Mehmet Akif Ersoy and the Turkish National Anthem
25 Ocak 2021 12:30

Celebrating its 95th anniversary our university hosted the "Mehmet Akif Ersoy and National Anthem Conferences -1". D. Mehmet Doğan who is the Head of honour of the TYB (Turkey Writers Union) and Head of the Mehmet Akif Research Center attended the online conference as speaker.

Making the opening speech, our rector Prof. Dr. Musa Yıldız recalled that the Gazi Council declared 2021 as being the year of the Turkish National Anthem and stated “we as Gazi University will discuss Mehmet Akif Ersoy and the Turkish National Anthem by inviting one of our seniors who are experts in their field every month throughout the year. Today we have among us Mehmet Doğan, the Head of honour of the YTB. I would like to thank them on behalf of our university for participating in this program.”

Our Rector expressed his best wishes for the year of the National Anthem and quoting Mehmet Akif Ersoy’s words stated the following; “My Lord never let this nation write the Independence (National) Anthem again. May the independence of Turkey and the Turkic Republics be eternal. I would like to complete my speech with the following lines from the Berlin Memoirs of our Independence poet.

Do not be afraid!

Even if it is nothing but the hell that has come we shall extinguish it on our chests;

Tis the path of most-righteous, we know no retreat, we only can advance!

The conference given by Mehmet Doğan began following the opening speech of our Rector. Recalling that they were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the acceptance of the Turkish National Anthem in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Doğan began his words by saying, “a century is not a short period of time. 3-4 generations have come and passed in this time. We have been carrying our Turkish National Anthem with our flag high above hour heads since 1921. With the votes of all parties in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, 2021 was declared the year of the National Anthem. The National Anthem is a text of national consensus. Despite major changes, the consensus has continued from the day of acceptance of our anthem on March 12, 1921.  Despite the many changes in laws and constitutions in our country, the commitment of our nation has continued because of the alliance achieved with the National Anthem."

Expressing that many nations in the world have national anthems and flags, Doğan stated that there are nearly 200 countries registered in the UN today and said, “You will see that the flags of countries without a deep-rooted past are very similar to each other, in so much that the flags of some countries are the same and only their colours have been changed. In fact, we can say that these countries also have similar national anthems. However, the national anthems of deep-rooted states consist of impressive words that come from the depths of history. Our Independence (National) Anthem is comprised of such words.  Our National Anthem is not an anthem based on ordinary words. The National Anthem is a poem written in the most difficult years of the National Struggle and compared to other anthems is comprised of a long text.

Emphasising that Mehmet Akif, the poet of our National Anthem, is an important name in Turkish literature, Doğan said “We are talking about a person who pioneered not only with his works and poems, but also with his contribution to the National Struggle. Also, it is an important matter that a great poet of Turkish literature wrote our National Anthem. Our National Anthem is an important text because it is also a written story.

Doğan advocated that Mehmet Akif was an Islamic poet and said, "When he was elected as the deputy of the Turkish Grand National Assembly of Burdur, "Islamic Poet Mehmet Akif Bey" was written in the registry book of the Assembly. We can also see this in the words of our National Anthem. There are also very strong expressions against Western imperialism in our anthem. Mehmet Akif's phrase, "The beast with only one tooth that you call civilization" points to the imperialists."

After the conference, our Rector Prof. Dr. Musa Yıldız presented D. Mehmet Doğan the Turkish Flag and 5 sapling certificates as gifts for his contributions.