• An invitation to the first essay competition of 2011 to commemorate Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day the May 19th. ( As of April 23, 2011 submissions are closed  for this competition)

The Ataturk Society Of Canada (ASC) invites you to join an essay writing competition on one of the many leading life experiences of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

This year’s essay theme is about an event occurred during   Mustafa Kemal’s early days of setting foot on Anatolia, just after landing at Samsun on May 19, 1919.

The essay competition is an element in celebrating May 19, The Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day (19 Mayis Ataturku Anma, Genclik ve Spor Bayrami), a well known national celebration day in Turkey to commemorate Mustafa Kemal’s initiating the national independence movement.


As we, who are the Turkish Citizens of Republic of Turkiye and have keen interests in Turkish history and culture, all know that Mustafa Kemal, with a great mission in his mind, set foot on Anatolian soil at Samsun on May 19, 1919. Facing great difficulties to initiate his objectives in Samsun, Mustafa Kemal and his retinue decided to move inner parts of Anatolia.

Mustafa Kemal and his retinue left Samsun for Havza on 25 May 1919. The Mercedes Mustafa Kemal travelling  was in such bad shape that it could travel no faster than 15 kilometres an hour and had to stop often for repairs. Even with a more efficient vehicle there would have been no possibility of normal travel since good roads were a rarity in Anatolia.

In many of these stops, once, when the car broke down Mustafa Kemal got out of the car beginning to walk and sing. He asked everyone to join in singing.  The song he sang was one of his favourites, and contains the lines:

“The mist has fallen on top of the mountain,

The silver stream unceasing runs,

The sun about the raise in the horizon,

Let us march on my friends,”

The song in Turkce is known as Youth March today and the lines are as following.

Dağ başını duman almış,
Gümüş dere durmaz akar.

Güneş ufuktan şimdi doğar ,
Yürüyelim arkadaşlar.

Sesimizi yer, gök, su dinlesin,
Sert adımlarla heryer inlesin.

Bu gök, deniz nerede var,
Nerede bu dağlar taşlar?

Bu ağaçlar güzel kuşlar,
Yürüyelim arkadaşlar.

Sesimizi yer gök su dinlesin ;
Sert adımlarla heryer inlesin.

Her geceyi güneş boğar,
Ülkemizin günü doğar.

Yol uzun olsa da ne var,
Yürüyelim arkadaşlar.

Sesimizi yer gök su dinlesin ;
Sert adımlarla heryer inlesin.

It is said that Mustafa Kemal’s associations to this song are not known and one can only speculate as to why the song was sung during the walk.


Considering the conditions of the Ottoman Empire and the situation of Mustafa Kemal at the time of the event described above, analyze and speculate on Mustafa Kemal’s mind set and motives in choosing the song in relation to modern leadership qualities.

The essay must

  • set the background of the essay content by briefly describing the conditions of the Ottoman Empire and the impact of the Paris Peace conference
  • express a speculated opinion on whether the song was chosen consciously with an objective in mind or spontaneously by briefly discussing the possibilities,
  • briefly discuss the modern leadership qualities and/or theories in relation to Mustafa Kemal’s mind set and motives in choosing the song
  • express a speculated opinion whether the lyrics of the song can be associated with the past, present and future of the nation relative to the event described above in pretext to essay section,


  1. The promoter of the Competition is the Ataturk Society of Canada (ASC)
  2. Entry to the “Essay Competition” (the Competition) is open to Canadian and USA Citizens and residents (including residents on student visas) who are students of accredited colleges and universities graduating no earlier than May 2011.  Although the competition is aimed mainly for students who have Turkish background or are Turkish citizens, the competition is open to everyone who meets the conditions given above.
  3. Entry to the Competition is free and individuals are limited to submit only one essay per person
  4. Entries must be received by the ASC by 5pm EST on Saturday, April 23 2011. All entries received after that date and time will be deemed invalid. Late entries will not be accepted and the ACS is not responsible for entries lost or delayed or not received for any reason.
  5. Each  submission shall contain the following sections:
    1. Identification page including name, last name, residence address, email, telephone number, the title of the essay, the name of educational institution
    2. Photo page (participant’s passport size photo is optional, but would be nice)
    3. Cover Page
    4. The essay ( including List of Reference and List of Abbreviations – if required)
  6. The essay shall be no longer than 6000, no shorter than 3000 words, cover page, footnotes and references excluded.
    1. Written in English
    2. Typed on a A4 size electronic page
    3. Font shall be Arial, font size shall be 12 points
    4. 1.5 interlinear space
    5. Margins of 2.54 cm on top, bottom and both sides
    6. in MS Word and PDF format addressing  the explained topic with a title;
  7. Participants may not be identified by name or in any other way in the the Essay part of the submission (the cover page, the essay, references and abbreviations); therefore no names will be included in the electronic submission of the Essay, but the identification page will be written on a document of its own in the same electronic submission with the essay. The ASC will assign an internal unique identification number to each submission to keep the submitter’s identity anonymous to the jury.
  8. Entries should  be submitted to the ASC in electronic format at
    1. The subject line of the submission email must include May 19, 1919 in square brackets at the beginning, follow with a colon and contain the title of the essay in brackets a shown in the following example .                [May 19, 1919] : <My essay title for the competition>
  9. Entries will be evaluated by the jury which will be established at the discretion of the ASC. Decisions of the jury team are final and the right to select the jury relies with the ASC.
  10. The winners will be announced on 15 May, 2011. The winning essays may be published on the ASC Website and/or in selected magazines and publications.
  11. There will be three prizes. The ASC will provide prizes in the following manner:
    1. The 1st winner of the competition – $300
    2. The 2nd winner  of the competition – $200
    3. The 3rd winner  of the competition – $100
    4. Prizes will be given as payable money cheques to the winners , either in person or deposited in  their bank accounts
    5. There will be no prize giving ceremonies, only the winners’ will be contacted for the results and the wining essays and others will be published on the ASC web site and any publication that the ASC deems appropriate.
  12. The ASC may use any information (including personal information) provided by any person who submits an entry to contact them for any reason in relation to the Competition.
  13. The main part of the Written Submission Score Sheet provides that four (4) criteria will be used in assessing the documents:
    1. Content – Originality: 70 % weighting
    2. Clarity: 15 % weighting
    3. Structure: 5 % weighting
    4. Usage of academic references 10 % weighting; at minimum 5  historical, 5 leadership theories/qualities, 3 psychological,  2 sociological required
    5. The quality of language will not be a decisive factor, as long as the text retains its clarity and coherence.
  14. To the full extent permitted by the law, the ASC  will not be liable for any injury, damages, expenses or loss, physical or emotional hardship, claims on reputation damage  whatsoever (whether direct or indirect) to persons or property as a result of any person entering the Competition or accepting or using any prize, including without limitation non-receipt of the prize.
  15. Copyrights
    1. Copyright in all submissions remains with the authors, and the ASC acquires publication rights.  Authors are free to re-use their own material.
    2. The ASC intends to publish a selection of all submitted essays on its website and in a book. By entering the essay competition, participants give their permission for their essay to be used in such publications and any publication that the ASC deems appropriate without any cost to the ASC. Any essay published would be done so with proper attribution to the author.
  16. The ASC reserves the rights to cancel the competition at any time without giving any reason. By entering the essay competition, participants accept the fact the ASC cannot be held legally and / or financially responsible for the impacts of cancellation.
  17. Additional Rules
    1. The ASC may issue additional Rules if it is deemed necessary.
    2. Any additional rules will be applied from the moment of their publication on the official website of the Essay Competition.
  18. Papers incompatible with the above rules and conditions will not be considered. The ASC may at its discretion refuse to award any prize to any participant who fails to comply with these Terms and Conditions. Participation to the competition implies acceptance of the above terms and conditions.

For more information, updates on the completion or to contact us please visit us at

Download the essay topic and terms & conditions as pdf file here

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