Since today is the day when our youth declared the Republic of Atatürk, who had the idea of the Republic and who did not. While we are talking about the Republic, we will also have to talk about the caliphate. You know, there was a team of 5 people who fought for the idea of the republic. During the War of Independence.
These are Ali Fuat Cebesoy, Kazım Karabekir, Refet Bele, Rauf Orbay and Atatürk. Now, out of 5 people, the ideal of the Atatürk Republic was in his mind alone, since 1907, he expressed it for the first time in Thessaloniki. He later said it in 1913. But none of this was written. He expressed these to people he knew as confidants, but he declared the Republic despite these 4 comrades. This is very important, the fact is not widely known to the public. Atatürk expressed this in great detail in his Nutuk.
But these comrades were all in favour of Caliphate. In 1922, they came together in October 1922 and asked, “What are we going to do, what are we going to do?” Atatürk did not openly say that he would declare the Republic there either. However, after declaring the Republic, Atatürk had two heart attacks within a month. While we celebrate this beautiful day in public, we do not clearly know what the cost of these is, and he said “I went to the other world”. Why did he have these heart attacks? Because these 4 comrades in arms, who were with him, turned against him. Because these friends had no idea about the republic.
What we need to know is that we need to underline this very boldly. The Republic was just an ideal in Atatürk’s mind. There was no such thing as the idea of a republic, and they kept it as a national secret in their conscience, and when the time came, he declared with a fait accompli that “we will declare the republic tomorrow”. Because what was wanted to be done was the sultanate in 1922, and after the 9 September victory, Atatürk destroyed the sultanate on 1 November 1922. But the caliphate remained. After the Republic was declared, he waited.
29 October 1923
On 29 October 1923, there were 258 deputies in the parliament. One hundred abstained. The Republic was proclaimed with the votes of 158 deputies. These hundred people, after the proclamation of the Republic, Abdülmecid as the caliph, yes he was not the Sultan, the last sultan was Vahdettin. But Abdülmecit was waiting to one side. Here, Rauf Orbay, whom these comrades in arms wanted to do, was the prime minister. They could not believe that the Republic was declared. Because their intention is to crush Atatürk and proclaim the Caliphate and to continue Abdülmecit as the caliph, even as the sultan, which is a bitter truth. But Atatürk overcame all these difficulties in this way. For him, the Republic we have is extremely valuable.