History

Writing history is as important as making history. If the writer does not remain true to the maker, then the unchangeable reality transforms into a confusing matter for humanity. 1931 (Hasan Cemil Çambel, T.T.K. Belleten, Volume: 3, Issue 10, 1939, P. 272)

One does not understands the meaning of history until reaching a mature age. And history can only be written after this age. I really wish that I could spend our remaining lifetime writing history together with a few friends! ( Yusuf Ziya Özer, Ulus Newspaper, 10.XI.1939)

It is not the mind, logical judgement which makes the history but maybe feelings other than these. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D. II, P. 116)

What a beautiful mirror is history. Humans, especially the people who are not improved by moral teachings can not prevent their essential natures from falling into feelings of avarice even in the presence of the greatest sacred concepts. In the great events which take an important place in history, the attitudes, activities and conducts of the people who are the cause and protagonists of the events show their moral levels clearly. 1915 (Mustafa Kemal, Anafartalar M.A.T. Yay: Uluğ İğdemir, P. 27)

Many people who became famous in history do not have virtues from the national point of view. For example, think about Napoleon, who really had military power, went as far as Moscow and dissolved the French army by dragging it over ruins and fire. His actions were not taken to satisfy the real and national interests of the French nation but to satisfy his own bellicose ambition. He destroyed millions of distinguished sons of France to satisfy his ambition and eventually met his fate well known by all of you. It is possible to examine and compare the greatest and seemingly glorious actions of our Ottoman history from the same point of view, with it’s true nature. 1923 (Atatürk’ün S.D. II, P. 161-162)

The reply he gave upon a law draft preparation for naming either one of the cities Ankara or İstanbul as ‘Atatürk’:

It is not necessary to take a shelter in the foundations of cities to ensure that a name stay in history or spread by word of mouth. History is a coy fairy who doesn’t like to be forced; prefers ideas. (Falih Rıfkı Atay, Babamız Atatürk, P. 135)

Our ancestors who established great states had great and extensive civilizations as well. To research this, examine it carefully and inform the world is an obligation of ours. (Afet İnan, Atatürk Hakkında H.B. P. 297)

The Turkish child will be encouraged as long as he continues to know his ancestor well. (Afet İnan, Atatürk Hakkında H.B. P. 297)

The opinion which introduced Turks to the entire world as a primitive underdeveloped nation has taken hold of us as well. During the time they started an empire and national history from a nomadic tribe consisting of four hundred tents, the Turks’ opinion was at the same center as well. In the first place, we have to teach the nation their history, the fact that they belong to a noble nation, and children of an advanced nation who is the mother of all civilizations. 1930 (Ahmet Hamdi Başar, Atatürk’le 3 Ay, P. 122)

If a nation is great, it will become greater by knowing itself. (Hikmet Bayur, T.D.K., Türk Dili, Belleten, No: 33, 1938, P. 16)

Turkish children’s capability is superior to that of all nations. As long as successes of Turkish capability and power in the history are revealed, all Turkish children will be able to find the necessary sources to make a leap forward in that history. From that history, Turkish children will acquire the idea of independence, think about these great successes, learn about the men who produced wonders, think that they are from the same blood and with this competence they will not humiliate themselves before anybody. (Şemsettin Günaltay, 1951 Olağanüstü Türk Dili Kurultayı, P. 33)

Do you know why we lost the Balkan States? There is only one reason for this. And these are the language institutes founded by Slavic research associations; when they wrote the national histories and awakened the national consciousness of the people living among us , we retreated from the area to Thracian borders in Balkans. (Enver Behnan Şapolyo, 1951 Olağanüstü Dil Kurultayı, P. 54)

Spoken to the members of the Turkish History Association during a meeting:

I am a transitory man, I will die one day, while I am alive, I would like to see the true history of the Turkish nation, whose greatness and capability I believe in, being written. That’s why during these meetings I become ecstatic, forget everything and tire you. Forgive me. 1933 (Uluğ İğdemir, Atatürk ve Tarih, Açılış 1962-1963, M.T.T.B., P. 24)

I like Alemdar Mustafa Pasha and Mustafa Reşit Pasha, but if Alemdar had had a little thorough knowledge he would have proclaimed the Republic. If Mustafa Reşit Pasha’s little thorough knowledge had been combined with Alemdar’s power, I would have entered this history with a different mission. (Enver Behnan Şapolyo, Atatürk ve Milli Mücadele Tarihi, P. 532)

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