Hello everyone once again. First of all, I would like to state that I am happy to present the last part of the article I wrote in the form of a trilogy. I felt a serious responsibility to complete this series of articles because leaving unfinished what I started is against my view of life. I think this is as bad as a promise not kept. That's why, with this article, I will complete the struggle for liberation of Mustafa Kemal from a lost war by integrating with his nation.
In the second part of the article series, I explained how the Ottoman Empire, which participated in the First World War on the side of the Germans, won the battle on the Çanakkale front under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, and thanks to this, Mustafa Kemal gained national fame as a hero. In this article, I will talk about Mustafa Kemal's leadership in the War of Independence and his taking the title of Atatürk thanks to this reputation he gained.
Thanks to the victory at the Çanakkale front under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, the enemy could not enter Istanbul. However, when Germany lost the war, the Ottoman Empire was automatically defeated. Enemy ships, who could not pass the Dardanelles by fighting, occupied Istanbul by crossing the Dardanelles as if they were on a cruise because of a winner war on paper. This occupation would last for 5 years.
When they showed the navy of the occupation forces to Mustafa Kemal, who came to Istanbul at that time, he made the following sentence:
“They will go as they came”
As can be understood from his sentence, Mustafa Kemal did not accept that the war was lost on paper and showed that he would continue to fight.
As the enemy occupied Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, it was very difficult for the Sultan's government to fight. Some pro-western government officials even gave up the struggle and agreed to submit to the invaders. Mustafa Kemal believed that the struggle should start from Anatolia.
Of course, there were also patriotic men who advocated a struggle for independence within the state. Mustafa Kemal Pasha was given the task of "Army Inspector" and on 19 May 1919 he went from Istanbul to Samsun by ferry.
How Mustafa Kemal organized the War of Independence and how he transferred the state's regime from the monarchy to the republic can be better understood when you read the book called "The Speech", which he wrote and tells about those years.
When I read what they did, two important points caught my attention. One of them was the military organization and the other was the political organization. He succeeded despite all the difficulties because he was able to organize these two at the same time and correctly.
He knew that military organization alone would not be enough to win a war. At the same time, he organized a political organization across the country, enabling not only the army but the entire nation to participate in the war with everything.
One of the first things Mustafa Kemal did was to establish a national assembly in Ankara as an alternative to the one in Istanbul. This was an indication that the decisions of the Istanbul government, which came under the control of the enemy, would be invalid and that the authority was now in Ankara. Thanks to Mustafa Kemal's successes in Çanakkale, many of the other high-ranking army members chose to follow in his footsteps. Ankara was declared the capital in the following periods, which is still the capital of the Republic of Turkey. In other words, the center of the struggle at that time was Ankara.
Mustafa Kemal organized a regional congress in the city of Erzurum, located in the east of the country, and asked representatives from the provinces in that region to attend the congress. Thus, while rehearsing the future national congress, he gradually included the nation into the struggle. This was also a move that paved the way for the whole country to fight in an organized way. After all, the Sivas Congress, which was later organized as a national congress, was held in Sivas, a city located a little more in central Anatolia, and they were asked to send a representative from all provinces in the country to this congress.
This clever strategy of Mustafa Kemal worked well, and the Turkish nation, acting together, put up a strong struggle against the invaders all over the country and preserved its independence.
Especially on the western front, a tough war was fought with Greece, which was supported by the British. For a while, victories were won with the independence struggle of the people in the eastern and southern regions against the Italian and French. Italy and France gave up the occupation and left the country. However, some battles with Greece were lost and the Greek forces came very close to Ankara, but with successful moves, the Turks under the leadership of Atatürk won the war against Greece.
During the war against Greece on the western front, the Turkish nation supported the army, which had limited means, by giving them a wide variety of products such as clothes, animals they kept, weapons, metals to make lead. In fact, Turkish women helped a lot while carrying logistics to the front. As men went to the front to fight, Turkish women carried ammunition to the front in primitive vehicles pulled by oxen. In addition, women worked with pickaxes to repair railways.
The war, led by Mustafa Kemal, was a war in which the Turkish nation participated altogether. This is where the genius of Mustafa Kemal shows itself. After the war was won, Mustafa Kemal showed his genius during the transfer of the government from the monarchy to the republic.
In addition, Mustafa Kemal made various contributions to the development of the country by breaking new ground in many fields such as education, medicine and industry.
He was given the surname "Atatürk" because of all the wonderful things he did.
Yes, the series ends here. I hope it was an enjoyable read for you.
A documentary-like film about the War of Independence for those who want to watch it. You can watch with English subtitle option.
Thanks so much, wishing you more wisdom and good luck