Ataturk – the big friend of the Bulgarian nation

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The second edition of the book entitled “Mustafa Kemal Ataturk-Pasha of the Empire, President of the Republic” has come out on the Bulgarian book market. The novel written by Ivan Vlaykov, which was initially meant to be a story, describes the last three days of the life of Mustafa Ataturk. Devoted to the historical facts, the author inspires his book with artistic spirit, describing the life of the great Turkish statesman through sixty-five visions, four elements and twelve mysteries.

The renowned scientist from the Institute of Balkan Studies, Professor Cengiz Hakov, one of the best experts in Ottoman history and lecturer in modern Turkish history, is a consultant of the book. “The original artistic manner of the author of the book gives him the opportunity to interpret freely the basic moments of the life of M.K. Ataturk against the backdrop of the historical events of the last years of the Ottoman Empire until his death in 1938”, reads the review of Professor Hakov.

Here is what Plamen Tsekov, publisher of the book, says:

“This book had to be released for the sake of the personality of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He was an exceptional person who changed the course of history in a positive direction. The reforms he made with the foundation of the Turkish state are the basic foundation for the economic growth registered in this country at present - it is now the sixth biggest economic power in Europe and No 16 worldwide. The importance of the deed of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk goes beyond the confines of the Turkish state. Practically, none of the Balkan nations could have something against the deeds and the personality of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.”

This is why the great statesman was nominated in 1934 for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos for his exceptional contribution for keeping the peace in the Balkans and the Middle East. Few people know that Ataturk remained a true friend of Bulgaria until the end of his life. Here is what he said about this country on October 22, 1931 in an interview for the Bulgarian Morning newspaper: “I will never forget the pleasant moments I had in Bulgaria. I have been and will always be a friend of the Bulgarian nation. I love these people since my early childhood. In Thessaloniki, I was always in touch with Bulgarians. Every misfortune in Bulgaria causes a huge pain in me. I have always done my best to help Bulgaria. Turkey and Bulgaria must be friends. The Bulgarian enemies are also Turkish enemies”.

Plamen Tsankov further says the other reason which made him publish this book is the fact that people here know too little about the life and the reforms made by Kemal Ataturk.

"He was a military attaché in Bulgaria. His love affair with the daughter of General Kovachev, Dimitrina Kovacheva, is a well-known fact. However, people do not know that he was born in Thessaloniki and he also had Bulgarian blood in his veins. General Kovachev refused twice to let his daughter become Ataturk’s wife. The book also features on his relationship with Latife who failed to conquer his heart, unlike the Bulgarian girl. Latife was hoping until the end of her life to be accepted by Ataturk, but it never happened. In fact, she contributed to the reform with regard to the Turkish women-the headscarves were removed and women received bigger rights. The reforms made by Ataturk caused a massive change in a country which was previously covered in Islamic mystique. All deeds of the temporary power depended on the Islamic legislation. This is why the changes made in Turkey helped it progress. The modern country we all see at present is mainly due to Ataturk. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk insisted a lot on the friendship between Bulgaria and Turkey. Turkey has many neighbors, but people there use the word “komshy” (neighbor) only when they turn to Bulgarians,” says Plamen Tsankov.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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