Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's arrival in Iznik while passing from Yalova to Bursa. (15.07.1935)
Atatürk's trip to İznik, 15 July 1935
Atatürk stopped by Iznik on 15 July 1935 while passing from Yalova to Bursa. He had Celal Bayar, Afet Hanım and many other friends with him. People gathered around a long table in the Iznik Municipal Garden were entertaining him. Afet Hanım wanted to leave Atatürk to visit historical Iznik. Atatürk must have relied on his knowledge of history, which is well-known to everyone, and said: "Hey, you can go, but you should not forget that you will not be able to see the real Iznik, because it is under the ball." After Mrs. Afet leaves, Atatürk asks the people sitting at his desk:
"How many gates are there in the walls surrounding Iznik?" A person from Iznik, who thinks he knows the history of Iznik well, gives the answer to this question: "There are three gates, sir. It is known as the Lefke Gate to the east of our location, the Yenişehir Gate to the north, and the Istanbul Gate to the south." Atatürk: "No, it will have four gates. Where is the West Gate that Kılıç Aslan entered when Iznik was first captured by the Turks?"
"We don't know of such a door, sir." Ataturk was silent for a while. He seemed bored. Finally he changed the subject. Years passed. The workers, who were trying to make a way to drain the accumulated water into Lake Iznik, saw with amazement that the waters were flowing by finding a void at one point, and informed the relevant people. Continuing the excavation, it turned out that this was a door, as well as a fully organized leaded door. The West Gate that Atatürk mentioned was found.
The western gate of Iznik is written as Water Gate on the sketch.
The western gate of Iznik is written as the number 11 Lake Gate on the sketch.
General view of Iznik
Source: Ahmet Hidayet Reel, Atatürk'e ait Hatıralar, İstanbul 1949