As part of its online webinar series, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) hosted a webinar on the 101st Anniversary of Turkish War of Independence on May 20, 2020.

The webinar started with the opening remarks of the ATAA President Gökhan Özalp.

Guest speaker, Mr. Erol Mütercimler, former Turkish Naval officer and political commentator, spoke about the importance of May 19, 1919 and shed light on the details of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s decision on landing on Samsun, and the following events that took place during Erzurum and Sivas Congress until the establishment of Turkish Grand National Assembly.

Mr. Mütercimler pointed out that during all these meetings, Atatürk believed in legitimacy, and all decisions were made in assemblies with the participation of representatives.

He stated that Ataturk always stressed the importance of a grand assembly even in the war circumstances and emphasized that Turkish nation should have a national assembly before having an army.

Mr. Mütercimler said that it was vital that Turkish Republic adapt secularism in order to be a democratic country. This is what Atatürk had thought before he started the Turkish War of Independence. He also pointed out that Ataturk established the Republic of Turkey, but real democracy would be established by the participation of Turkish women and the recognition of their political rights.

The online webinar was attended with great interest by participation of over 800 people. The video recording of the webinar can be viewed at the link below: