In October 1927, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk delivered a 36-hour 33-minute speech over six days at the Second General Assembly of the Republican People's Party in Ankara. It was a seminal performance. Written by him with full documentation, it described the history of the War of Independence, the founding of the Republic and the revolutionary reforms that ensued. It is a unique testament of profound achievement by the man who established a modern nation from the rubble of the Ottoman Empire. On the last day Ataturk bequeathed the new Republic to the care and protection of Turkish youth of future generations.
Turkish youth of every age know by heart the words describing this sacred duty. Furthermore, they all realize how Mustafa Kemal Ataturk foretold the future by describing in 1927 the conditions now prevailing in Turkey 86 years later. And he prescribed what needed to be done..."Save the independence of the Turkish Republic." This is why the Ataturk flags fly everywhere today. This is why the chants “We are the soldiers of Mustafa Kemal” come rolling down like thunder. And when the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Edoğan called Ataturk a drunk…well, that was too much. Ataturk’s youth rose in a mighty roaring torrent.
Turkish Youth! This rising has nothing to do with the fiasco dubbed “Arab Spring” which, thanks to the western imperialist powers, (including the prime minister of Turkey) has replaced secular tyranny with religious tyranny. The secular Turkish Republic has suffered from a decade of religious abuse from its western puppet Islamic government. Why a few years ago, the AKP was found by the highest court to be the center of anti-secular activity in the nation, a seriously damning judgment. And now the nation has seen enough of the growth of fascism and intolerance. It has heard enough of the diatribes and invective that has passed for political discourse. And, you, Turkish Youth have felt the full brunt of its violent, unprincipled power. You have suffered. And you have risen. So keep rising! Become what you are. Free, open-minded thinkers. Secular democrats having a participation in government. It is you, the Turkish Youth, who are the true majority in this country. So use that advantage. Structure a future according to your own terms. You already know well the enemy. Speak for yourself! And remember, trees are only the first step. There is much more to do.
This is no laughing matter
The trees in Gezi Park were merely the inciting incident, like the price of bread in France sparked its revolution. It is a profound mistake to mistake the trees for the forest. Ataturk would see through the trick immediately. Do not fall into the "discussion" trap. Do not let politicians, actors and celebrities negotiate away the power and energy of the Turkish Youth. And remember, there was absolutely nothing worthy of a smile about the prime minister’s violent role. Who are these grinning ignoramuses claiming relevance to represent you? Thousands wounded, many grievously so. Violent beatings, some murdered. Incredibly, he blamed the violence on you! And they smile at him!
Do not let the rich, pretty, false faces do your talking. A new, young Turkey is coming. Let it be! Let it be yours, Turkish Youth.
Read again what you already know and again learn. Mustafa Kemal did not stop until he reached Izmir. And then he turned his great liberating Army toward Istanbul. And that was enough. His foe went as it had come. "Geldikleri gibi gideler." Learn fully from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Your life, your future depend upon it.
Cem Ryan, Ph,D. Istanbul 14 June 2013
O Turkish Youth!
Your first duty is ever to preserve and defend the National independence, the Turkish Republic.
That is the only basis of your existence and your future. This basis contains your most precious treasure. In the future, too, there will be ill-will, both in the country itself and abroad, which will try to tear this treasure from you. If one day you are compelled to defend your independence and the Republic, then, in order to fulfill your duty, you will have to look beyond the possibilities and conditions in which you might find yourself. It may be that these conditions and possibilities are altogether unfavorable. It may be that the enemies who desire to destroy your independence and your Republic represent the strongest force that the earth has ever seen; that they have through craft and force, taken possession of all the fortresses and arsenals of the Fatherland; that all its armies are scattered and the country actually and completely occupied.
Assuming, in order to look still darker possibilities in the face, that those who hold the power of Government within the country have fallen into error, that they are fools or traitors, yes, even that these leading persons may identify their personal interests with the enemy's political goals, it might happen that the nation came into complete privation, into the most extreme distress; that it found itself in a condition of ruin and complete exhaustion.
Even under those circumstances, O Turkish child of future generations! It is your duty to save the independence, the Turkish Republic. The strength that you will need for this is mighty in the noble blood which flows in your veins.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk 20 October 1927
Ey Türk Gençliği!
Birinci vazifen, Türk istiklâlini, Türk Cumhuriyetini, ilelebet, muhafaza ve müdafaa etmektir.
Mevcudiyetinin ve istikbalinin yegane temeli budur. Bu temel, senin, en kıymetli hazinendir. Istikbalde dahi, seni, bu hazineden mahrum etmek isteyecek, dahili ve harici, bedhahların olacaktır. Bir gün, istiklal ve Cumhuriyeti müdafaa mecburiyetine düşersen, vazifeye atılmak için, içinde bulunacağın vaziyetin imkan ve şeraitini düşünmeyeceksin! Bu imkan ve şerait, çok namüsait bir mahiyette tezahür edebilir. İstiklal ve Cumhuriyetine kastedecek düşmanlar, bütün dünyada emsali görülmemiş bir galibiyetin mümessili olabilirler. Cebren ve hile ile aziz vatanın kaleleri zaptedilmiş, bütün tersanelerine girilmiş, bütün orduları dağıtılmış ve memleketin her köşesi bilfiil işgal edilmiş olabilir.
Bütün bu şeraitten daha elim ve daha vahim olmak üzere, memleketin dahilinde iktidara sahip olanlar gaflet, dalalet ve hatta hıyanet içinde bulunabilirler. Hatta bu iktidar sahipleri şahsi menfaatlerini, müstevlilerin siyasi emelleriyle tevhit edebilirler. Millet, fakr ü zaruret içinde harap ve bitap düşmüş olabilir. Ey Türk istikbalinin evladı! İşte, bu ahval ve şerait içinde dahi vazifen, Türk İstiklal ve Cumhuriyetini kurtarmaktır. Muhtaç olduğun kudret, damarlarındaki asil kanda mevcuttur.