HON. STEVE COHEN OF TENNESSEE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, May 17, 2012
Mr. Speaker, as countries in the Middle East undergo drastic change, they are redefining their political systems, looking to other countries in the region, like Turkey, to serve as examples of positive transition. In Turkey, November 10th is a date remembered for the premature death of Kemal Ataturk, the leader of modern Turkey who transformed that country from an agrarian society caught in the past to a modern, secular and forward looking western model. While the changes were recognized at the time as stunning, given recent developments in the region, Turkey’s transformation is even more relevant and noteworthy today.
· President John F. Kennedy noted:
The name of Ataturk reminds people of the historical successes of one of the great individuals of this century, the leadership that gave inspiration to the Turkish nation, farsightedness in the understanding of the modern world and courage and power as a military leader. It is without a doubt that another example can’t be shown indicating greater successes than the birth of the Turkish Republic and ever since then Ataturk’s and Turkey’s broad and deep reforms undertaken as well as the confidence of a nation in itself.
· His leadership contributions were noted internationally. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, also wrote:
Ataturk’s death is not only a loss for the country, but for Europe is the greatest loss, he who saved Turkey in the war and who revived a new the Turkish nation after the war. The sincere tears shed after him by all classes of people is nothing other than an appropriate manifestation to this great hero and modern Turkey’s Ata.
· As Co-chair of the Congressional Turkey Caucus and on behalf of Turkish Americans, I join my friends in paying tribute to a great man and a great leader. I congratulate the people of Turkey, and continue to work to remember Ataturk’s legacy and his contributions to world peace and to the region.