Red Carnation

Red Carnation
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Red Carnation

“When I was a student in Thessaloniki, there was a girl next door named Nadire. This girl, who was sick with her lungs, admired Mustafa very much. She runs to the window every time she passes, blushing as she stares at him. One day, he opened up to his neighbor's daughter Hatice:

He said, "Mustafa Bey is not like his other friends at all." They decided to make Mustafa feel this secret love. Hatice entered the house of Zübeyde Hanım. One Friday, they went to sit down as a family. Mustafa was not at home. When Hatice was asked to bring something from the upper floor, she put the plan in her mind into practice. Passing through the hall, she secretly plucked one of the red carnations in the pot. He was immersed in Mustafa's upstairs bedroom on the left. He left the carnation on the open history book on the bedside table of his bed. He ran downstairs, trembling with fear. He was sure that it would be understood that the flower came from Nadire. After a while, Mustafa came home. He kissed the hands of Zübeyde Hanım and Hatice's mother. He also shook Hatice's hand. Hatice was a bit surprised because there was no custom of shaking hands among the Turks at that time. He was already very excited about the flower he had secretly left. Mustafa felt this excitement. He fixed his eyes on Hatice's eyes. The little girl didn't know what to do. Mustafa:

He said "I need to study" and went upstairs. As soon as he came out, it was understood from the footsteps that he went down again. Hatice felt that her heart would stop. Because when he arrived, Mustafa had that red carnation in his hand.

-'Who put this flower in my book?' Hatice was so scared that she would shout...

- He looked at her as if to say, 'I did it, don't do it'... Mustafa went out after looking at Hatice with mocking eyes. Hatice immediately went and told Nadire what had happened.

- 'I was dying of fear. Do not involve me in such affairs again,' he begged. Nadire began to wait with the joy of her flower reaching her address. It's been quite some time. One day, Hatice learned that her Aunt Zübeyde wanted her for her son Mustafa. But Hatice's mother did not approach this marriage because Mustafa would become a soldier and go away. Topic closed. Mustafa went to Istanbul to study at Harbiye. But at the bottom of every letter he sent to his mother:

He never failed to add the sentence 'I would like to especially greet our nurse Hatice Hanım'. When he left Harbiye as the Captain of the War, he asked for Hatice again. This time, when Hatice's family was about to consent, a friend of hers working in the Palace warned them:

- 'I have read the journals sent to the Palace about him. The future is very dark. He said, 'Stay away. Hatice's mother hastily married her daughter to someone else. Years have passed. Mustafa Kemal became 'Ataturk'. Hatice, who got married and had children, told her experiences to her neighbor Münir Hayri Bey, who was the Director of National Education in Kocaeli, on a winter day in the 1920s. Münir Hayri later went abroad to study cinema. When he returned, Atatürk asked him to write a screenplay that would reflect his life on the screen. He also wrote the basics of the script himself.

- 'What else should we put in the movie?' When asked Munir Hayri, a little hesitantly,

He said, "Women and love elements are sought in every movie, I don't know how you can order" and conveyed the story he had heard from Hatice years ago to Atatürk. Atatürk remembered and laughed:

He said, "I thought Hatice put that carnation on her own account". And continued:

- Hatice was an exemplary woman with her intelligence, beauty and decency. It will always remain among the most precious memories of my life.' Then he remembered Nadire.

- 'They married that girl to a clerk. And then she died.' After thinking for a few days, Atatürk called Münir Hayri again:

- He said 'OK';

- 'Let's put our childhood story on film. Let's not just name Hatice. This is a very innocent story, but maybe Hatice's grandchildren don't want anything.'

Münir Hayri's screenplay was titled 'I am a child of revolution' ;

This movie could not be shot because Atatürk was ill. Is it Hatice? This is the last surprise; Hatice Hanım was elected as a Member of Parliament and entered the Parliament. I wonder if his grandchildren are still alive?" one

1 Münir Hayri Egeli, Atatürk’ten Bilinmeyen Hatıralar, Ankara 1959, s. 23–25.

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

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