*The Unknown Turks* By Clarence K. Streit

Report
Observations of an American journalist
who visited Turkey from January to March, 1921,
and interviewed Mustafa Kemal Paşa in Ankara.
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Born
January 21, 1896
Died
July 6, 1986 (90 yrs old)
Occupation
war correspondent
University of Montana
Alma mater
The Sorbonne, France
Oxford University , England
Atlanticist, Union Now
Notable work(s)
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Worked for Philadelphia
Public Ledger and later, the
New York Times
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Now that you know
the journalist,
our story can start.
In 1983, prominent scholar Heath
Lowry, professor of History at
Princeton University, gets a phone
call from a young Turkish
diplomat , a former student of his.
The diplomat says he had recently
met a most remarkable man who
had traveled to Ankara at the
height of Turkish War of
Independence and interviewed
Mustafa Kemal Paşa (Atatürk
after 1934). His name was
Clarence K. Streit and he had
written an unpublished
manuscript.
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

On his way to
Ankara, the
Nationalists’
Headquarters.
(He later becomes a
well known figure
promoting Atlantic
Federalism, the
precursor of NATO.)
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A perilous journey:
winter travel through
wartime Anatolia
Streit travels through Samsun,
to Merzifon, Corum, Alac,
Yozgat, Yahsihan and finally
Ankara. Along the way, he
stays in adobe-hut villages,
towns, guest houses, and hans.
In Ankara he is given a room
first at Liberty Hotel, which is
large enough to hold two
single beds with windows
containing several broken
panes, in the dead of freezing
winter. A few days later. He
gets a room at Constitution
Hotel, the best hotel in town,
where he kept a rug on the
window to stop the wind, but
not the snow...
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Takes a snapshot of
Anatolia in 1921
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Comparing that snapshot with today’s
Anatolia should give anyone an honest
appreciation of Ataturk’s reforms
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Thanks to Prof. Lowry,
who agreed to publish
Streit’s manuscript…
…you can now read all about
those exciting winter travels
through Anatolia and the
reports Streit filed with his
newspaper. Due to limited
time here, I cannot go into
details. What I will try to do in
the next few minutes is to
present to you those incredible
reforms that took Turkey from
the ashes of a collapsed empire
and brought it to the 16th
largest economy in the world
in just 89 years, with a track
record of Westernization that
made it a candidate for
membership to European
Union.
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Today, we respectfully
remember one of the
greatest leaders this world
has seen, Mustafa Kemal
Atatürk, who was born in
Ottoman Salonika in 1881
and passed away in
Istanbul, Turkey, in 1938.
After leading the Turkish
people to independence from
the occupying forces,
following the Ottoman defeat
in 1919, and establishing
the Turkish Republic in
1923, Atatürk forged a
cultural, social, educational,
political and economic
revolution that catapulted
the Turkish Republic into the
community of leading nations.

.
He lead the Turkish
citizenry to build a
republic on universal
principles: equality,
liberty and justice for all;
religious freedom based
on western secularity; the
pursuit of happiness
through democracy and
liberal economy; and a
citizenry based on
nationality, a common
language, and global
cooperation for the
common good.
.
a courageous
reformer…


Atatürk provided Turkey a
living, breathing body of law
and personal code of conduct
to adapt to modern times and
to thrive and succeed.
Atatürk wanted the Turkish
people to practice responsible
civic engagement for the
betterment of themselves, the
country, and the world.
He wanted peace at home
and in the world. He asked
the Turks to always to accept
the guidance of fact and
reason, to carry themselves
with confidence.
A dauntless
teacher…
He created a new alphabet –
changing the number of letters
from 425 to 29" – which enabled
citizens to become literate.
Atatürk gave utmost importance to
children and youth whom he saw
as the guardians of his reforms.
For that purpose, he dedicated
April 23rd to the Turkish Children
and 19th of May to Turkish Youth,
as early as 1920, the first of its kind
and still one of the few countries
which dedicate a day solely to
children.
.
BACKWARDNESS, POVERTY,
AND BLIND SUBMISSION
…TO SUPERSTITION, CORRUPTION,
AND THE CRUMBLING SULTANATE
"MY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LEARN
THE PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY,
THE DICTATES OF TRUTH AND THE
TEACHINGS OF SCIENCE,“ HE
ARTICULATED .

.
Since 1923, the
system that Ataturk
built has settled well
and the principles
behind it were deeply
rooted into Turkish
hearts and minds.
This brought Turkey up to
levels of economic and social
development on par with
Europe. The secular
establishment produced
wealthy families who set up
generously endowed private
universities and museums.
Turkey became largely
literate and middle class.
Consequently, Turkey is
poised now to join Europe in
what would be the fulfillment
of Ataturk's vision.
Turkey today is a western style democracy with a free
market system boasting the 16th largest economy in
the world

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