With puppies in the garden of Çankaya Mansion. (1923)

Photo source: This photograph, taken by MD Ashton, was first published in The Saturday Evening Post on October 20, 1923, with the article by Isaac F. Marcosson.
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With puppies in the garden of Çankaya Mansion. (1923)

Ataturk's Dog Love

The most important animal in Mustafa Kemal's life is undoubtedly his dog named "Foks". 

"... It is told that Mustafa Kemal had a dog named "Alp" while he was fighting on the eastern front during the years of World War I, and this dog was waiting at the door of his bedroom and he did not let anyone in without Atatürk's permission...''

"... One of the Greek commanders captured during our national liberation war has another dog named "Alber", which is a dog. Atatürk, who loved Alber, a hunting dog in white-yellow colors, was deeply saddened by his death...' '

Fox is right next to him as he gives his speech about wearing hats in Kastamonu. (30 August 1925)

"...However, the most important animal in Mustafa Kemal's life is undoubtedly his dog named "Foks" . Atatürk bought the Fox from Hasan Efendi, who is still a itinerant photographer in bathrooms in Yalova, for 50 liras. At that time, 50 liras was quite a lot. When Atatürk saw the dog lying between the feet of the mobile photographer's bunk on a morning trip, he asked:

- Is this dog yours ? 

Photographer Hasan Efendi got courage after he was interested: 

- If you like it very much, I'll give it to you, Pasha, he said.

The dog was a puppy then. He was not a noble, but a common stray dog. But her hair was beautiful. After looking at the animal carefully, Atatürk said to the people next to him:

- Please make this man happy.

Thus, the photographer's dog, Foks, became Atatürk's dog. When Fox said down, Fox said up, the animal grew. I don't remember where the name came from or who wore it...

Fox stayed in the Köşk for a long time. As a Presidential dog, he lived a comfortable and happy life that none of his breeds had.
Fox used to sleep in Atatürk's bedroom. At the foot of his cot stood a special cushion made for him. Foks would not sleep until Atatürk went to bed in the morning, he would wait for him, but after his owner slept, he would curl up on the mat. It was a very loyal, very emotional animal.

Some people, who knew Atatürk's fondness for Fox, would often mention him at the table, talk about his loyalty and greatness, and offer to spread his generation to the country by breeding. Those who draw attention with their flattery go so far as to say that the Fox is of noble blood, and that its origin is Europe, saying, “It's not a dog, it's almost a human. They were smarter than humans.” Atatürk would listen to these speeches with a vague smile, look at Fox and shake his head.
Atatürk was very interested in Fox. One day, while he was walking around the garden of the Mansion in Ankara, he was watching the movements of his dog carefully. Was Fox's laziness on him, what was it? He was sitting in a corner, staring blankly at his owner. After looking at the animal for a long time, Atatürk turned to me:
- This animal is hungry.
“He just ate his dinner,” I replied.
- Yese like this?
- I gave a pot of rice with my own hands. Besides, it is such a rice that four people can be satisfied in the house of the poor.
Atatürk laughed at my words. The fox usually ate from my palm. He didn't say anything, but in the evening Fox must have come to his mind, and after dinner he brought the word to him again:
- Has this dog mated? he asked…
- I said he had mated two months ago in Konya.
- Fine, but he stayed there. Konya is different, Ankara is different. I'm asking if something happened here.
- Not yet, Pasha.
At that time, Atatürk said:
- Animals mate at certain times. Do you see their nobility? At least there is the season of desires. We are not like them.
How much I laughed inside of Atatürk's words. Afet Inan had adopted a child at the age of four or five from Darülaceze. Maybe her name was İnci. He would walk around and light the cigarettes of those in the Mansion. One day, he put a cigarette in Fox's mouth as a prank. The animal first thought it was a stick that was given to its mouth to carry. Then he struck the adoption match. Frightened by the flame of the match, Fox was confused for a moment what to do. The adopted daughter was striking the matches one after the other and holding them towards the animal. Fox rolled his eyes at those present. He didn't do anything to the girl. She neither showed her teeth nor snarled. He shrugged and stepped aside. He waited silently.
Atatürk was touched by this incident:
- See, even that dog is much cleaner, much more noble than the creature called human, he said.
But he was actually a fierce dog. He stayed with Atatürk for a few years. He would get angry at times. One day we saw Atatürk's hand wrapped. They said the fox bit him. The incident happened at night… When blood started flowing from his hand, he rang the bell. They immediately ran and washed the blood with oxygenated water. They applied tincture of diode. We were all intrigued when we saw his hand wrapped around that day. So that's the root of the matter.
Thereupon, they took the dog away from the Villa and took it to the farm. A few people close to him said, "No good will come from a dog that bites its owner."they insisted on Atatürk to be killed. I don't know if he gave permission or not, but Fox was killed in those days. Veterinarians diligently skinned the dog in order to please Atatürk. They filled it with straw and put glass eyes instead of eyes. They were seated in a window. Of course, Atatürk does not know about them”.
After his beloved dog Fok died, the veterinarians at the farm deftly peeled it off, filling it perfectly, and putting it in a window, saying that it was Atatürk's dog.
But Atatürk was not aware of this. When he stopped by the farm one day, when he saw his dog Fox in the window, he paused and said with a sad tone:
- I don't want to see a creature I love like this, bury it! he said.
However, Foks had bitten Atatürk's hand deeply, some time before his death.
Despite this , the answer he gave to those who could not make sense of the phrase "a creature I love" was as follows:
- Not everyone gets angry, especially Fox, not one of the dogs that bite to hurt or do harm... 1

President Gazi Mustafa Kemal is playing hawk in the ring with Afet Inan on his way to Trabzon on the Aegean Ferry. It accompanies Fox games. (November 27, 1930)

Although Cemal Granda stated in his memoirs that the stuffed body of Foks was buried in the garden, it was not buried after it was removed from the window. It was exhibited in. 2


1 Muzaffer ERENDİL, İlginç Olaylar ve Anekdotlarla Atatürk, Genelkurmay Başkanlığı Yayınları, Ankara 1988, s.137.

2 Eren Akçiçek, “Atatürk’ün Köpeği Foks”, Az Bilinen Yönleriyle Atatürk, Editör:Necmi Ülker, Meta Basım Matbaacılık Hizmetleri, İzmir, 2007, s.165,166.

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With puppies in the garden of Çankaya Mansion. (1923)