|Photo source: ATATÜRK. T.C. Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları, Mehmet Özel (Güzel Sanatlar Genel Müdürü), Sayfa: 29
In a janissary outfit at a dress ball in Sofia. "Here is the most beautiful costume of the night." (May 11-12, 1914)
At the Dress Ball in Sofia -1-
Mustafa Kemal was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on March 1, 1914, while he was an Attaché (Military Attache) in Sofia. At the beginning of the summer (as his financial situation improved) he found a house he wanted and settled in. At the beginning of May 1914, he was invited to a ball held on the Bulgarian national day on May 11, 1914. Mustafa Kemal wanted to achieve a spiritual superiority at this ball. In the magnificent night that continued in the wide and well-lit hall, he entered in a flamboyant janissary outfit... All eyes turned to Mustafa Kemal, looking at him with admiration. The Bulgarian King Ferdinand, who was there, invited Mustafa Kemal to his side and complimented him, and congratulated him on his outfit and success. He had given a silver plate as a gift, wishing he would please accept it...
Of those who attended the night; There were those who said, " Here is the most beautiful costume of the night ".
Mustafa Kemal wrote to the Deputy Commander of Istanbul, Kazım Bey, for the janissary outfit he wore at the ball that night, and asked to be taken from the museum and sent. A friend of hers, who went to Istanbul by train from Sofia, brought the outfit with her accessories on her return.
At the end of the balloon, which continued until the morning, the Spanish Charge d'Affaires invited Mustafa Kemal to his home and took this photo of him in his janissary outfit in the eastern corner of his house.
Source: Atatürk We Love, Rasim Pehlivanoğlu, Atatürk Research Center, 2004. ISBN:975-16-1709-X. Page: 87
At the Dress Ball in Sofia -2-
İsmail Hakkı Kavalalı is Atatürk's friend from Thessaloniki Military High School. He tells the story of Atatürk's photograph taken while he was in Sofia as the Military Attaché, wearing a janissary outfit with a bork serpuşlu (the headgear used by the janissaries):
“After the Military Academy, I saw him in Sofia as an attaché with the rank of lieutenant colonel. At that time, I was a member of the Bulgarian Sorbania (Parliament). We were representing the Turks in Bulgaria with my four friends. We used to talk to him almost all the time. One day we were together with Mustafa Kemal again. A letter came to invite the representatives of foreign states in national dress to a costume ball organized by Bulgarians. I'll never forget, all of a sudden her eyes sparkled, she turned to me and said:
- “Ismail, you can travel on the Bulgarian train for free. Go to Istanbul. Bring me a janissary agha costume," he said.
He also wrote a letter addressed to Enver Pasha. I came to Istanbul, bought the costume he said and returned. We went to the prom together. She was attracting all eyes with this dress. This garment, which gave a different majesty to his large body, and the mask on his face also added a power that became legendary with the endless sparkles in his eyes. All the guests were asking each other who this was.
After a while, she entered a dance competition with a big prize. She was a chaplain to the daughter of the Bulgarian Prime Minister. This girl was already his date. Mustafa Kemal danced very well. As a matter of fact, he finished all the waltzes with extraordinary success and won the first place in the competition. At this time, the Speaker of the Bulgarian Assembly asked me who this young man was. First I said that I did not know, then when he learned that he was the military attaché, Mustafa Kemal, he expressed his admiration as follows:
- "Awesome, awesome guy!"
Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal wore this Janissary costume, which he had brought from Istanbul Topkapı Palace with special permission, at the dress ball he attended in Sofia on the night of 11 May 1914 and was selected first.
Source: İsmail Hakkı Kavalalı, Vakit Newspaper, 08.09.1947