Ataturk's Entry into Izmir (Flag Incident)

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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Mr Holmes
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Ataturk's Entry into Izmir (Flag Incident)

Post by Mr Holmes » 25 Jun 2007 15:30

Hello all,

I am still reading Mango's "Ataturk", which makes for some rivetting reading. On p. 349 he relates the story of the Greek flag and of Ataturk's refusal to step on it, as cited from Hasan Riza Soyak's "Reminiscences of Ataturk". Mango describes the scene as thus:
Mustafa Kemal spent his first night in Izmir at Karshikaya, across the bay from the centre of the city. According to a story which has become part of the Ataturk legend, a Greek flag had been laid down in front of the entrance to the house, but Mustafa Kemal refused to step on it.
Which is the more persuasive argument? Did this happen or did it not happen? There must have been witnesses to this event; does anybody know anything further about this myth/true-event?

Cheers

Nick

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 27 Jun 2007 13:26

Supposedly the event was in contrast to Greek officers walking over a Turkish flag when taking over the Mayor of Izmir's office in 1919.Kemal refused to do the same display at the same building in 1922.

Supposedly he said:

“The flags are sacred; no one has the right to be disrespectful to them, even if it is your enemy’s”.


In the big picture I think he realised he had to live in peace with his close neighbour Greece.

When Venizelos visited Turkey in October 1930 both parties got on quiet well and a Pact of Friendship between Greece and Turkey was signed.

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 27 Jun 2007 13:42

The contrasting symbolism is quite powerful, which is why I decided to ask here and to gauge whether it is an apocryphal event or a real one.

That specific Pact survived into 1940, I am not sure what became of it after the German invasion, however. Of the the visit, I have a picture of Venizelos and Inonu photographed together, but it may have been in another setting.

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 28 Jun 2007 10:59

The Alatini Kiosk or Iplikcizade Ismail Bey Kiosk at Karshiyaka/Izmir
http://images.google.com.tr/imgres?imgu ... %26hl%3Dtr

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