CUMHURİYETE DOĞRU (TOWARDS REPUBLIC) Celebrated in NYC

A summary on The Light Millennium’s “Milli Mücadele/Cumhuriyete Doğru” October 29th Celebration event:
On October 29
th, 2019, The Light Millennium, joined by the American-Turkish Women’s Association and the American Association of Ataturkist Thought and Patriotism, celebrated the 96th anniversary of the Turkish Republic with its “Milli Mücadele / Cumhuriyete Doğru” event at the Salvation Army International Social Justice Committee in New York City.
Event Summary by Irem UNAL, Youth, Representative of The Light Millennium to the United Nations Department of Global Communications

Upon arrival on Tuesday afternoon of October 29 in New York City, guests enjoyed a delicious lunch generously donated by Pita Mediterranean Restaurant (Mr. Gökmen Leventeli) to the attendees of the event, which was held at Salvation Army International Commission on Social Justice, which is in the heart of the city.

Towards Republic/Cumhuriyete Doğru” titled event led by The Light Millennium, and organized in collaboration with Turkish American Women League and the American Association of Ataturkist Thought and Patriotism (America Atatürk Düşünce ve Vatanseverler Birliği) based in New York. The event was emceed by Bircan Ünver and Irem Unal, respectively the Founder & President of The Light Millennium and one of The Light Millennium’s 2019 Youth NGO Representatives to the United Nations Department of Global Communications. After a brief introduction and welcome statement by the hosts, all 80+ program attendees observed a minute of silence in honor of the soldiers and leaders of Turkey’s past who have given their lives to protect Turkey and to ensure that Turkish nationals across the world can celebrate the Republic for years to come.

Following the moment of silence, the New York Turkish Music and Culture Association’s Adult Choir group opened the celebration by performing the Turkish National Anthem and other songs, like “Onuncu Yıl Marşı” and “Hoş Gelişler Ola Mustafa Kemal Paşa.” The energy in the room was high, and program attendees participated by clapping along or joining in for the chorus!

New York Turkish Music and Culture Association’s Choir contributed to the program with marches and national songs at the opening and closing.
Sibel Özdemir-President; Chorus: Meltem Mete, Sevgi Su Sidote, Çağla Challa, Mine Takıl, Şerefcan Özdemir, Ekrem Hırzarslan, Mustafa Karamuk, Vedat Cingözler
Muzisyenler: Ayhan Işık, Org; Şerefcan Özdemir, Saz;
İffet Tunalı, Keman.

The main program was led by a quick introduction about The Light Millennium, presented by Irem Ünal, reminding guests of what LM’s mission and goals are. Dr. Ayse Goloğlu Soyer, the keynote speaker of the event, was the invited to the stage to lead the main portion of the afternoon. During her presentation, she shared a thorough and enlightening overview of the fourth volume of her father’s “Milli Mücadele Tarihi” and “Cumhuriyet Tarihi” as total 9-volume book series, with a particular focus on “Cumhuriyete Doğru,” which tells the stories of the events that took place during the two-year period from the establishment of the Assembly to the proclamation of the Republic in 1921 and 1922.

Dr. Soyer herself is a doctor of neurology, who retired in 2001 and began devoting her time to editing with modern Turkish for the 2nd edition of her father’s books. Dr. Soyer emphasized that the first edition of these 9 volumes book were published by Mahmut Goloğlu as self-publisher, which called, “beyaz seri/white series“, which was printed starting on 1968 to 1973 including “Milli Mücadele Tarihi” and “Cumhuriyet Tarihi“. Author Goloğlu had worked very hard to distributing them to libraries and institutions himself, with the ultimate goal of educating the Turkish population about the early history of the nation. Dr. Soyer’s presentation featured a brief biography of her father, quotes from his books, and even newspaper clippings from the time period as examples of what the social and political climate was like at the time!
Full text of Dr. Goloğlu Soyer’s presentation, please click on this link (in Turkish)
For Dr. Goloğlu Soyer’s slide-presentation, please click on this link (pdf)

Dr. Soyer’s educational presentation was followed by with a brief remarks, which titled, “Cumhuriyet ve Kadın” (Republic and Woman) by Sermin Özçilingir, President of the Turkish-American Women League, and followed by Doğan Güneş, President, American Association of Ataturkist Thought and Patriotism.
Ms. Özçilingir, President, Turkish-American Women League, highlighted what it means to be a woman in the Turkish Republic, from its inception until now and the future! Mr. Güneş briefly discussed the transition from the Ottoman monarchy to the birth and leadership of the modern Turkish democracy by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

To finish off the presentation portion of the program, LM Founder-President Bircan Ünver shared her perspective on the Importance of Human Development in the early Turkish Republic” (Cumhuriyet’te İnsanı Gelişmenin Önemi), and how—even in the 1920s—Mustafa Kemal Atatürk demonstrated and implemented the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, like SDG#4 Good Health and Well-being, SDG#3 Quality Education, and SDG#15 Life on Land. For example, when a Turkish community was discussing how to cut down a large plane tree (çınar ağacı/with its branches hitting over the roof) in order to make way for the completion of the new construction. However, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk instructed them not to cut to the tree down and instead to move the unfinished-construction of the mention in order to accommodate the survival of the ‘plane tree‘. Ataturk valued the environment and spread this to the Turkish people, helping them recognize the aesthetic and natural benefits of respecting the land and earth we are lucky enough to live on! Ms. Ünver’s presentation, in essence, showed how progressive Atatürk was and how he set the tone for the new Republic upon its inception. It was a valuable lesson for all attendees to learn about how Education, Health, and Environmentalism have been prioritized and ingrained into the foundation of Turkey from the very beginning!

Turkish-American Women League’s Adult Folk Dancing Group – Director: Halil Konal – Dancers:
Gülcan Demiröz, Selma Savaş, Necla Kılınç, Nevra Ölmez,
Belgin Ekici, Filiz Pınar and Özlem Koldemir

The closing of the program was broken into two parts. First, the New York Turkish Music and Culture Association’s Adult Choir was invited to the stage again to perform “Ankara Marşı” and
İzmir Marşı“, two songs that everyone in the crowd knew by heart and sang along to! The second part of the closing ceremony was another lighthearted, celebratory, and patriotic performance, this time by the Turkish-American Women League’s Adult Folk Dancing Group (choreographed and directed by Halil Konal). The women performed the “Atabarı” folk dance, after which all members of the audience were invited to the stage to join in!

The event was truly a celebration of the Turkish Republic, its democracy, and the people who have devoted their lives to promoting the spread of Turkish values, history, culture, and camaraderie, like M.K. Atatürk, Mahmut Goloğlu, and so many others. The Light Millennium presented a plaque for its “Appreciation” to Dr. Goloğlu Soyer. Two plaques also were presented to Mrs. Özcilingir and Mr. Güneş as “Appreciations” as well along with books of author Goloğlu, which marked the event. Further, Certificate of Appreciations presented to other important contributors of the Program along with copy of Goloğlu’s book, they are namely: Sibel Özdemir, President, New York Turkish Music and Culture Association; Halil Konal, Turkish-American Women League, Adult Folklor Dance Group; Gökmen Leventeli, Pita Mediterranean, and İrem Ünal, co-host and Youth Rep. of The Light Millennium to the UN Department of Global Communications.

This was the very first event that The Light Millennium had undertaken on the Turkish Republic Day, which has inspired further in the coming years. With that, the Organization would like to once again thank to all the contributors of the program, cosponsors, volunteers and every attendee, for your time and devotion.

Further, The Light Millennium thankful to Major Victoria Edmonds, Salvation Army International Commission on Social Justice for the provided two venues, wonderful lojistic and technical support that made the event run smoothly and nicely.

The program brought diverse attendees from Turkish community in New York truly as a “public event”, which was undertaken and presented mainly by three NGO/Civil Society Organizations, which was received well and successful. The event was made possible by all of you who took in a part, contributed and/or attended!
Thank You.

The Program as it was presented
Hashtags #MahmutGoloğlu #AyşeGSoyer #CumhuriyeteDoğruNY #29Ekim #TurkishRepublicDay #lightmillennium #bircanunver

Photos by: Ali SARIKAYA & Birol KAĞITÇIOĞLU

PHOTO ALBUM (more photos from the event)

• The Light Millennium TV – LMTV Crew:
Ashraf ALI & Julie MARDIN (LM) Birol KAĞITÇIOĞLU (AADVB)

Dr. Ayşe G. Soyer’s presentation, “Cumhuriyet Doğru /Towards Republic(in Turkish)

Bircan Ünver’s presentation (in Turkish), “Cumhuriyet’te İnsanı Gelişme’nin Önemi”

Booklet of the Program (in Turkish)

Run-Down (in Turkish)

• The U.S. Turkish Library & Museum Project is under The Light Millennium Organization, Associated with the Department of Global Communications of the United Nations – UN-DGC-CSO  (formerly #UNDPINGO since 2005)
• Commercial Free – Public Benefit E-Publication
http://www.turkishlibrary.us | http://www.isikbinyili.org | http://www.lightmillennium.org
Social media @lightmillennium #lightmillennium @turkishlibrarymuseum

"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.