Darüşşafaka teachers trace after Atatürk and Kemalettin Sami Pasha

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On the occasion of November 24th Teachers’ Day, Darüşşafaka Schools re-enacted the visit of 472 primary school teachers from occupied Istanbul to Bursa to greet Atatürk and the Armies of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye upon learning about the arrival of Commander-in-Chief Gazi Mustafa Kemal in Bursa one year before the proclamation of the Turkish Republic.

Reviving the Bursa trip of 472 primary school teachers who went to Mudanya by sea to visit Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 101 years ago and the historic speeches made by Atatürk and Lieutenant General Kemalettin Sami Pasha of Darüşşafaka to teachers from Istanbul during this trip with the event titled “100 Teachers in the 100th Year”, Darüşşafaka Schools also commemorated teachers who left their mark on the Turkish education history.

Historical journey from Mudanya to Bursa Boys’ High School…

Our first event to commemorate historic speeches by Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk at Bursa Şark Theatre on 27th October 1922 and by Kemalettin Sami Pasha of Darüşşafaka at the garden of Bursa Boys’ High School on 29th October addressing 472 primary school teachers, was held last year with 100 teachers in the 100th year of our Republic.

The second event, which Darüşşafaka plans to turn into a tradition, was conducted by a large delegation consisting of Darüşşafaka Society Secretary General Suat Çetin, Darüşşafaka Culture and History Commission Member Beşir Özmen, Darüşşafaka Schools General Manager Ebru Arpacı, school administrators, and teachers.

Gathering at the Mudanya Pier where 472 teachers set foot 101 years ago, Darüşşafaka teachers held a moment of silence in memory of the heroes of the Turkish War of Independence, especially Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades-in-arms. Then Beşir Özmen, Darüşşafaka Culture and History Commission Member, informed the delegation about 472 teachers’ trip to Bursa. Emphasizing that among those who welcomed the teachers from Istanbul in Bursa were Abdurrahman Şeref Bey, who served as a member of the Board of Directors and Education Commission of the Darüşşafaka Society, Hamdullah Suphi Tanrıöver, who served as a member of the Board of Directors, and Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, one of the valuable teachers of Darüşşafaka, Özmen quoted from Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s speech that addressed those teachers 101 years ago. 

Bursa Boys’ High School Principal Şahin Boztepe and educators welcomed Darüşşafaka teachers who went to Bursa Boys’ High School which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk visited twice in different years. Following speeches touching on the importance and meaning of the day at the school’s conference hall, Ebru Arpacı presented a certificate of appreciation to Bursa Boys’ High School Principal Şahin Boztepe and educators in charge, for their hospitality.

Emphasizing his contentment about the coming together of two well-established educational institutions dating back to the Ottoman Empire for such a meaningful event, Bursa Boys’ High School Principal Şahin Boztepe presented the Darüşşafaka delegation with a book on the history of their school.

Lieutenant General Kemalettin Sami Gökçen of Darüşşafaka spent a big part of his life in the army, in wars, and as the first ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye to Berlin and was a hero in the Turkish War of Independence. The historic speech made by Lieutenant General Kemalettin Sami Gökçen of Darüşşafaka from the historical balcony of Bursa Boys’ High School on 29 October 1922 to address teachers was read by Beşir Özmen of Darüşşafaka from the same balcony.

472 primary school teachers’ trip to Bursa between 27th and 30th October which is described in detail in Arif Hikmet’s book titled “Bursa Trip” was re-enacted through Kemalettin Sami Pasha’s sentences.

Ebru Arpacı: “We commemorated the heroic teachers of Turkish education history”

Talking about the event “100 Teachers in the 100th Year”, Ebru Arpacı said,

“As Darüşşafaka Schools, we re-enacted the historic speeches made by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Türkiye, and his comrade-in-arms Kemalettin Sami Pasha 101 years ago by mimicking those days today to experience those feelings and show our commitment and loyalty to them. We had conducted this event for the first time last year which was the 100th anniversary of these historic speeches. This year, we came to Mudanya and Bursa as a much bigger delegation together with 100 Darüşşafaka teachers. Making 24th November Teachers’ Day more meaningful, this event enabled our teachers to re-live the historical visit of those 472 primary school teachers on 27-30th October 101 years ago and allowed us to deeply feel the spirit of the War of Independence during those times. As part of the event, we re-enacted the historic speech made by Kemalettin Sami Pasha of Darüşşafaka at Bursa Boys’ High School on 29th October addressing 472 primary school teachers. Kemalettin Sami Pasha’s speech to the teachers reflects not only the importance placed on teachers at the time but also love and faith in the Republic. Pasha’s words represent the deep and solid commitment and loyalty of heroic teachers of Turkish education history to the values of the Republic and their resoluteness and determination to pass those values to the next generations. As Darüşşafaka teachers, we are proud to have experienced such a historic trip.”

Darüşşafaka Family participated in the “Songs Talk About Atatürk” event

On the 85th anniversary of the passing of our Great Leader Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a commemoration event titled “10th November - Songs Talk About Atatürk” was organized by the family of Lieutenant General Kemalettin Sami (Gökçen) Pasha of Darüşşafaka at Bursa Merinos Atatürk Cultural Congress Center. At the event in which Darüşşafaka Society Secretary General Suat Çetin, Darüşşafaka Culture and History Commission Member Beşir Özmen, Darüşşafaka School General Manager Ebru Arpacı, and school administrators and teachers participated, the audience enjoyed the songs composed for the Great Leader.

Speaking at the event, Beşir Özmen thanked the Gökçen family for hosting the event and said, “472 primary school teachers came to Bursa to visit the victorious commanders of the Turkish War of Independence, especially Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 101 years ago. Following their footsteps, Darüşşafaka teachers have been making the same trip for the past two years.”

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