Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Sustainable existence

Atatürk's idea to set up a Turkish Grand National Assembly goes back to the late 19th century. Even when he was a cadet at the military academy, he wanted to create a parliament that would be independent from the palace.

All over the world and in Europe, almost all intellectuals had been under the influence of democratic winds and democratic trends that emerged after the 1789 French-elected governments were not enough to hinder wars. If you look at the past 100 years, you will see that the struggle for democracy goes hand in hand with the pressures for war. It is up to historians to explain the whys and wherefores of this phenomenon. But to explain the causes of these wars, it is important to keep in mind economic changes and the distribution of wealth.

As soon as he landed in Samsun on May 19, 1919, Atatürk without any doubt knew that he was heading for a war of independence. His hope was to found a new republic and create a new nation. Atatürk and his friends had inaugurated the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 23, 1920, which encompassed deputies from all ethnic groups and religions. If you study the text closely, the Lausanne Agreement is an international acceptance of Turkey's legal borders and the Turkish nation. Again studying it closely you will realize that the only international agreement dating from the early 20th century that has never been amended is the Lausanne Agreement. This means that the existence of Turkey, its territorial integrity and the integrity of the nation will be sustainable under the roof of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. You may criticize it, sometimes you may not like some of its functions, but the 89-year-old Turkish National Assembly is the important guarantee of the Turkish Republic and our region. We owe this fact to Atatürk and 35 or 40 of his devout followers.

Atatürk dedicating April 23 to the children revealed Turkey's social targets. He stressed that giving importance to our children means putting importance to our future and our Republic. I would like to refer to a chapter of Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, leader Devlet Bahçeli's speech, which he delivered at his party's parliamentary group meeting:

"According to the International Children's Rights Agreement, which Turkey is also a signatory, everybody under the age of 18 is a child. According to a census conducted in 2008, the number of persons in this age bracket rose to 23.5 million. Without any doubt, the number of young people rising in our old world is an advantage for our country and means the expansion of human wealth. But this potential power should be supported with care with education and a national culture. Otherwise we will not reap a sufficient product from a young generation that has to struggle with all sorts of problems.

"According to a study done by the Turkish Statistical Institute a couple of years ago, 1 million children between the ages of 16 and 17 had actively joined the working force. It is possible that this number has risen. Instead of preparing themselves healthily for a good life, to force these young people to go and gain their living should be considered a great social loss. Of course it is not possible to say that a political system that forces its children to go to work is contemporary, wealthy, developed and just. Because, according to our belief, a nation which puts the utmost importance on its children will have a bright and strong future." I wish you all a happy April 23 Children's Day.