Özden Toker

Exactly a century ago, my father, İsmet İnönü, had said: “The day I signed the Treaty of Lausanne after overcoming all difficulties, alone, with the great powers against us, was the happiest moment of my life”.

Achieving peace immediately after victories on the battlefields and maintaining this situation for such a long period of time was not a success that was not often seen in the international arena.

According to my father, after the Mudanya Armistice, the Lausanne Conference was a great test to which our nation was invited in the centre of Europe.

My 38-year-old father had successfully completed this test both on the battlefield and at the table.

Our borders were drawn on the world map, an independent State of Turkey was established within these borders, and it was recognised by the world’s greatest states.

His greatest support in this arduous struggle was the Great Atatürk, who was always watching and guiding him from Ankara.

Apart from this unique support from afar, my father also had a special helper by his side.

My mother Mevhibe Hanım, my father’s beloved wife, “His Lady”. But what did Lausanne mean to my mother?

Mevhibe Hanım, who was 26 years old at the time, and İsmet Pasha, who was 38 years old, had been married for 7 years. Their lives were always far away from each other. While my father was fighting on various fronts, my mother was waiting for news from her husband somewhere behind the front. In the letters she wrote in the first years of their marriage, she always dreamt of going to the battlefields to be with her husband.

Now İsmet Pasha was fighting a different war, a political struggle. And she was there with her husband, as she had always wished. In fact, we can say that the two young people discovered, recognised and found each other there.

While İsmet Pasha was signing Turkey’s peace treaty in Lausanne on 24 July 1923, he and his wife were signing another treaty that they would adhere to for the rest of their lives.

As a modern Turkish family, they would remain loyal to the secular democratic Republic of Turkey and Atatürk’s revolutions throughout their lives. Like us, like millions of Turkish families, they always kept their promises.

Atatürk had entrusted the Republic to the Turkish youth. My father entrusted the Republic and Atatürk’s revolutions to modern Turkish families.

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