Anadolu Agency archives reveal Ataturk's first speech

By Ozcan Yildirim

ANKARA (AA) – The archives of Anadolu Agency and records at the Turkish parliament reveals the historic speech of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.

According to the Anadolu Agency archives bulletin, the Turkish parliament convened on Monday, Oct. 29, 1923, at 6 p.m. local time under the chairmanship of Ismet Inonu, Turkey's first prime minister.

The proposal submitted by the Constitutional Commission, containing the constitutional amendment was put on the agenda for immediate discussion.

The historic constitutional amendment included the following well-known statement, "Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation. The management of the actual administration of national affairs depends on the people. The Government of Turkey is a republic."

"Turkey's state religion is Islam, the official language is Turkish. The Government of Turkey is governed by the Grand National Assembly," added the amendment.

According to the initial amendment, the president of Turkey was elected by the parliament members and continues the position until a new one is elected.

Noting that the president is the head of the Turkish government, the amendment further detailed the characteristic of the president's position.

Following the discussions, the proclamation of the republic was approved by all 158 members of the parliament at 8 p.m. local time.

Shortly after the proclamation of the name of the country and the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was elected as the first president of Turkey by a unanimous vote.

According to Turkish Parliamentary records, the very first statement of Ataturk said: "The Republic of Turkey will prove worthy of the place it holds among world states via its efforts."

"We will always go forward together based on the love and trust of the nation. The Republic of Turkey will be happy, successful and victorious," said Turkey's first President Ataturk.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan