ITU Commemorates Ataturk
Nov 10, 2015

ITU organized a ceremony to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

ITU Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca, vice-rectors, students, academic and administrative staff participated in the ceremony which was held in Suleyman Demirel Convention Center on Ayazağa Campus. The ceremony started at 09.05 a.m. with the wailing of sirens and two minutes of silence. After the national anthem the visitors listened to the speech delivered by Ataturk on the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the Republic accompanied by a black and white film about the establishment of the Turkish Republic. 

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Following the short video film our Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca addressed the visitors with a speech, in which he stressed the emphasis Ataturk put on science: “At the beginning of the 20th century Ataturk identified the importance of science and technology for the smooth development of Turkey. Moreover, he stressed that the main goal of the Turkish Republic is to reach the modern civilizations level by makıng progress in every aspect of life, being economically independent and taking advantage of scientific and technological achievements of European civilization. He specified it by declaring: “We shall raise our country to the level of the most prosperous and civilized nations of the world.”

At the end of his speech Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca quoted a saying of Ataturk: “My spiritual heritage is reason and science. The ones after me, who face the same problems that I tried to overcome, will aprove that, even failed at some points, I have never made concessions walking towards our goals under the guidance of reason and science. The things that I wanted to do and worked for Turkish nation are clear. The ones after me who want to pursue the path I have drawn for them would be my spiritual followers if they keep following the guidance of science and reason.”

Batuhan Evren, a representative of the ITU students, started his speech by saying: “Today we gathered here to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s demise. We had a long way to go before our country could become as democratic, social and civil as it is nowadays. The reforms brought by Ataturk are recognized and cherished by everyone irrespective of nationality and religion. In every step that our great leader took he was thinking about the nation’s prosperity first of all. When we look back at the revolution, we clearly see that it made our people independent individuals, not slaves. Let us not think about the positive or negative effects of the revolution, but let’s turn ourselves to the ideas of the Veteran himself, which are still very modern and progressive for our nation and state. I’m convinced that all Turkish young people must never forget these words of Ataturk: “Nations that have made a habit of seeking ways to a life of comfort without work, sweat, and education, are doomed to first lose their dignity, then their freedom followed by their independence.”

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The special guest invited to the ceremony this year was the Honourable Member of Turkish Historical Society, holder of Order of Merit and expert in Turkish history Prof. Dr. Feroz Ahmad. In his speech about the role of Ataturk in the establishment of the Turkish Republic and the revolution he emphasized the following: “The new Turkish Republic established by Ataturk and his followers fulfilled its transitional stage in the 1930s and became a model for the developing countries of the Third World. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was hugely inspired by Ataturk’s reforms, the fact that he clearly stated in his opening speech at the foundation of the new state. However, he died a year later and did not realize his dream.  Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime-minister of India was also influenced by the Turkish revolution, but at the same time he admitted that India was too big for such a thing. Unlike Jinnah, however, he had a chance to lay the foundations of modern India. Just think for a moment what could have happened if Ataturk hadn’t had enough time to lay the foundations of modern Turkey. What would have Turkey looked like then? Ataturk lived to make Turkey what it is now and left science and reason as heritage. However, Turkey, which is 92 years old, is a relatevily young country, and we have to preserve the reforms associated with Ataturk.’

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After the speech our Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca presented the speaker Prof. Dr. Feroz Ahmad with an appreciation plaque.

The program continued with a concert of ‘Favorite Songs of Ataturk’ given by ITU TMDK. At the end of the concert, Prof. Dr. Feroz Ahmad met with the ITU students and signed his book The Making of Modern Turkey for them. 

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“We are walking in the Name of Ataturk” and “We are running in the Name of Ataturk”

ITU Department of Physical Education organized the 32nd “Traditional Marathon” to commemorate the 77th Anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. 

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Following the commemoration ceremony the members of the ITU family aged from 7 to 70 took part in a marathon that was held under the slogan “We are walking in the name of Ataturk” and “We are running in the name of Ataturk”. The marathon was started by our Rector, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca. 

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The distance stretched from the Physical Education Department Building to the ITU Stadium. The marathon participants included ITU students, members of academic and administrative staff as well as pupils of Dr. Natuk Birkan Elementary/Secondary School and Ekrem Elginkan High School from ITU DFS. All the marathon participants received certificates at the ITU Stadium.