TRACES OF ATATURK IN THE BALKANS

ÖZET
Atatürk ün aile büyükleri Anadolu’dan Konya’dan Balkanlara gelmiş Bu günkü
Makedonya’nın Kocacık köyüne yerleşmiştir. Aile daha sonra Selanik’e göç etmiştir.
Atatürk Balkanların karıştığı bir dönemde Selanik’te dünyaya gelmiştir. Selanik’te
ilk modern Türk Okulu olan Şemsi Efendi’nin okulunda ilkokulu modern bir şekilde
okumuş karakteri burada oluşmaya başlamıştır. Ortaokulu Selanik Askeri ortaokulunda
okumuş askerlik mesleğine ilk adımını burada atmıştır. Askerlik mesleğinde
olgunlaşmaya Manastır askeri lisesinde başlamıştır. Harp akademisinden mezun
olmasından sonra üç yıl süren Şam sürgünün ardından iki kez Selanik’e görevli olarak
gelmiştir. Balkanlardaki son görevi ise Sofya’da Askeri ataşelik olmuştur. Balkanlar
Atatürk’ün hayatında çok önemli yer tutmuştur. Balkan

SUMMARY

Atatürk’s family elders came from Konya to the Balkans and settled in Kocacik,
Macedonia. The family then moved to Thessaloniki. Atatürk came to the world in
Thessaloniki at a time when the Balkans were in turmoil. At the school of Şemsi
Efendi, the first modern Turkish school in Thessaloniki, the character school that
has read the elementary school in a modern way has begun to form here. He has
taken his first step into the military profession, which he studied at the secondary
school Thessaloniki Military Secondary School. He started to mature in the military
profession at the Monastir military school (Bitola). After his graduation from the
War Academy, he came to the city of Thessaloniki twice, following the exile of Damascus
for three years. The last task in the Balkans was military attaché in Sofia. The
Balkans have a very important place in Atatürk’s life.

1. Introduction:

The founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,
was born in the last quarter of the 19th century. In this period, the “Oriental
Issue”, aiming at the disintegration of the Empire from all directions and
aiming at the expulsion of Turks from Europe, even from Anatolia, gained
momentum. The empire faced challenges threatening its existence, such as
securing the sovereignty areas of Asia, Europe and Africa, protecting political
borders, fighting against internal riots, and preventing the dissolution of
the country. The state has entered into massive reform movements in each
of the arenas in order to overcome these problems.
The Ottoman economy became dependent on the economies of the
European states (Balcioglu, 2003, pp. 1)

Four cities are very important in Atatürk’s life and upbringing. Istanbul,
Thessaloniki, Sofia and Monastery. (Kocak A., Agacik M., 2017, pp. 17)
When Atatürk’s Balkan policy is examined, some spiritual elements must
be taken into consideration, apart from political and political elements.
Atatürk was born in Macedonia, and lived in the bustling atmosphere of
Macedonia, the golden years of his childhood, youth and military officers.
He first fell in love with the Monastery in the balkans. (Koçak, Agacik, 2017,
pp.48) Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who had made military attaches in Bulgaria
before World War I, gave a special importance to the Balkans for this reason.
Thessaloniki, where Atatürk was born, was one of the most wealthy,
most developed and oldest cities of the whole empire, not only the Balkans,
but perhaps the first, at the beginning of the 20th century. It was a
500-year-old Turkish city, seized in 1374, 79 years before Istanbul. It was a
soldier city with a high level of life created by economic and cultural vitality,
and a military center with a qualified political mobility. Political and cultural
organizations, newspapers and magazines, intellectuals, soldiers, officers,
troops and tools of war were the natural texture of the city.
The small Balkan states, who know the opportunity of the state to become
weak and who take the support of the West behind them, have stared
at Thessaloniki, trying every possible way to seize it. The brutality of the
Bulgarian or Greek gangs, who use every inch of lightning or terror, leaves
a deep impression on the Muslim Turkish people, and intellectuals who are
concerned about the future of Thessaloniki and the empire come together
to discuss and organize. The unchanging theme of wineries, schools, family
or friends’ meetings, the bad situation in the country and the future are the
things to do. Everyone can see the negativities that the Turkish people live
and will live in, it can not bring a clear and feasible proposal to the majority.
This is the general situation of Thessaloniki where Mustafa Kemal was born
and grew up. (Aydogan, 2017, pp. 30)
Ataturk was born in Thessaloniki. Professor Vasilis Dimitriadis, who had
been working in the Greek Archives for many years, had discussions with
more than 80 Ottoman and 16 Greek archive documents he had used in
his book, although he had occasional discussions about the house he was
born in Thessaloniki. Selanik Ahmet Subaşı Neighborhood, Numan Paşa
Street, where Ataturk was born, which will be known as Pembe Ev, is the
first to be found in the house records of number 6 in 1875. this house was
bought by Atatürk, his father Aliriza lord and his mother Zübeyde. Thus,
this house ownership belonged to the property of lumberjack Alirıza Efendi
and his wife Zübeyde Hanim. The new number is 38 in the street where the
mansion is located. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk came to this world in this house
(Dimitriadis, 2016, pp. XX)
In the register book dated April 13, 1887, it is recorded that son of Ahmet,
Alirıza Efendi passed away. Alirıza inherited as a legacy of 35010 cents

worth A house in the neighborhood of Koca Kasim Pasha, a jacket worth
forty-five cents, 1 vest, 20 cents worth of pants, 40 cents worth of coat, 20
cents worth of 1 crate and 5 cents worth of “Lügat- i Osmani “(Ottoman
Dictionary). Zubeyde Hanim sold the little house. The big house, the Pink
House was rented and she went to his brother who lived in a village in the
Langaza district. Later, Zubeyde Hanim sent her son Mustafa to her mother
Halil Ağa’s daughter Ayşe. The house of Atatürk’s grandmother, (Ayse
Hanim), was near Pembe Ev and Ahmet Subaşı neighborhood. Zübeyde
hanim moved to Pink house again in 1908 and lived in this house until 1912.
(Dimitriadis, 2016, pp. XXI)
According to the book of Dimitriadis, information about the family of
Atatürk is given according to Ottoman archive documents. Mustafa’s father’s
name is Ali Riza, according to the records of the Ottoman martyrs.
Ali Riza Efendi’s father is Ahmet. Ahmet’s father is Mustafa. Mustafa Kemal
was given the name of his great-grandfather. Feyzullah’s father’s name was
Ibrahim. The mother of Zübeyde Hanim is Ayşe Hanim (the daughter of Halil
Aga). The great mother of Zubeyde Hanim is the Emine Hanim. (Dimitriadis,
2016, pp. XXI)
There are some Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman works in the city of
Thessaloniki. Among them are the White Tower (Beyaz Kule), which was
built in the first half of the 16th century by Süleyman the Magnificent and
became the symbol of the city. (Dimitriadis, 2016, pp. XXIII)
White Tower Beyaz Kule), due to fierce debate in restaurants located
around it, is considered as the place where the foundations of the Republic
of Turkey discarded. It is also an important representative structure for
Turks.
We can add this modest and simple house, the house where Mustafa
Kemal Atatürk was born, with this striking construction which is of great
importance in historical terms. This house symbolizes the birthplace of the
founder of the Republic of Turkey. “Pink House” has taken its place among
the most famous monuments of the city by name.
After the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, the house was transferred to the
Greek state and was given to a Greek family until 1937, later bought by
the Municipality of Thessaloniki and awarded to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Today, in the Ayiou Dimitriou neighborhood, on the Apostolou Pavlou street
at number 75, the house was transformed into a museum in 1951. “Ataturk
was born in Thessaloniki in 1881. The historic house where he was born,
where he spent part of his childhood and youth days, and his friends decided
to go to a free administration regime, was built as a museum today
(Atatürk Evi) and opened to visit. There is a Turkish Consulate next to it.
(Dimitriadis, 2016, pp. XXIII)
The mother of Atatürk is Zübeyde Hanim, the daughter of Sofi Zade Feyzullah
Efendi who emigrated from Anatolia to Rumeli. Zübeyde Hanım was

a clever, discreet, religious and tradition-bound woman. “The family had
three disasters that left deep traces on the parents before Mustafa’s birth:
three children, Fatma, Ahmet and Ömer, came to the world, but Zübeyde
and Ali Riza lost their children (Balcıoğlu, 2003, pp. 10)
Numan Kartal, Sevket Süreyya Aydemir, Yrdc.Doc. Dr. Ali Güler, Altan Deliorman,
Fazıl Senai Erdemgil, Hüseyin Sekercioglu, Kemal Vatan, Mehmet
Ozel, Prof.Dr. Dr. Muzaffer Tufan, Many writers and researchers such as Yusuf
Hamza, Ilhan Selcuk, Ali Oz-Sayra Oz, Altan Arasli, Burhan Goksel and
Ercument Isleyen have made extensive explanations in their writings that
illuminate the father of Atatürk and his family is of Kocacik origin. Famous
writer Falih Rıfkı Atay stated that Atatürk’s father was from Kocacik in the
first printing of his work called “Cankaya”. (Kartal, 2012, pp.44)
In the Kocacik region, there were five full wars between the Turks and
Iskender Bey(Alexander). These wars were between 1443-1448. İskender
Bey has triumphed four times and has become a guardian of the Europeans
by becoming giant in the eyes of Europeans. Numerous writings about him
have shown him to be the savior of Christianity and European civilization.
Earlier successes of Iskender Bey every success of the Sultan Murad II pissed
off, it gave birth to want to take revenge of the defeat. Ottoman Sultan Murat
II came to Kocacik and personally became the head of the army. The last
great battle İskender Bey made with the Turks in this region was carried out
between 19 March 1447 BC and 6 March 1448 BC on the large plain near
the Kocacik Kale called “Erenler” or “Great Martyrdom” and the war victory
of the Turks .
During this conquest, “Konyarlar” (Bardak Gazileri, Akıncılar) from Anatolia’s
Konya-Karaman region, Aydin and Söke provinces joined the wars under
the command of Isa Bey and more than three thousand martyrs were
killed during this very harsh battle. Today, the “Erenler” (Grand Cemetery),
the place where more than three thousand martyrs are buried, carries the
memory of the tough “Kocaceng” (Great War) .The Sultan Murad II, after
the war, who gave the war survivors the war zone as a gift and they settled
here and formed a Turkish settlement in Kocacik. (Kartal, 2012, pp. 33)

2.Primary school

Mustafa Kemal, in which the great civilizations of the West began to infect
the world with all the splendor of the world, colonized a large part of
the world. He came to the world at a time when Abdulhamit restricted human
freedoms, and that westernization rapidly continued and every nation
struggled to find its national identity. (Balcioglu, 2003, pp. 5)
His father, Alirıza, wanted to give his son to the newly opened Şemsi
Efendi elementary school; his mother wanted to give him to a traditional
neighborhood school. Atatürk: “Finally my father came out of this business

with a cunning. I started the mosque taditional school first. After a while I
went out in Şemsi Efendi elementary school. “ (Balcioglu, 2003, pp. 11)
The most distinctive feature of Şemsi Efendi’s educative personality was
that he was innovative, entrepreneurial, populist, bold and patient in every
way. In addition, unlike traditional schools, he adopted an education system
based on research and inquiry, not memorization. (Koçak, 2000, pp. 69)
Şemsi Effendi tried to convey the ideas of innovation, liberty and constitutionalism
to his students, including Ataturk. Şemsi Efendi, a freelance
teacher, attended the demonstrations with his students in Thessaloniki on
23 July 1908 after the Second Constitution was declared. For the first time
in his school he opened the girl’s room. The most important effect in the
formation of the idea structure of Atatürk is evaluated by Şemsi Efendi.
(Koçak, 2000, pp. 87) Because there was no difference between the schools
of the period of the Thessaloniki military ranch where Atatürk went. Teachers
were military and formally disciplined. There was no modern education
in primary school.
Şemsi Effendi tried to convey the ideas of innovation, liberty and constitutionalism
to his students, including Ataturk. Şemsi Efendi, a freelance
teacher, attended the demonstrations with his students in Thessaloniki on
23 July 1908 after the Second Constitution was declared. For the first time in
her school she opened the girl’s room. The most important effect in the formation
of the idea structure of Atatürk is evaluated by Şemsi Efendi. (Koçak,
2000, pp. 87) Because the Atatürk’s Thessaloniki Military secondary school
was no different from the school of its time. Teachers were military and
formally disciplined. There was no modern education like in primary school.
His father, Ali Riza Bey, died when he was still in primary school; Mustafa
was orphaned at a very young age. Since the family did not make a living,
Zubeyde Hanim took her son from school and went to his brother’s farm
on the sides of Thessaloniki, Langaza. His uncle decided to raise Mustafa in
farm work. He helped farm jobs for a while. When this issue is expressed
during the presidential period and one of the listeners does not believe,
Atatürk:
– Yes, it is true. I was born and grown like everyone else. If there is a
privilege in my birth, it is said that I should be born as a Turk.
Mustafa was getting used to farm life; but her mother, Zübeyde, felt sorry
that she could not send her child to school. They sent him to a Christian
place in a church near Çaliftlik, so that at least he was a joke. This school has
not lasted long. (Aydemir, 1999, pp. 48)

3.Middle School – Military Middle School

On an autumn day, while visiting the meadow with his uncle, he called
Mustafa home. In Salonika, he decided to take the child with him to send

the aunt again. The mother, worried about her son’s education, sent Mustafa
to Thessaloniki with her aunt. Mustafa registered here at the Mulkiye
secondary school.
One day, an Arabic teacher named Kaymak Hafiz, saw Mustafa fight with
a child and beat him to leave him in the blood. Mustafa came home; He insisted
on not returning to the school again because he could not afford the
injustice of the teacher. (Balcioglu, 2003, pp. 12)
Mustafa on his bad memories he had left school to never return. This
was a turning point in his life. This time he entered the profession of military
service to his qualifications to reach his final rank. In 1894, he was admitted
to the Thessaloniki Military Academy. Looking at the success of the exam,
he started from the upper classes of this school. (Balcioglu, 2003, pp. 13;
Aydemir, 1999, pp.52)
Mustafa, with a great enthusiasm for his studies in this school he loves.
She was very curious about mathematics. So much so that the teachers who
saw the supremacy in mathematics were looking at him like a friend, not a
child’s eye anymore. One day the mathematics teacher:
– My son is yours, Mustafa, me too. This is not the case. It must make a
difference. After that, we will call you “Mustafa Kemal”. (Balcıoglu, 2003, pp.
14; Aydemir, 2011, pp. 64 )
Mustafa Kemal, after graduating from the military middle school with a
very good grade, went to the Monastery Military High School( Bitola) with
three friends. It was a boarding military high school. He describes his early
times in high school as: “Mathematics came to me very easily. I gave myself
this lesson. But I was back in French. When I came to Thessaloniki to spend
the first three months’ holiday, I kept secretly going to the French school. I
advanced my French. I have never been interested in literature. Ömer Naci,
a poetry enthusiast who came to our school from Bursa, influenced me.
Then I learned that it was something like literature. I enthused the poet. But
the new comrade, he said to me: ‘Such things will take you away from the
military.’ Though I left the poem, I now had the urge to write beautifully. “
Now he’s a lad. It’s the age to see. Since Serbs and Bulgarians wanted
to get these lands from us, they were gangsters in the monasteries and in
the villages and often attacked the Turkish peasants. Mustafa Kemal’ın for
the first time in the monastery collapsed the anxiety of the motherland. He
perceived the danger of circulating around the nation’s lands and freedoms.
( Aydemir, 1999, pp.67)
Mustafa Kemal also lives his first love here. Young people want to get
married, but they can not marry after Eleni’s family’s opposition. There remains
a letter describing this love behind.
To Kemal Ataturk,
somewhere and sometimes!
There have been so many years, and I still, every day, wait a word from

you. If you ever receive this letter, remember me, and see the tears on the
paper.
The years pass by.
I have heard so many things about you.
Something is going on!
If you read this letter while you are kissing another woman, tear it apart
and ask her if she believes that some Eleni Karinte from Bitola, spent all her
life for a man that she was with, only for one day?!
But, if you love her, as much as I love you, don’t tell her anything, and let
her be happy as you are!
But, if you still remember the girl from the balcony, and you don’t love
anybody else, know that I’m still waiting for you, and that I will be waiting
for you, for the rest of my life! I know that you will be back, that you haven’t
forgotten me!
My father died!
It’s been a year since the day he snapped me from you, locked me up at
home, and didn’t let me out for a month. I haven’t cried because I knew that
all the padlocks and prisons can’t change anything. The man that he wanted
me to marry, I saw only once, and
he asked me if I could love him. And I told him ”No, I love my first love!”
And I never saw him again.
My fathers never forgave me, and neither did I!
I’m not young and beautiful, as I used to be…
All life in one day!
Eternally loves you and will always wait for you,
Yours Eleni Karinte. (Kocak, Agacik, 2017)
Mustafa Kemal stayed at the Monastery Military School for three years.
He got good results from his examinations and came to Istanbul to go to war
school. Omer Naci became a close friend of Mustafa Kemal in the monastery.
It is a fact that Mustafa Kemal’s love of literature and rhetoric helped
him to develop or develop these abilities. Omer Naci, Mustafa Kemal both,
in fact, enjoy the feelings of patriotism, living and growing the freedom of
homeland and freedom to meet with the works of Namik Kemal has provided.
(Aydemir, 1999, pp.69) The military school will prepare him as an officer.
He will also develop his feelings of homeland and freedom and raise him as
a rebellious against the administration of oppression,
Mustafa Kemal graduated from the War Academy in December 1904
with the rank of captain captain.

4.Activities in the Balkans as an Officer

After three years of exile in Damascus, the place where he was born in
1907 was appointed to Thessaloniki. Mustafa Kemal, who was distributing

duties to his future companions, who talked about the emancipation of a
Turkish state from the establishment of the republic in the conversations he
made with his friends in Thessaloniki, could not match the leading figures of
the new era. (Aydemir, 1999, pp. 97, Balcıoglu, 2003, pp. 38)
Mustafa Kemal was sent to Trablusgarp in late September 1908.
(Balcıoglu, 2003, pp. 39) On 13 January 1909 Mustafa Kemal was appointed
Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army Thessalonica Division. (Balcioglu, 2003, pp. 41)
In 1913, Mustafa Kemal was sent to Sofia as a military attaché. (Balcıoğlu,
2003, pp. 67) This was his last trip to the Balkans. He never saw the lands he
grew up, the lands he grew up.

Conclusion:

Family elders of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk came to the Balkans as a result of
wars. The Balkans have always held an important place in his life and have
never seen the land where he grew up. He always carried his longing to the
Balkans and Thessaloniki. He has always been in battle in the lands he grew
up in, and in his professional life. After a war that established the Republic
of Turkey with a splendid victory. The most important issue after the war
has been the provision and maintenance of peace. The most important saying
of Ataturk in this matter was : “Peace at Home, Peace in the World”. He
was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Greek Prime Minister Venizalos,
who was one of his most important opponents and enemies during the
War of Independence and had to resign from his post because of Ataturk.

Burhanettin Şenli

References:

AYDEMİR, Sevket Sureyya, Tek Adam, Cilt I, Istanbul, 1999
AYDOGAN, Metin, , 2017, Mustafa Kemal ve Kurtulus Savasi, Ulkeye
Adanmis Bir Yasam I, Istanbul, 2017
BALCIOGLU, Mustafa, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’un Hayati, Ankara,
2003
DIMITRIADIS, Vasilis, Bir Evin Hikayesi, Ankara, 2016
KARTAL, Numan, Ataturk ve Kocacik Turkleri, Ankara, 2012
KOCAK Azmi, AGACIK Musa, Ataturk’un ilk Aski Manastırlı Eleni, Istanbul,
2017

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