Message Written by John F. Kennedy on the Occasion of Atatürk’s 25th Death Anniversary

I am honored to attend the commemoration ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the death of kemal atatürk. The name atatürk brings to mind the historical achievements of one of the great men of this century, the inspiring leadership of the Turkish people, his perspective that comprehends the modern world, and his courage as a military leader.

The birth of a free turkey from a collapsing empire, the new turkey’s proud declaration of independence and maintaining it ever since, is the success of atatürk and the Turkish people. There is absolutely no example of national self-confidence more successful than the birth of the Turkish Republic and the radical changes Turkey and Atatürk initiated since then.

Ataturk was deeply concerned with the traditionally existing friendly relations between Turkey and the United States. drew attention to our democratic government and once said, almost as if giving a prophecy, “we are friends now, but we will be much closer friends in the future”. Our current close alliance can be traced back to the solid foundation that Atatürk laid for a free form of government in an independent Turkey. I am proud that the USA can be a partner in this alliance that connects us to Atatürk’s country and to the ideals that Atatürk helped to establish in Turkey and around the world.

I greet this great man on the anniversary of his death.

john f. kennedy

original text

i am honored to join in commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of kemal ataturk. the name of ataturk brings to mind the historic accomplishments of one of the great man of this century, his inspired leadership of the turkish people, his perceptive understanding of the modern world and his boldness as a military leader.

it is to the credit of ataturk and the turkish people that a free turkey grew out of a collapsing empire and that the new turkey has proudly proclaimed and maintained its independence ever since. certainly there is no more successful example of national self reliance then the birth of the turkish republic and the profound changes initiated since then by turkey and ataturk.

ataturk was deeply interested in the friendly relations that have traditionally existed between turkey and the united states. he noted our friends closer and once said, prophetically, ‘we are friends now and we will be much in the future ‘. our present close alliance can be traced to the firm base prepared by ataturk for free government in an independent turkey. i am proud that united states can be a partner in this alliance linking us to the country of ataturk and to the ideals which ataturk helped establish in turkey and the world.

i salute this great man on the anniversary of his death.

john f. kennedy

sound recordingpdf

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