was appointed to the 3rd Army Headquarters in Manastır, Macedonia in 1907. Atatürk was assigned to the staff of the 3rd Army Headquarters in Thessaloniki.
While Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was stationed in Manastır and Thessaloniki, he served in the Action Army, which suppressed the 31 March Incident in Istanbul in 1909.
Atatürk, who was also assigned in the operation to suppress the rebellion in Albania in 1910, was sent to Tobruk after Italy landed troops in Tripoli in 1911.
After successfully leading the Turkish forces in Tobruk and Derne, Atatürk participated in the Balkan War in 1912-1913 with the rank of major, and served in the corps that recaptured Edirne from Bulgaria.
"Hero of Anafartalar"
Atatürk was appointed as an attaché in Sofia in 1913. Upon the outbreak of the First World War while he was serving as an attaché, Atatürk applied to the Deputy Commander-in-Chief and wanted to take part in the front.
He told himself, "There is always a duty for you in the army. However, we see Sofia Attaché as more important, so we leave you there." Upon his reply, the Great Leader wrote the following letter to Deputy Commander-in-Chief Enver Pasha:
"There can be no more important and lofty duty than the active duties of the defense of the homeland. While my friends are on the battle fronts and in the lines of fire, I cannot be an attaché in Sofia. If I am deprived of the qualifications to be a first-class officer, please tell me clearly if that is your opinion."
Thereupon, Atatürk was appointed as the Commander of the 19th Division to be formed in Tekirdağ under the 3rd Corps under the command of Esat Pasha in 1915.
The enemy troops, who landed soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula and advanced to Conkbayırı, withdrew with the attack of the 19th Division forces under the command of Atatürk. Atatürk became famous as the "Hero of Anafartalar".
Atatürk escaped an absolute death when a piece of shrapnel hit his chest during the Conkbayırı offensive, shattering the watch in his pocket.
Atatürk, who was appointed as the Commander of the 16th Corps on the Eastern Front, stopped the Russian attacks in 1916 and recaptured Bitlis and Muş from the enemy and was promoted to general on this front.
Atatürk, who was appointed to the 7th Army Command in Palestine and Syria in 1917, went to Germany with Crown Prince Vahdettin in the same year and made investigations at the German General Headquarters and the German war fronts.
While he was the 7th Army Commander on the Syrian front, where he was reassigned in 1918, he returned to Istanbul after the Armistice of Mudros signed at the end of the First World War. He left Istanbul with the duty of Army Inspector, keeping secret his aim of saving the country from enemy occupation.
"The Treaty of Sevres does not exist in our opinion"
Mustafa Kemal, who went to Samsun on 19 May 1919 by way of the Black Sea, published the Amasya Circular on 22 June 1919. He informed the Turkish nation that "the integrity of the homeland and the independence of the nation are in danger, and a congress will be convened in Sivas to save the homeland with perseverance and determination."
In addition, resigning from the duty and military service given by the Ottoman Government, he chaired the congresses held in Erzurum on 23 July 1919 and in Sivas on 4 September 1919.
In these congresses, decisions were made and announced that "the nation will defend the homeland against the enemy invasion, a temporary government will be established for this purpose and a national assembly will be convened, and mandate and protection will not be accepted".
With his efforts, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) began its historic mission in Ankara on April 23, 1920. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was elected as the President of the Assembly and the Government.
The witness of the National Struggle and the War of Independence established Anadolu Agency
On April 6, 1920, 17 days before the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Anadolu Agency (AA) was established by the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. AA, which was established with the aim of "to make Turkey's voice heard to the world", announced the first laws passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly and witnessed every stage of the National Struggle and the War of Independence.
Despite the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the establishment of a national government, the Treaty of Sèvres was signed on 10 August 1920 between the Ottoman Government and the Entente Powers.
In his statement to the United Telegraph newspaper reporter, the Great Leader Atatürk emphasized that they do not recognize the Treaty of Sèvres and said, "We do not think that the Treaty of Sèvres, which is aimed at destroying our political, judicial, economic and financial independence, and ultimately denying and abolishing our right to live, does not exist." used the phrases.
It was announced to the world that the Treaty of Sèvres signed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly between the Ottoman Government and the Entente Powers was not accepted.
The rank of "Marshal" and the title of "Veteran"
The advance of the Greek forces, which occupied İzmir with the help of the Entente Powers, was stopped in 1921 with the First and Second İnönü wars.
With the attack of the Greek army again on August 23, 1921, the Battle of Sakarya began. Atatürk told the troops, "There is no defense line, there is a defense surface. That surface is the whole country. Every inch of the land of the homeland cannot be abandoned until it is wet with the blood of the citizens." gave his order.
The Greek army was defeated and the Turkish army led by Commander-in-Chief Mustafa Kemal Pasha ended the Battle of Sakarya with victory. In this war that lasted for 22 days, the Greek army suffered heavy losses. Because of this victory, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was given the rank of "Marshal" and the title of "Gazi" by the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
After the Sakarya Victory, the Treaty of Kars with the Caucasian Republics was signed on October 13, 1921, and the Treaty of Ankara with the French on October 20, 1921, where today's Turkey border was drawn, except for Hatay.
Under the command of Atatürk, the Turkish army counterattacked on 26 August 1922 to save the homeland from enemy occupation, and launched the Great Offensive.
In the Battle of Dumlupınar (Commander-in-Chief) on 30 August 1922, led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha, the Turkish army destroyed most of the Greek army. The Turkish army, following the routed and fleeing enemy forces, entered Izmir on September 9, 1922.
After the great military victories that saved Anatolia from the enemy invasion, the Mudanya Armistice Agreement was signed on October 11, 1922, and the Allies withdrew from the Turkish lands they occupied.
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was signed on July 24, 1923 between the Turkish delegation headed by İsmet İnönü and England, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia.
Regarding the Treaty of Lausanne, the Great Leader said, "This treaty represents the destruction of a great assassination that had been prepared for centuries against the Turkish nation and was thought to have been completed with the Treaty of Sèvres." made its assessment.
First President of the Republic of Turkey
After the War of Independence, the Republic was proclaimed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on October 29, 1923, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was elected President. Atatürk, who was elected President four times in a row until his death in 1938, became the President to hold this position the longest.
The planned assassination attempt on President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on 14 June 1926 in İzmir was prevented. Its ringleaders were arrested in Izmir.
In his statement to Anadolu Agency regarding the assassination attempt, the Great Leader said, "There is no doubt that the low attempt is directed at our holy Republic and our high principles, on which it is based, rather than my own person. My humble body will surely be soil one day, but the Republic of Turkey will stand firm forever." made its assessment.
Gazi Mustafa Kemal was given the surname "Atatürk" on 24 November 1934 with the Law No. 2587, and the use of this surname by others was prohibited.
Contributed to Turkey's prominence as an influential actor in its region and in the world
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk initiated the Five-Year Industrial Plan in 1933 in order to alleviate the effects of the 1929 World Economic Depression and accelerate the development of the country. In the same period, important steps were taken in foreign policy. Initiatives such as joining the League of Nations, signing the Balkan Entente, Montreux Straits Convention and the Loyalty Pact contributed to Turkey's prominence as an influential actor in its region and in the world.
Atatürk made intense diplomatic efforts for Hatay to join the homeland, and this goal was realized in 1939 after his death.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who went down in history not only as a commander who successfully led the Turkish Nation's War of Independence, but also as a statesman with the revolutions he carried out, worked tirelessly for the independence of his nation and homeland in his 57-year life and emerged victorious from every struggle he entered.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who wrote his name in Turkish and world history with golden letters with his military and political genius, died on November 10, 1938, at the age of 57, at 09:05 in Dolmabahçe Palace.
While Atatürk's death was met with great sadness not only in Turkey but all over the world, foreign statesmen made many statements and published messages.
Anıtkabir journey of Ata's funeral
Atatürk's body, who died in Dolmabahçe Palace on November 10, 1938, was put on the catafalka in the ceremony hall of Dolmabahçe Palace on November 16.
On 19 November, the funeral was sent off by a large crowd to Izmit with the battleship Yavuz, and then to Ankara on the evening of the same day by the train he used for all his country tours.
The funeral, which was welcomed by the state officials in Ankara on 20 November, was put on a catafalka in front of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Atatürk's body, which was placed in his temporary tomb in Ankara Ethnography Museum with a huge funeral on 21 November 1938, remained here until 10 November 1953, when it was moved to his eternal resting place, Anıtkabir.