As the Republic of Türkiye proudly celebrates its 100th anniversary on October 29, 2023, it is our hope to honor and reflect on the life and legacy of its founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the achievements of the independent, sovereign, democratic and secular government he founded.
Atatürk, a military officer serving the Ottoman Empire, witnessed the Ottoman Empire being partitioned up amongst the occupying forces of Greece, France, Italy and Great Britain after the First World War and decided to take matters into his own hands. Atatürk quietly traveled to Samsun, and on May 19, 1919, he started a citizen uprising that would become the Turkish War of Independence. After four years of war, a peace accord known as the Treaty of Lausanne was signed on July 24, 1923, and on October 29, 1923, Atatürk proclaimed the establishment of an independent nation, the Republic of Türkiye.
As with any functioning democracy (including our own in America), the Republic of Türkiye has been home to many different opinions and political views over the past 100 years. We are looking forward to Türkiye becoming an even stronger nation in the centuries to come, while preserving the values of secularism, democracy, equal rights and freedom of speech in both our countries.