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On October 29, 1923, exactly 100 years ago, a nation was reborn from its ashes and the footsteps of a brand new, modern state were announced to the whole world. Over the past 100 years, a lot of progress has been made and countless challenges have been overcome. So, what paths did Mustafa Kemal Atatürk take when establishing the republic and what happened on October 29? Here is the glorious history of our Republic Day, which inspires the whole world!
Approximately six months after the declaration of The Second Constitutional Monarchy regime, the First World War broke out. The world's most powerful states participated in the war that started in 1914. Our country, as the Ottoman Empire, sided with the Central Powers and we fought alongside Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria. Against us were the Allied Powers, namely England, France, Tsarist Russia, Serbia, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Romania, and the USA. The Ottoman Empire and its allies were defeated by the end of the fourth year. England, France, Greece, and Italy began to share our lands.
Seeing that his country was being invaded day by day, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk could not stand it any longer and went to Samsun on May 19, 1919, to ignite the fuse of national unity. The Great Leader, who gave the signals of the War of Independence here, organized various congresses and started to organize the people. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who organized congresses in many places such as Erzurum, Sivas and Balıkesir, started a wave of rebellion against the occupations by saying "Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation!". His arrival in Samsun is considered the beginning of the War of Independence and has been celebrated with enthusiasm ever since.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk reached to many people through the congresses he held all over the country. Delegates who came from every corner of the country to represent their nation gathered at The Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on April 23, 1920, and formed the best example of national unity. The delegates who established the parliament elected Mustafa Kemal as the president of the parliament and The Grand National Assembly of Turkey started the War of Independence under his leadership.
The War of Independence was progressing in two separate areas. The first was the regular army. Our regular army fought the enemy in Sakarya, İnönü and Dumlupınar. The irregular forces, called Kuvayımilliye, began to trip up the enemy in the cities they were in. Every force across the country was mobilized for the liberation movement and the enemy was eventually driven out of our lands.
We were now the victorious side and those who tried to invade our country were disappointed with a great defeat. We fought and won not only against those who tried to invade our country but also against the reactionaries who did not want to lose the old regime. Now it was our turn.
Representing The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, İsmet İnönü, Minister of Health Rıza Nur and Former Minister of Economy Hasan Bey went to Lausanne to sign the peace agreement on July 24, 1923. A dense crowd was waiting for us at the table, including representatives of England, Yugoslavia, France, USSR, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria. With this treaty, we officially acknowledged our existence and freedom to the whole world and got rid of the occupying forces. However, although the foundations of a new state were laid, the form of government of the state had not yet been determined.
The only thought in Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's mind regarding the regime of the state, who had been reading works and doing research on state administrations since his childhood, was the republic. After the abolition of the sultanate, the idea of a republic flourished even more and became clearer after Lausanne. Atatürk submitted a motion to the parliament stating that the regime of the state was a republic, and the motion was accepted by the parliament. The first president of the established republican administration became Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, by the decision of the parliament.
No matter how strong the enemies are, a nation with courage and determination has once again shown everyone that it is invincible. Our glorious success, which affected the whole world, changed political decisions, and inspired societies that desired to achieve freedom, was crowned with the republic. Because of that now people have a voice in the administration!
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