Yesterday, October 29th, was Turkish Independence Day. Not knowing much about it myself, and always interested in teaching DD about local holidays, we watched a video about it and listened to a song about Turkey’s founder. I’m by no means an expert, and the history and timeline is waaaay more detailed and complicated than my writing below, but here is a very quick and short summary for those who like the major Cliff Notes version!
And for those who prefer the video version, here is the 3 minute history we watched 🙂
Prior to 1923, the land that is now Turkey was part of the Ottoman Empire. It joined forces with Germany in WWI and after the war, much of its land was divided up among the Allies (particularly France, Greece, Britain and Italy). This treaty kept only a small portion of Anatolia as the Ottoman Empire.
In 1919, Mustafa Kamel, a popular and successful military commander, starts creating a national liberation movement and begins to gain popularity and strength in creating a modern Turkey. He runs into the most problems with the Greeks and things get violent. This Turkish War of Independence lasts 4 years and finally on October 29th, 1923 the Republic of Turkey is founded with Mustafa Kamel as its first president. He gains the name Atatürk, meaning Father of the Turks.
This is a little song we listened to for kids about Mustafa Kamel Atatürk.