1933-10-29 - Kemal Ataturk
It is now fifteen years since the War of Liberation commenced. Today is the day of celebration of the tenth anniversary of our Republic.
At this moment, as a member of the great Turkish Nation, I am very happy and excited that I have lived to see this great day.
My fellow countrymen,
We have accomplished great things in a short period of time. The greatest of these is the Turkish Republic, which is based on Turkish heroism and on our great Turkish culture. We owe this success to the determined forward march of the Turkish nation, together with her worthy army. We never think that what we have done is enough. We are determined and obliged to accomplish more and greater things. We are going to advance our country to the level of the most prosperous and the most civilized countries of the world. We shall make it possible for our nation to acquire the necessary resources and means for her to live in nation-wide prosperity.
We shall attempt to raise our national culture above the level of contemporary civilization. Therefore, we think and shall continue to think not according to the lethargic mentality of past centuries, but according to the concepts of speed and action of our century. We shall work harder than in the past. We shall accomplish greater things in a shorter time. We have no doubt that we shall succeed in them as well; because the character of the Turkish nation is worthy and noble, the Turkish nation is industrious and the Turkish nation is intelligent.
Because the Turkish nation has been successful in overcoming hardships through national unity and togetherness. And because the torch the Turkish nation holds in her hand and in her mind, while marching on the road of progress and civilization, is positive science.
I would like to point out with special emphasis that one of the historical characteristics of the Turkish nation, which is a society composed of worthy people, is to appreciate the fine arts and to advance in them as well. Therefore, it is our national ideal to support and to develop the worthy and noble character of the Turkish nation, her industrious quality, her intelligence, her dedication to science, her love of fine arts, and her feeling of national unity always and with every available means and measure. This aim, which is one very suited to the Turkish nation, will make her successful in fulfilling her obligation to cultivate real peace in the entire world.
Great Turkish Nation,
During the last fifteen years, I have made many promises to you to be successful in our undertakings. I am pleased that I have not failed my nation in any of them and given you cause to doubt me. Today, I speak with the same faith and assurance that, within a short period of time, the whole civilized world will once again recognize that the Turkish nation, moving unified toward the national ideal, is a great nation. I do not doubt that the long buried characteristics and abilities of the Turks will, as they progress, shine like a new sun on the horizon of the great civilization of the future.
In every decade which passes into eternity, I wholeheartedly wish that you celebrate this great national holiday with ever greater honor, happiness, peace and tranquility. Happy is he who says "I am a Turk".