BIRTHPLACE OF ATATURK
This photo is a gift to my Turkish compatriots at a time when Turkey stands at a crossroads in its history. Later in the summer elections will take place, and the vote will either help to preserve Atatürks legacy of a secular state, a separation of government and religion, or bow to the winds sweeping the middle-east and follow the lead of some of the Islamic States, and reintegrate religion and government. This photo is also meant as an expression of gratitude for the generous spirit of the Greeks, who allowed the preservation of this landmark so important for a people who were once a foe, and now a friend!
June 23, 2005, the cruise ship, Crystal Serenity, on which I am serving as a guest lecturer, docks in Thessalonica, Greeces second largest city. At the turn of the 20th century, as Selanik, it was the Ottoman Empires second largest city. The streets of the ancient city are poorly laid out; there is no grid with a north-south and east-west bearing. Like most old cities, it has evolved according to the natural topography of the land, with a citadel perched on its acropolis. I am in search of Atatürks birthplace, 17 Apostolou Pavlou, located around the corner, I read in the guidebook, from to the Turkish Consulate. To get my bearing, I drive up to the acropolis of Thessalonica, where the ancient Byzantine walls still stand, restored; but with time running out to return to the ship, I am nearing a frenzied state. Quite suddenly I happen upon a young boy, an apprentice to an automobile mechanic, who senses my frustration, and in lucid English, asks if he can help me. When I tell him the address, he responds that he does not know the place himself. But then he strolls over to his boss. They discuss my plight. When he returns, he tells me that they will lead me in their own pickup truck.
The distance turns out to be less than two kilometers through serpentine streets, but it takes twenty-minutes to negotiate the distance through the virtually impenetrable rush-hour traffic. After shoehorning the rental car into a tight spot, I jump out and begin a mad jog up the street, in search of Number 17. Midway up the next block, perhaps a hundred meters away, is the two story frame house that I have seen in faded old black and white pictures, the upper story cantilevered over the lower, evocative of the 19th century houses one sees in Istanbul. Atatürks house at last! And the narrow street, where my grandfather, Ismail Hakki, as a young boy, played with Mustafa Kemal, his closest childhood friend, who would go on to rescue Turkey, then set on a seemingly inexorable course to disintegration. A grateful parliament of the republic he created would later bestow on him the appellation, Atatürk, Father of the Turks, then proceed to retire the title permanently, lest someone else try to adopt it. Atatürk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, was born in this house in Selanik/Thessalonica on May 19, 1881.
In his book, 'King of the Mountain, Arnold Ludwig, professor of psychiatry, graded and ranked 377 world leaders of the 20th century. One groups freedom fighter is another groups terrorist. This subjective aspect was removed from the assessment, and by studying the legacies of great leaders of the past, including Alexander the Great, the Caesars Julius and Augustus, Napoleon and others, Dr. Ludwig, was able to formulate a Political Greatness Scale (PGS). The type of leader (visionary, monarch, tyrant, elected, etc.), the scale of change, and their lasting effects were among the most important factors. Among the very highest scores are Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Mao Zedong (tied with 30 points); Vladimir Lenin (28 points); Charles de Gaul (27 points); Winston S. Churchill (22 points); John F. Kennedy (15 points). Atatürk achieved the very highest GPS score at 31 points. His reforms included separation of state and religion, granting women equal rights, Latinizing the Alphabet, Westernizing clothing, Legal Reforms, Banking Reforms, Introduction of efficient farming techniques
Hand held Nikon D-70, 18-70 mm lens. Minor post-processing and cropping.
Critiques | Translate
AROBN54 (11473) 2007-05-19 0:54
What a wonderful note!! What an incredible leader! The photo is beautifully done to capture the image, but the note captures the heart. The spirit. Thank you both for the lovely photo and that touching and inspiring note. My warmest reagrds,
kdialyna (3148) 2007-05-19 1:42
Good morning dear Bulent
First I would like to thank you for one more time for all the information which I get via your presentations.
The photo is a nice capture sharp with nice colours picture which supplements your excellent note.
My warm regards and wishes for a nice week end
nisko (2642) 2007-05-19 3:20
thanks a lot for the beautiful note!About photo..nice point of view and light,im happy to see a home like this stays up still..i think its a piece of turkish history and really important for turk people.
levocan (2253) 2007-05-19 3:35
Kadraj ve sunum çok güzel,
Rnkler de güzel
ls7902 (7328) 2007-05-19 5:54
A very educational & well written note. I did not know the Atatürk was born in this town. Photo is a bit flat but very well captured & composed. I'm impressed to find someone here who had a family history with Atatürk. Regards. Latiff.
feather (51130) 2007-05-19 6:04
I know how important Ataturk is to Turkish people and the high regard in which he is held, so can well understand your desire to make a pilgrimage to his place of birth. For the photo itself the light wasn't in the best place but this is an excellent post for the information you impart and the spirit in which it is shown.
hatti52 (12786) 2007-05-19 6:11
Merhaba Bülent Bey
Atatürk'ün doğum gününde onun doğduğu evin fotoğrafını bizlerle paylaşmanız çok mutluluk verici.
Ayrıca harika tanıtıcı notunuz için de teşekkür etmek istiyorum
evanrizo (456) 2007-05-19 6:53
Dear Bulent, at first your notice is excellent and very informative althought I knew the most of them.-:)
The photo has a wonderful lightness and contrasts,the house looks very beautyful.
isabela_sor (47722) 2007-05-19 7:17
A very informative and detailed note.I didn't know about this book,but now I wanna read it as soon as possible.The picture is a simple one ,but you have this gift to make us to feel like we are there in the frame,in front of this monument-house
meltemi (0) 2007-05-19 8:59
talking about the photo, its colors and contrast is very attractive. The house is very well preserved as you show here, all the details are so well defined and the whole view and presentation is perfect.
But I think that the most important thing is that it recalls us about Ataturk, one of the great leaders of history, who have achieved so much in so short and difficult period of time and was so significant in the political, social, legal, economic, and cultural spheres of his country.
Unfortunately, this man is not remembered as he deserves here in Europe.
Thanks for sharing with us this precious part of history of mankind.
erel (11888) 2007-05-19 9:10
İyi bir bakış açısı atamızın evini ayaklarımıza kadar getirdiğin için müteşekkürüz tebrikler.
suhan (3552) 2007-05-19 11:24
Bu açıdan hep siyah-beyazını görmüştüm.renklisini sunduğunuz için teşekkürler
Emre_D (124) 2007-05-19 13:10
Bulent Bey selmamlar;
fotograf cok cok guzel; renkler, netlik, kadraj.. hepsi yerli yerinde.. not icin de baya emek harcamissiniz, bilgilendirme icin tesekkurler. ozellikle liderler puanlamasinda gurur duyduk kendimizle!
Fotografin da ayrica Ataturk ile ilgili herhangi bir biyografide yer almasi gerekir bence, dogdugu evi bu kadar iyi gosteren baska bir fotograf daha gormemistim..
syd1946 (18663) 2007-05-19 13:31
I was passing in front of Kemal Attaturk's house before a week going to Ano Poli for lunch.Very good captured with clear details on the famous house.Congrats for the very informative and interesting note,
Wishes for a very fine weekend,
philsim (1914) 2007-05-19 13:42
An average picture turned into a very good one by the notes. Are you a writer or a photographer Bulent? Another point is how did you manage to take the shot without any cars and without getting killed by a car?
What an irony that poor Salonika destined throughout its long history to be second - second in Byzantine times, in Ottoman times and in the modern Greek state - should produce Turkey's great statesman.
Greetings from my adopted town, where I have lived and worked for the past five years - Thessaloniki
Ertan (2988) 2007-05-19 14:51
Merhaba Bülent Abi.
Atatürk'ün kendi deyimiyle"ben 19 mayısta doğdum".
Bugün bu anlamlı günde bu fotoğrafı yayınlamanız gerçekten çok anlamlı ve harika düşünce olmuş.Netlik ve keskinlik süper.Ellerinize sağlık
amazon (12112) 2007-05-19 15:24
''20. yy'ın en büyük dehası''nın doğduğu evi bizimle paylaşmanız mutluluk vericidir,
açıklayıcı not için ayrıca teşekkürler,
barramınız kutlu olsun,
ayniLL (0) 2007-05-19 17:50
öncelikle bu fotografı paylaştığınız için
çok çok teşekkürler sayın atalay
Atatürk'ün doğduğu evi bu kadar yakından görebildiğiniz için
verdiğiniz info o kadar doyurucu ki....
rushfan2112 (2965) 2007-05-19 18:38
Hi Bulent. On this one, you have combined a simple, well taken photo with an exceptional note. I didn't know anything about Ataturk but I now believe him to be a great man.
I've been watching the news on the Turkish election and genuinely hope that secular moderation is maintained.
In my experience religion causes polarity and distrust. As part of a developing Europe, Turkey has a great part to play. I hope, for the people there, that the extreme voices go unheeded.
ahmetgedikli (25508) 2007-05-19 22:15
Tam 19 Mayıs'a yakışır bir kompozisyon... Bakış açınızı, netliğini, renklerini ve notunuzu çok beğendim. Bu evin bir benzerini de Ankara'da Atatürk Orman Çiftliğinde yaptılar.
sayan (2617) 2007-05-20 1:33
Hello Prof. Atalay,
I can understand the nostalgia of yours in the whole event of searching the house and then the inner feelings. I can also understand that this pic means a lot to you. Personally I am also thrilled to see this house of Ataturk. Thanks for sharing it with a beautiful note.
bostankorkulugu (42160) 2007-05-20 3:54
bu evin bir kopyasını avcılar sahilinde bir parkta inşa ettiklerini biliyor musunuz... selanik'e gidip göremeyenler için... gerçi ben sahtesini görmeye avcılara gitmektense hiç görmemeyi yeğlerim bu evi... sonuçta marifet evi görmek değil.. bu evden çıkan dehanın çizdiği yolda yürümek... yapabiliyor muyuz... şüpheli biraz...
elinize sağlık profesör, ondokuzmayısa yaraşır bir fotoğraf...
toto (0) 2007-05-20 4:13
Belle photo,ces demeures sont très jolies et vous avez bien su nous montrer les différents matériaux qui la composent, blocs, boiserie etc... Amitiés Thomas
danos (88993) 2007-05-20 4:53
very informative and blueprint your note about Mustafa Kemal.I'm ipressed that your grandfather, Ismail Hakki, as a young boy, played with Mustafa Kemal,his closest childhood friend.From that I see from your shot,the house that was birthed theFather of the Turks,finds itself in a most excellent situation and is heritage of the two populations also.
Have a nice day,Danos
metek (2997) 2007-05-20 5:49
Bülent bey merhaba
çok degerli bir çalışma yapmışsınız,
bu çalışmadan dolayı sizi kutlarım,
captainsgirl (3448) 2007-05-20 9:26
First off great note! Secondly very nice photo, I like the pov with the angled street line, Great natural color saturation . Not sure I'm crazy about the bright yellow on the frame but the photo is awesome. TFS
thanks for your comments on my photo " Whirlpool Aero Car (32)" :o)
Cretense (68691) 2007-05-21 5:02
Excellent shot of this important house, I have visited and I am also proud that my compatriots have preserved it intact. Besides the great photo, your note is very interesting and very important. Indeed, Turkey is at one of the most important crossroads in its history and I believe that the outcome of the elections will not only affect the future of your country but the future of Europe, too! I wish the best to you, neighbours!
Xalkida (11744) 2007-05-21 17:00
That's a very fine shot from the house that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (I wrote it well?) born. Very fine colors and excellent lighting. I haven't the opportunity to visit it yet but I hope in the future.
Bluejeans (64249) 2007-05-30 17:27
Ola amigo Bulent interessante a arquitectura destas duas casas , bonito ponto de vista , gostei das cores, parabens!!!
Um grande abraço amigo
sevman13 (553) 2007-05-31 12:04
not gerçekten çok açıklayıcı ve anlamlı olmuş.
kareniz ise gayet net çekilip kadrajlanmış. bir tek sarı çerçeveye gözüm ısınmadı sanırım.
tavara (0) 2007-06-19 14:32
güzel b ir perspektif. gün içn çok anlamlı bir çalışma olmuş.
ben zamanında farkedememişim. neyse..
geç olsun güç olmasın.
xramm (1831) 2007-08-10 7:01
Bu fotografa biseyler soylemek imkansiz, aciklamalardanda cok etkilendim,ortak bir dili col iyi kullanarak atamizi burdan bircok dunya insanina tanittiginiz iin bir tesekkuru borc bilirim. Umarim bu ev halen boyle iyi bir durumdadir.bu haliyle cok guzel.
hderin (600) 2007-08-10 17:31
Gerçi Ankara'da aynısını yaptılar ancak kopya hiçbir zaman aslının yerini tutmuyor.
Hizmetleriniz Hak ola ! :)
teofteo (0) 2007-10-20 7:03
This is the most perfect english note i have ever read in here... And the most surprising fact is that it's written by a non-native english speaker! Although I consider myself as a fluent english speaker, I had to use my dictonary for many words I saw for the first time in my life, used in this note.
As for the picture, I think it captures perfectly the image and the feeling of this historic house, which is known by locals as "The Pink House". Well done Bulent!
Greetings from Thessalonica, Attatürk's birth-place.
tober (8797) 2007-12-07 2:36
Anlamlı bir günde, 19 Mayıs'ta siteye koymuş olduğunuz bu fotoğrafı ve sabırla yazmış olduğunuz ayrıntılı notu henüz farkedebildim ve Gazi'ye, hem de size selam etmeden geçemedim. Dünyadaki ilk ciddî anti-emperyalist mücadelenin liderliğini yapmış Mustafa Kemal'in artık hepimizin kalbinde evi var. Ne mutlu size ki, kendisiyle arkadaşlık yapmış bir dedenin torunusunuz.
setenay (7682) 2008-06-06 5:06
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Google da -voice of atatük bülent atalay-yazıp aradığımda bütün bilgilere çok çabuk ulaştım.Atalay,abaot of author's family başlıklı bölümde bahsettiğiniz sunumu gördüm, ailenizin resimlerine, dedenizin mezarı dahil hepsine gururla baktım,annenizin güzelliğine hayran kaldım Osmanlı prensesi "Neslişah Sultan'a benziyor ne mutlu size ve ailenize.Türkiyenin geldiği durum için çok çarpıcı fotoğraf aynı zamanda,şu anda cumhurbaşkanlığı ve başbakanlıktaki kadınların kıyafetleri ile kıyaslandığında yürekler acısı durumumuzu daha güzel görmemi sağladı.Bu arada geçen sene benim TE.e 5 ay ara verdiğim dönemde,19 Mayıs kutlaması için gönderdiğiniz bu kareyi kaçırdığımı anladım.Atamızın Selanikteki evini harika çekimle çok güzel göstermişsiniz.Bu fotoğ.aynı dergideki sayfanızın başında var.Sonsuz teşekkürlerimle saygılarımı sunarım
elenimavrandoni (14207) 2014-03-10 19:15
Bulent, please forgive me for visiting always your Greek part of gallery...
I have a great nostalgia for my home country!!
This is a historical place and your note is more than informative..regarding your picture
I'd say that to me it is a very important testimonial picture very well presented!
thank you very much for sharing!