8 Şubat 2011 Salı

1921: Atatürk and Osman's Grandfather

//ed. note: in a detour from our blog's usual fare, herewith a couple
of interesting historical items.//

(Habertürk Newspaper, 15 November 2009)

In a talk given at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, Prof. Dr. Heath
Lowry of Princeton University related the memoirs of American
journalist Clarence Streit who conducted an interview with Atatürk
on 3 March 1921, in the period when he was head of the TBMM and
the government. Lowry related Streit's rememberance as follows:

'When I arrived in Ankara it had not yet been declared the capital. He
received me with Turkish hospitality. For two hours he spoke French
comfortably. He is a handsome and good-looking man. He dresses
very well and speaks well, too. He's 40 years old but looks younger.
There is the look in his eyes of an idealist who has realized his dreams.
There's no trace of showiness in either his life-style or his leadership,
nor any conceit. After the interview I got to know the nation he so
passionately believes in. Atatürk could be seen walking in Ankara,
joking with people, speaking with them warmly. I saw that the
accusations in the West that Atatürk is a dictator did not reflect the

'With his broad forehead and the cut of his mouth and chin he has the
lines of a warrior but without his fur cap and when wearing glasses
he gives the impression of a professor.'


(Habertürk Newspaper, 7 February 2011)

For the past 90 years, the lone piece of Turkish territory outside
Turkey in another country has been the 2.5 acre site containing the
tomb of Süleyman Shah, grandfather of Osman Gazi who gave
his name to the Ottoman Empire. The tomb is located in Aleppo,
along the shore of the Euphrates River.

Turkish soldiers protect the site, where the Turkish flag waves
and a statue of Atatürk sits, along with the words 'How Lucky is
He Who Says I am a Turk.' The land upon which the tomb rests
was accepted as Turkish territory by the Ankara Agreement
signed with France in 1921. The tomb has been moved twice
because of dam construction.

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