Prof. Mahmut Esat Ozan
It was on November 24, 1935 that Mustafa Kemal, the first president of the young Turkish Republic, was given the name of ATATÜRK by the Grand National Assembly. He had led his people through war into self-government and finally into an entirely new way of life. He had been their teacher, adviser, as well as the father of the entire nation, since the word “Ata” in Turkish means just that.
That same year a young American General, called Douglas MacArthur, came from thousands of miles away to pay homage to his idol, the great Mustafa Kemal Pasha, who had started to use his official name of Atatürk a short time earlier.
General MacArthur visited Atatürk and had long conversations with him concerning the gathering clouds of war in Europe. In one of these conversations, Atatürk said: “The Versailles peace settlement will not end the reasons that started the World War. It has deepened the gap between nations, for there were centuries that imposed peace and forced the stipulations upon those who were defeated. Versailles was settled under the influence of hatred and was an expression of revenge. It went beyond the meaning of an armistice. If you Americans had decided not to be involved in European events and had followed up President Wilson’s suggestions, this period would have been longer, but the result of the settlement would have been peace. Just as the period of settlement would have been longer, the hatred and revenge would have been lessened and lasting peace would have been possible.” [Editor’s note: The Americans were indeed involved with the War after 1916, but after the War the public opinion in the U.S. changed. The Senate did not ratify the Versailles Treaty. America minded its own business. The Wilson principles were distorted by the British and the French to suit their own purposes, which of course sawed the seeds of World War II] Atatürk continued to prophesy: “To my understanding, just as it happened yesterday, the future of Europe will be dependent upon Germany. That nation is dynamic and disciplined. If Germany unites, it will seek to shake off the yoke of the Versailles Treaty. Germany, Russia, and England will have a strong army to conquer Europe. The next war will come from 1940 to 1945. France has lost the spirit of creating a powerful army, and therefore, England will not depend upon France to protect herself. France will no longer be a buffer state. “Italy will improve, somewhat, under Mussolini. He will first try to avoid war, if he can. But I fear that he will try to play the role of Caesar and it will prove to the World that Italy cannot produce a powerful army yet.”
“America will not be able to avoid war and Germany will be defeated only through her interference. If authorities in Europe do not get together on the basis of controversies of political contacts and try to placate their own hatreds and interests, it will be tragic.”
“The Troubles of England, France, and Germany will not come first or be of primary importance. Something new from the East of Europe has come up that will take primary place of importance. This new threat will spend whatever is available in its resources for international revolution. This power will utilize new political methods to achieve these goals. These methods are not known by Americans and Europeans and this power will try to make use of our small mistakes and the mistakes of Western nations.”
“The victorious power after the war between 1940 and 1945 will not be England, France, or Germany, but Bolshevism. Being closest to Russia and having had many wars with her in the past, Turkey is watching Russia closely and sees the whole danger developing. Russia knows how to influence and awaken the minds of Eastern countries, and how to give them ideas of nationalism. Russia has encouraged hatred towards the West. Bolshevism is getting to be a power and a great threat to Europe and Asia.”
After listening with great awe, General MacArthur replied to Atatürk, “I agree with you all the way. The political authorities of Western countries do not see the danger coming up. That bothers me too. By this we are pulled toward a war which would be fruitful to an entirely strange enemy. While Europe is busy in Europe, I am sure that enemy will spread to Asia too, the reason being Japan will try to fulfill her ambition to be the only great Asiatic power, while we are preoccupied in Europe. America cannot stay out of it. Whether we like it or not, Russia will try to enlarge her influence in Asia. If our political leaders will have understanding, they will not let Russia become our ally. That will cost considerable loss of land. Russia will get a big slice of Asia. Instead we should have her land, O.K.,… otherwise we will be helping a new danger. Any war we go into therefore, with Russia on our side, will not put an end to the European situation nor the Asiatic troubles (Perhaps MacArthur thought that Russia would receive war reparations in Asia rather than in the European continent.)
General MacArthur also touched on other matters relating to a possible gain of communism in China and Manchuria. He also reiterated that the future of the World would be decided in Asia and not in Europe.
When the conversation ended, Atatürk smiled and said, “Our points of view are almost the same, but let us hope we see it all incorrectly and that the leaders of the other nations will come up with a better result for the whole World.”
As we all know by now, Atatürk’s hope has not been realized. The savior of Turkey, the great Atatürk died, just before his predictions came true one after the other.
M. Study Slater, the author of the book THE GOLDEN LINK [M. Study Slater, The Exposition Press, Inc. NY (1962)] from whose pages these prophesies were gleaned, says, “If we look at General MacArthur, the experience, and the last twenty or thirty years and the influence of Atatürk upon him will afford us a better opinion of why he insisted upon certain points and his decisive attitude during the Korean War.” We might add to that statement another reason why General MacArthur was so very laudatory about the courage of the Turkish Brigade fighting side by side, with the American GI’s there.”
In a relatively short period of time, the dreaded predictions of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and of General Douglas MacArthur, began to take form. The author continues: Benito Mussolini threatened the Mediterranean, and the poor imitation of Caesar started to strut in Ethiopia and Albania. In Germany, Adolf Hitler, a former Austrian wallpaper hanger, was successfully organizing juvenile and adult delinquents into a Third Reich, while Japan swept into Pacific Islands and Southern Asia. Joseph Stalin gathered hungry peasants into a large army and sent an octopus-like network of espionage agents into every country of the world to convert the self-martyred into communism. Mustafa Kemal assigned his friend Ismet Inonu and Fevzi Cakmak to help in building Turkey’s defenses along the Asian border and the Caucasus steppes.
Within Turkey Atatürk did not tolerate the Mullahs’ constant threats to revolt against the newly established secular republic. Most were imp-risoned, some executed, such as the fanatical religious reactionaries who butchered Lieutenant Kubilay in the city of Menemen near Izmir.
Atatürk also chased back to the Soviet Union, the Kurds and the Armenians, who were undeniably Communism’s riot-inciting agents in Turkey. The European and American media of the time, quite reminiscent of our contemporary bleeding-heats, such as the Amnesty International and the Helsinki Watch Human Rights ‘brokers’ as I call them, thundered accusations at the terrible Turks for ‘persecuting’ these poor defenseless people. “Defenseless!” screamed Atatürk, “Their persecuted defenseless hypocrisy is just what makes them dangerous. Have the Americans forgotten their own revolution?”
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk realized that his immortality was assured through the love of his people and his historic role in new democratic Turkey. However, consciousness of this fact did not at all change the conduct of his life. His first asset was his belief in society, and though he fought directly for the nation, he always indirectly fought for human kind, of which he was an excellent example.