First Love

First Love
Character Size

First Love

Salih Bozok1 is telling the story:

When Mustafa was 10-12 years old, he fell in love with an 8-year-old girl who lived in their neighborhood. As soon as he got out of school in the evenings, he would run home, immediately have his clothes ironed, and then go over to where the kids were playing, pretending to watch their games. But his real goal was to catch a glimpse of the neighbor girl through the window. This is where Mustafa's interest in dressing well comes from.

Atatürk, who boasted about doing everything in his life as a "Human," and hated the word "miracle," knew from his early youth what an individual can benefit from in life and had experimented with all of them in his own personality.

Along with his firm decision to work hard and be successful in everything, he also possessed the right to "love," and he had indeed loved.

While Mustafa Kemal was studying at the Manastir High School2 and visiting his mother in Thessaloniki, he was enhancing the beauty of his military uniform. The girls of Thessaloniki were circling around him like moths. However, Mustafa Kemal did not see any of them. He had fallen in love with a Greek girl from his neighborhood. As the time of school opening approached, Mustafa Kemal's sadness increased. Finally, he found a way out by also taking the girl to Manastir. When this decision was heard, his mother, Zübeyde Hanım, became quite worried and told the situation to her brother, Subaşı Hüseyin Ağa. Mustafa Kemal had made a deal with the girl, and they had even rented a room in Manastir.

The day of the journey arrived in Manastir. Mustafa Kemal is waiting for the girl at the station. As the train's departure time approaches, Mustafa Kemal's anxiety and excitement also increase. He is searching for his fiancée relentlessly in the crowd with his eyes.

The bell rings, the train's wheels start turning. As the locomotive slowly moves away from the station, Mustafa Kemal sees a devilish sparkle in his uncle Subaşı Hüseyin Ağa's eyes and understands everything. His famous uncle had found the girl on the same day and strongly prevented her from going to Manastir.

Atatürk, who recounted this story at the dinner table, added:

"My uncle was right."3

1 Salih Bozok (1881-1941), Mustafa Kemal's friend from Thessaloniki, Salih Bey, became his chief aide-de-camp and later a Member of Parliament.

2 A high school level school in the past.

3 Niyazi Ahmet Banoğlu, Unpublished Documents on Atatürk's Political and Private Life, Principles, 2nd Edition, Istanbul 1981, pp. 21-23.

Source: Atatürk’ten Gençliğe Unutulmaz Anılar, Ahmet Gürel, Mayıs 2009

Share this post
First Love