Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with the children who came to greet him during his visit to Istanbul Pendik Station. (06.08.1929)

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with the children who came to greet him during his visit to Istanbul Pendik Station. (August 6, 1929)

Atatürk's Theater Daughter

An emotional memory emerged from Atatürk's photograph taken with children in Pendik in 1929. In the photo, the little girl wearing authentic embroidered clothes and a black headband is the famous theater actress Macide Tanır .

Look how Macide Tanır expressed her encounter with Atatürk in August 1929 and her experiences that day in her book titled " The Witch of the Theater" written in 2000 .

Will you be my girl?

"Dear Genius, he used to come from Ankara to Istanbul by special train and at certain times. Two or three months ago, they made me memorize a few sentences to say on a known arrival. When Atatürk got off the train, he would hold my skirts with both hands and bend one of my legs slightly in front of the knee, and he would memorize what he had memorized. I was going to say it. I had memorized it very well. So much so that if they woke me up at night and asked, I could tell immediately. The day came. The fruit basket picked from the Pendik gardens in one hand, flowers in the other.

I remember my black patent leather shoes with one scarf, the white ribbon around my head. I don't have a clue about my dress in my memory. As they taught me (the owner of the pharmacy in Pendik named Kevser Abla who taught and memorized it, a civilized, educated lady from Thessaloniki) I could not hold my skirts and say hi. I began to speak. When I looked into Ata's eyes, everything disappeared from my mind, my panties got wet, and when he lifted me from my arms, it started to flow slowly from my legs. He kissed my forehead, "I know you're going to say very nice things to me, will you be my daughter?"said. He got information about my father from the people there. Except for my father, all Pendik people were at the station. He would later say that he couldn't come from excitement. He told me to be ready to take him to Ankara on his return, if my father gave permission. I started preparing to go home on the way home. My father, who saw me placing my satin-bordered pajamas and toothbrush in a small bag I found from his red divot; "Are you going to leave us?"
asked. I guess her tone of voice and her demeanor impressed me so much that I couldn't go and stayed."

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with the children who came to greet him during his visit to Istanbul Pendik Station.  (August 6, 1929)

Of course, Macide Tanır's memories with Atatürk are not all that much. He continues to write;   

"I was in the middle class of Erenköy Girls' High School. We heard from Pendik that Ata was going to pass, we filled the platform. Everyone is happy, clapping, running; a remarkable enthusiasm... A young man approached the carriage. He said he had no money. At that moment, the train moved. Atatürk, my dear, he threw a handful of money on the platform. Naturally, everyone rushed to the coin. Ata said, "No, no!" and pointed to that young man with the index finger of his right hand. Everyone stepped aside  . That young man collected the money. I can't remember how much time has passed: A journalist caught my eye very close to the station. When I went in and asked, the journalist said, "I opened this place with the money Ata gave me." I don't know why, we both looked at us with tears in our eyes. each other...

Years passed. When we lost her on November 10, 1938, I was in the 10th grade of Erenköy Girls' High School and I was the trumpet conductor of the high school. We were one of the few high schools that took part in the cortege that sent off that irreplaceable, supreme relic from Gülhane Park to Samsun. My eyes misted up. I can't see my post.

10th grade high school! Graduation from high school senior literature department! And then the success of the conservatory exam! Among those who sent me to Ankara with flowers and chocolate were my father, Pendik Mayor, Kevser sister, who worked devotedly on the art board, and other volunteers. They were sending artists from Pendik to the future. That day's candidate was going to play Zübeyde Hanım, the mother of that beautiful person, that great person, that genius, whom she honored 57 years later in the TV series Kurtuluş and the movie Cumhuriyet. I got a lot of congratulations for the role of Ms. Zübeyde. One day, in Taksim Square, I realized that I had caught the eye of a tall, middle-aged man with a stylish tie. He turned from his way, came to me, with respectful affection; "Ata's mother, I want to kiss your hand, I'm Dr...." she said. He kissed my hand and left. Can I stand such things? I got stuck in the middle of Taksim and started to cry."

Who is Macide Tanir?

When she graduated from Erenköy Girls' High School with the first place, her father said, “ This country needs an artist from school, be it if you can.” and the way to the theater opens for Macide Tanır. Without making any preparations or even knowing what to prepare and study for, he takes the exam at Galatasaray High School and is accepted to the conservatory by teachers including Carl Ebert. As he takes his suitcase, he takes the road to Ankara and cannot leave there for many years. He graduated from the Conservatory by skipping a class, and took the stage professionally in Ankara in 1943.

He has always worked hard and been successful throughout his school life. His talent, work and discipline will make him Macide Tanir. Roles come, he is never completely satisfied, he always examines, scrutinizes, thinks, does not hesitate to try and say what he thinks. There are those who try to attribute his success to his luck and beauty, but he continues to walk on the path he knows without bending or twisting. The value of Macide Tanır is soon understood by the audience when the theater is the theater and the artist is the artist. The plays in which he plays are staged to the box office, and queues form in front of the theatre. This interest does not make his head spin, he keeps criticizing himself for the fear of doing it wrong and not being able to give it his due.

While she is a young and beautiful actress, she always plays older women. He doesn't complain about it at all, on the contrary, he is happy and says , "If it weren't for those women, I wouldn't be me." He is against pretending. He does whatever it takes without hesitation. He looks at the world through the window of the theater, looking for traces of theater in everything he sees and hears. Even when he is in serious danger on a plane trip, he does not think about himself, he thinks if I stay calm and play such a role, and even then, he makes inferences and observations for the theater from the situation he is in.

Order of the World, Beyond, Nora, Ghosts, Blood Wedding, Golden Lake, Fool of Kindness, Shadow Master are just some of the games he plays. He takes part in more than 50 plays in the State Theatre, and is admired and applauded by everyone in a way that will not happen to anyone else. Perhaps the only thing that everyone in this country agrees on and does not conflict with is that Macide Tanır is a very good actress.

Being in the same game with Macide Tanır is a chance for an actress because she raises and raises the people on the stage with her. All actors also respect his love and respect for theater. They approach with the awareness of who they are in front of them. They call her the witch of the theater, but it's not because of whimsy or moodiness. He has only one concern, the most precious of which is to give the theater and its audience the value they deserve. He thinks about his role and the game under all circumstances. Years later, he said, "Macide, the artist on my top, does not leave me alone, I could not experience anything to the fullest." he confesses, but there is not the slightest regret in this, he integrates and blends every emotion with the theater. It is not possible otherwise.

For a role, for a single word, he thinks for days, examines, researches. He tries until he finds the best. He does not hesitate to fight and seek the truth as long as he is not inside. Sometimes he spends days thinking about a single word, sometimes it's just a costume. If even a single thing bothers him, he finds the original texts of the games he plays, compares them or finds himself at a doctor's door in order not to misrepresent his body language.

One of his unforgettable games in his artistic life full of success is Trees Die Standing . Positive reviews of important names are added to the intense interest of the audience and he receives the artist of the year award. This is just one of the many awards he will receive.

While traveling around Anatolia with his plays and meeting with the audience, he reached the audience he could not go to, or could not see, thanks to the radio. His voice has become as well-known as his name, thanks to radio theater, futures and voiceovers.

Macide Tanir cannot see the value given by the critics and the audience from the bureaucracy, rather than the institution where she worked so hard. He opposed injustice, fearlessly went against the wrong and fought, but perhaps there is nothing to be done when the greatest injustice is done to him. He was forced to reluctantly retire in 1985 due to the law that could not be prepared and enacted. He expressed his silent and deep reaction by saying "They call me not to do theater anymore, they call me not to breathe anymore"  .

After the theater, he continued his life with movies such as Yer Demir Gök Bakır , Crab Sepeti , Cumhuriyet , and television works such as Where Spring Ends and Şehnaz Tango . His meticulousness and experience show itself here as well. In television series that are often slurred, everyone can see what kind of work comes out when the right team and a good script are present, especially when an actress like Macide Tanır is involved. Another benefit of this work is that it introduces Macide Tanır's acting to young people who could not catch up with the theater days.

The State Theater closed its doors to Macide Tanır, but the newly established Theater Kare and Nedim Saban convinced her to appear on the stage again. Coming to Istanbul from Ankara and being on the stage again after a long hiatus excited Macide Tanır, as well as the interest of the audience and the press. The play attracted great attention from the first day, and the longing audience filled the hall in every play. After this play, which was staged for two years, Macide Tanır did not appear on the stage again.

He cannot accept the offers he receives, and cannot adapt his changing working conditions and values ​​to himself. She has not taken her skirts from life or art. Even though we are not very aware of it, it has entered our lives in some way and illuminates our way. If the Turkish Theater is to be told, nothing can be said without mentioning his name and getting to know him. He devoted his labor, love and a lifetime to the theater.

1961 – 62 Press survey among theater artists – Artist of the Year (Trees Die Standing)
1964 – 65 Press – Employment Union – Artist of the Year (Order of the World)
1968 – 69 Art Lovers Institution Best Actor (Hair Share)
1973 – 74 Art Lovers Institution – Best Actor (Mistake)
Art Institution - Best Actor (Shadow Master)
1988 Ministry of Culture - Special Jury Award
1988 City Theaters - Artist of the Year
1988 Hürriyet Newspaper - Artist of the Year
1989 Women's Union - Most Successful Artist
1990 Mersin Culture and Art Festival Honor Award
1990 Art Institution – Artist of the Year
1991 State Artist
1992 – 93 Avni Dilligil Honor Award – Guests of the House Without Music
1992 – 93 Italian Ministry of Culture – Adelaide Ristari Award
1993 Ses-Der Award
1993-94 Istanbul International Lions Club Award
1996 Half Century On Stage – Golden Needle
1996 Lions District Award
1996 – 97 ÇASOD Award
1997 Nisa Serezli – Tolga Aşkıner Award
1998 Women’s Union Şişli Branch Award for the 75th Anniversary of the Republic
1998 Mimoza Magazine – Award to 75 Women in 75 Years

Some of the plays
The Order of the World
Goats Island
Blood Wedding
Trees Die Standing
Golden Lake
From Day To Night
The Fool of Kindness

1987 Place Iron Sky Copper
1989 Where Spring Ends
1994 Witch Tree
1994 Crab Basket
1996 Şehnaz Tango (TV Series)
1996 Kurtuluş
1998 Cumhuriyet

Source: Tiyatronun Cadısı (Macide Tanır) 3. Basım Bilgi Yayınevi, 2001, ISBN:975-494-911-5, Sayfa:154-155

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with the children who came to greet him during his visit to Istanbul Pendik Station. (06.08.1929)