An exhibition for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – The 130th Anniversary of His Birth – 19 May 2011, and His Contributions to Humanity, 1881 – 1938

An Exhibitoon of Photographs, Posters and Books and Presentation on the Life of One of the Greatest Leaders of the 20th Century. By Yüksel Oktay, PE

Exhibition – May 1-31, 2011 Presentation – May 21, Saturday, 13:00 – 15:00

Hunterdon County Library, North County Branch, 65 Halstead Street, Clinton, NJ 908 730-6135

This year marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of a towering figure of the 20th Century and the Creator of Modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. A great military hero at the Battle of Dardanelles in 1915 against the Allied Forces, the commander-in-chief  at Kocatepe in 1922 war against the invading Greek Army , the President of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara in 1923, a world leader honoured at his death in İstanbul in 1938. (1).

The first president of the Republic of Turkey was born in 1881 in Selanik when it was a part of the Otoman empire and was given the name Mustafa. One of his teachers added ‘’Kemal’’ to his name in recognition of his intellience while attending a military school, and in 1934, was given the name of ATATURK – the father of Turks- as his last name when Turks were mandated to take last name.

As President for 15 years, until his death in 1938, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk introduced a broad range of sweeping reforms – in the political, social, legal, ecomomic, and cultures areas – virtually unparalleled in any country. The world honored his memory as a formost peacemaker who upheld the principles of humanism and the vision of a united humanity. A White House statement, issued on the occasion of ‘’The Atatürk Centennial’’ in 1981, paid homage to him as a ‘’great national leader in times of war and peace.’’ In 1933, he told his admirers; ‘’I look to the world with an open heart full of pure feelings and friendship.’’

Opinions by World Leaders, including Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, are given below:
This exhibition at the Hunterdon Public Library is intended to share Atatürk’s vision and the respect that he held towards the Americans, which he expresed in a letter that he sent to the US Senate in 1923. Mustafa Kemal took time to respond to a letter that a 10 year old American student wrote to him during the war time, given below. More books have been written about Atatürk than any other world leader, some of which are shown in this exhibition and also listed in the Bibliography.

Yüksel Oktay, PE

19 May 2011


Notes: (1) Emre Aköz, ‘’Atatürk’ün Çocukları mı? Osmanlı’nın Torunları mı– Children of Atatürk or the Grandchildren of the Ottomans’’ Sabah, 11 Ocak 2011.

"The U.S. Turkish Library & Museum For Friendship and Peace" project joined, and has been produced under the umbrealla of The Light Millennium Organization effective on October 15, 2015.