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Atatürk’s Address to the Turkish Youth

Turkish youth!

Your first duty is to protect and defend forever the Turkish Independence and the Turkish Republic.

The sole principle of existence and the future is this. This principle is your most valuable treasure. Also even in the future, there will be internal and external enemies who will want to deprive you of this treasure. One day if you are obliged to defend Independence and the Republic, you will not think of the circumstances, opportunities and conditions in which you will be found in order to begin your duties! These opportunities and conditions may appear in a very unfavorable nature. The enemies who will have a design against Independence and the Republic, may be the agent of a victory whose equal has not been seen in the entire world. It is possible that by force or trick that all the fortresses of the beloved country have been captured by force, all the shipyards have been entered, all the armies have been dispersed and in fact every corner of the country has been occupied. Even more deplorable and serious than all these conditions, those who are possessing power within the country can be discovered to be careless, taking refuge or even committing treason. Moreover, these possessors of power may unite with the political ambitions of the invaders for their personal interests. The Nation may be in utter poverty and become exhausted and ruined.

O Turkish child of future generations! As you see, even under these circumstances and conditions, it is your duty to save the Turkish Independence and the Republic! The strength that you will need is present in the noble blood which flows in your veins!

Kemal Atatürk, October 20, 1927


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