Turkish History: Kemalism
By Burhan Bilge 1938
Source: La Turquie Kemaliste, no.28, December 1938;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
Upon the death of Atatürk, the hero of Turkey’s fight for independence and creator of the Turkish Revolution, the Turkish people, maintaining in its immense sorrow its noble lucidity, immediately and unanimously chose Ismet Inönü as President of the Republic.
In those grave times Turkey saw that it was not alone in the world and that almost every nation in the world shared in its mourning. It was in their tens of thousands that messages, telegrams, letters of condolence and newspapers arrived from around the world, telling us that the whole world shared in our pain before the loss of Atatürk and the joy in finding in Ismet Inönü our self-confidence and faith in ourselves. Countless are the Turks who received letters of condolence and congratulation from their foreign friends. The entire country is infinitely grateful to its distant and faithful friends.
On that occasion Turkey again felt that it constituted an element of peace in the world, respected, esteemed, and admired. In truth, at a time when each has something to demand of all, rare are the countries that owe nothing and ask nothing of anyone. But the young Turkish Republic wasn’t satisfied with only liquidating what was owed and what it owed to imperialism; it was also able to abandon itself to the agreeable and peaceful emotion of complete moral and material reconstruction and entirely dedicated itself to the task of creating the new man, the new fatherland.
The death of Atatürk did not in the least compromise Turkey’s calm and peaceful forward march, and this for two reasons: the first is that Atatürk was a happy leader who experienced the joy of competing his work; and the second is that Atatürk defined and pursued Turkey’s cause not as a personal affair, but had it adopted by the generation of the Revolution and then confided it to Ismet Inönü, who was his comrade in action and ideas.
This is why the Turkish nation is now, behind Ismet Inönü, pursuing the second phase of its historical course. Every Turk knows that this stage will be as rich in results as the first. And none of our foreign friends should have any doubts about this.
Atatürk led the fight for liberation and made the Revolution. Ismet Inönü is the strong and energetic man who will present Atatürk’s work to the world, that is, an independent, prosperous, and happy Turkey. And we can add that like Atatürk Ismet Inönü is not only a great statesman for Turkey, he is also a great European and a great servant of humanity, for he conceives events on a world scale and assumes his responsibilities in keeping with that scale.