French diplomat Claude Farrere and Marshal Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha are together in Izmit. (19.06.1922)

In the photo: French diplomat Claude Farrere, Marshal Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha and Kars Deputy Cavit Erdel
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French diplomat Claude Farrere and Marshal Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha are together in Izmit. (June 19, 1922)

Lunch in Honor of Claude Farrere, 19 June 1922

At Lunch when Claude Farrére came to Izmit to visit Mustafa Kemal:

Claude Farrere later wrote of this lunch: “A military lunch. All but three are soldiers. A very interesting contrast: All soldiers are in plain clothes, especially Gazi himself. And there is no subordinate order, the lieutenants chat with the generals as if they are on the same level, the interesting thing is that everyone is between the ages of twenty-five and thirty. The dishes are very simple: Yoghurt soup, fish caught from the Gulf of Izmit and classic grilled mutton. Water is drunk and anyone who wants can take yogurt with a spoon from a bowl on the table. Mustafa Kemal apologized with a smile: 'Unfortunately, we don't have wine, Anatolia is very dry'”. 1
1 Dietrich Gronau, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Birth of the Republic, Golden Books, Istanbul, 1994 p. 193

Mustafa Kemal; 


I consider it my duty to openly express my feelings arising from seeing Monsieur Claude Farrére, who is a very dear friend of Turkey and the Turkish people. Our dear and esteemed friend, Monsieur Claude Farrére, I am very glad and happy to accept your noble personality in the free and independent Turkish lands, even if it is on one side. This joy is as general as it is mine. Our esteemed guest, trust that at this moment, from the Gulf of Izmit to the castle of Kars, from the Black Sea coast to the oases of Arabia, the heart of our nation beats with the same feeling of friendship and appreciation towards our precious friend.

Lords! Monsieur Claude Farrére has proven very clearly that Turkey is truly and seriously friendly. While our country was experiencing deadly moments, while our nation was facing persecution, while all the injustices of the world were being directed at us, a human voice was heard rising to the sky against this persecution. The owner of that voice is Claude Farrère, in whose presence we are happy.

Lords! people; They cannot escape from the general tendencies of the social committee in which they grew up in increasing and educating their customs, morals, feelings and even ideas. However, there are some great creations that keep their hearts and souls the same, only against the social committee they support. Here is Monsieur Claude Farrère, one of these great people. Our friend has another feature besides this: He is the distinguished son of a great nation that is very noble, shed blood and made revolutions to promote its freedom and independence to the whole world. It would have been expected that a person who has such a heartfelt interest in Turkey and the Turkish people would want to personally visit Turkey during the bad times he is experiencing today.

I do not know the impressions our friend had during the five or ten days he spent in Istanbul, but he certainly touched upon the pain in the hearts of those poor, unfortunate citizens who still live in Istanbul under the bayonets and threats of the enemies. It must be admitted that the impressions of this interest for a Turkish friend will be very painful and distressing. It is also a sad thing that there are some unfortunate people in that circle who have held the fate of this poor nation in their hands for years and played with its future and then left it. If our friend Claude Farrère had ended his trips in Istanbul, it would have been obligatory to consider this trip incomplete. In order to see the true picture of Turkey today, it was necessary to come to an environment that was happy to preserve its freedom and independence rather than being in captivity.

Gentlemen, the Turkish people are the heroic sons of a race that has lived free and independent for centuries and has accepted independence as a vital necessity. This nation has not lived without independence. It cannot and will not live.

However, some people who took the destiny of this nation in their hands had almost astonished him with the effects of the practices of the enemies who were intent on destroying his life with their arbitrary and despotic mismanagement. Our nation was shedding tears in the face of the blows to its independence and the rifts that opened its existence. He had been rendered incapable of separating friend from foe. He was immersed in bitter thoughts at this sight. Our enemies, who were waiting for the opportunity to strike a final devastating blow, considered this suffocated state of our nation as the reason and thought that the necessary moment had come. The decision has been made, the movement has begun. Masks are now discarded. Türkiye will be torn apart, the Turkish people will be enslaved, despicable, poor and devastated. This was the aim, and all kinds of unimaginable measures were used to achieve this cruel aim, and some governments, especially in the West, and some political leaders insisted and still insist on this being so. There was no precaution they took to show this behavior as disabled in the world scene and even to hide it from the eyes of their own nation. Nothing could be easier than finding all kinds of slanders. They tried to deceive the general opinion (public opinion) by singing a formula that was invented by savages, oppressors and invaders unjustly, such as 'the Turks are savage, they are cruel, they are incapable of accepting and accepting the requirements of civilization'. They thought they would be successful in this attempt. They did not see the need for any other precaution. Because they accepted that Turkey was completely deprived of the ability to live. However, our enemies were completely wrong in this view. This is real. Indeed, it is not possible to change the truth and extinguish the truth with the understanding of people whose brains are the place of fluctuation of some passion feelings and with some lies, and this has not been possible in the universe until today.

If the consciences of the nations are appealed to after all these troubles, I have no doubt that noble and civilized nations will not like the cruel deeds of these politicians by cursing them. If there are those who seem undecided yet, I also tolerate them. Because the existence of those statesmen is an obstacle to understanding the real essence of the slanders found every day about Turkey.

Lords! Despite all the poverty and distress of the Turkish people, despite all the horrors of the dead end they have embarked on today by the hands of the secret or open enemy, the talent and power they have shown in the government administration by taking their own future in their hands for three years, (by showing the school student who is ready) to raise these children worthy of the homeland. His talent in education, his talent in arranging the economic affairs that he believed to be essential in order to preserve his existence, despite the fact that our country was almost completely under siege, his great talent and power in establishing regular and large armies, which no one should doubt will continue to succeed in the East and the West, at points of view, In other words, isn't it enough evidence to prove how wrong they were in their opinion about our lack of talent? But Masters, some of the West's cruel and politicians who close their eyes to see the truth; He wants to turn his head in the face of this fact. He does not want to see the high example of the noble French nation in understanding this truth.

Gentlemen, is there such a cruelty in the world as falling into a cruel desire to destroy a nation that understands its existence, evaluates the difference between freedom and slavery, prefers death to slavery, and proves it every day in practice? Our enemies find new excuses every day to achieve their goals. Because no matter what, they want to devastate Turkey from beginning to end and kill the innocent people living here with the most brutal tortures, including the women and their children, with the most inhumane attacks. For this, on the one hand, they are trying to ensure the continuation of the brutality of the Greeks, whom they have attacked our holy lands. On the one hand, they find a thousand kinds of slanders and lies that will confuse the thoughts of the nations that have begun to understand the nobility and innocence of the Turks. This is a very ingenious tactic.

I know this because soldiers do it a lot. But soldiers use it on the battlefield against the enemy. I mean against the enemy. However, some political leaders of the West and some governments use it to invade and deceive those who think they are friends and who see themselves as humane, just and peaceful.

Lords; Our enemies want to confuse the minds of the modern world by claiming that Turkey is doing an injustice to the Christians and that a liar is making a ridiculous statement. They are trying to divert the viewpoints of those who are oriented to the sanctity of Turkey's cause and to give Turkey its due. All the alleged things are just a bunch of lies. It cannot be otherwise.

The Turkish Grand National Assembly, which has taken on the responsibility of the administration of the new Turkish state, does not hesitate for a moment to give an account to history and civilization for all it has done. Because he has no doubt that he will come out of this account completely victorious. But last year İnebolu and Samsun five or ten days ago were bombarded. If there is a crime in keeping the harmful elements and minorities founded, equipped and hoped for by the enemies in order to revolt, depending on military ideas, the perpetrators of that crime should be sought not in Turkey, in Ankara, but in Athens and perhaps in a larger capital city. I also expressly state that the Government of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, with the most legal powers from the nation, in order to protect and ensure the existence and independence of the state, its legal rights for every independent nation and state, He uses and will use his powers without fear. Although some governments of the West do not want to get out of the enmity with Turkey, and are not willing to give up on strengthening and giving hope to the enemy that Turkey has attacked on its fertile lands; He claims that he conducts research by circulating his officers in our country as if it were the most neutral government in the world. Sadly, they are finding ways to involve other governments in the initiative. I can't think of a more illogical and more daring move in the world than this. Is it possible to imagine an independent state in the world that tolerates the intervention of not only enemies but even friends in its internal affairs? If those politicians have lived independently for centuries, If the Turkish people, who have become an example of independence and whose determination, faith and love of independence have risen with a new national awakening, do not want to recognize and promote the independence of the Turkish state, we will respond with surprise and ask the whole world to look carefully at the deception of these men. Because our poor nation was not willing to be slaves, it was given the ultimate punishment: death row!

No lords, no... let the whole world be sure that this nation deserves to live, not to be executed or destroyed; more worthy. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey is successfully carrying out this historic task and will complete it with the highest victories.

Lords! We would be very proud to receive our dear and esteemed friend, Monsieur Claude Farrère, when our country is liberated. If we haven't been able to do that today, it's not our fault. I would like to show him every corner of our country and introduce myself to my citizens who plow their fields and herd their sheep with the belief in God and innocence in every corner, but with a great sense of faith, independence and pride in their hearts. At that time, our esteemed friend would have loved the people of Turkey more, and then he would have seen more deeply how callous and ruthless those who attacked the independence of such a nation were. Masters, our close friends are condemned to a torture by their loved ones, and this torture is to listen to the problems of their loved ones.

Our dear friend is in that situation at this moment. I would very much like to say heartwarming words to our friend rather than explaining these bitter truths. But we apologize. We are people who fight for life and independence and cry heartily at the sight of the whole civilized world watching these bloody wars.

Source:  Hakimiyet-i Milliye: 20.6.1922    

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French diplomat Claude Farrere and Marshal Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha are together in Izmit. (19.06.1922)