Today we remember and honor the memory of Lieutenant Mustafa Fehmi Kubilay, a young lieutenant in the army of the newly founded Turkish Republic, on the 88th anniversary of his brutal murder. Lieutenant Kubilay’s courage and sacrifice in protecting Turkey’s new secular democracy will remain an inspiration to us all.
Murder of Kubilay, also known as the Menemen incident, was a chain of incidents starting with the rebellion of religious fundamentalists in Menemen, a small town in western Turkey, in 1930. Kubilay was brutally killed at the age of 24 when a mob of fundamentalists led by Dervis Mehmet incited religious rights demonstrators to armed rebellion against the secularist regime. They captured and decapitated Kubilay as well as two municipal watchmen; Bekci Hasan and Bekci Sevki. The murderers were tried, convicted and executed.
Lieutenant Kubilay is considered as a Turkish national hero, martyr of Turkish revolution, and a symbol of Turkey’s revolutionary history, showing what the military was prepared to sacrifice in order to protect and preserve the republic.
Please pause for a moment today in loving memory and honor of Lieutenant Kubilay.