Dear Secretary Kerry,
We, the members of the Atatürk Society of America are deeply disturbed by the circulating news of a plan to construct a new American Embassy on the grounds of Atatürk Orman Çifliği (Atatürk Forest & Farm) in Ankara, Turkey.
We sincerely hope that these rumors are unsubstantiated and the United States Government has no plans to place its embassy building on the grounds of the Atatürk Orman Çifliği. Our Great forefather, Atatürk left this land to the Turkish people in his will for people to visit, enjoy and learn about agriculture. Once a barren land, it was transformed with great hardship into a fertile land under the direction of Atatürk. It is one of the few green areas around Ankara. It is very much cherished by the Turkish people and its destruction would be considered a great insult to the majority of Turkish people who are still followers of Atatürk’s ideals – democracy, secularism and equality.
Ever since the pro-Islamist AKP government came to power, it has been chipping away the secular establishment in Turkey by deliberate actions to destroy Ataturk’s creation, the secular, modern Republic of Turkey. We have witnessed them change the constitution; imprison military officials, journalists, academicians and students; remove Atatürk’s statues and names from public areas. We are fully aware that demolishment of the Atatürk Orman Çifliği is yet another attempt in their agenda to destroy Atatürk’s legacy. We sincerely hope that the United States of America would not be deceived by this cunning scheme and take part in it.
We hope you will agree with us and terminate any plans to construct an embassy building at Atatürk Orman Çifliği.
We are including a copy of the letter sent to the Turkish President and Prime Minister and Ministers of Culture & Tourism and Forestry and the Turkish media which demands the halt of any construction plans at Atatürk Orman Çifliği .
The Atatürk Society of America
cc: Ambassador Francis Ricciardonne