1927-10-20 - Kemal Ataturk
Turkish Youth, Your first duty is to preserve and to defend Turkish Independence and the Turkish Republic forever. This is the very foundation of your existence and your future. This foundation is your most precious treasure. In the future, too, there may be malevolent people at home and abroad, who will wish to deprive you of this treasure. If some day you are compelled to defend your independence and your Republic, you must not hesitate to weigh the possibilities and circumstances of the situation before doing your duty. These possibilities and circumstances may turn out to be extremely unfavorable. The enemies conspiring against your independence and your Republic may have behind them a victory unprecedented in the annals of the world.
It may be that, by violence and trickery, all the fortresses of your beloved fatherland may be captured, all its shipyards occupied, all its armies dispersed and every corner of the country invaded. And sadder and graver than all these circumstances, those who hold power within the country may be in error, misguided and may even be traitors. Furthermore, they may identify personal interests with the political designs of the invaders. The country may be impoverished, ruined and exhausted. Youth of Turkey's future, even in such circumstances it is your duty to save Turkish Independence and the Republic. You will find the strength you need in your noble blood.