REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

The Last Letter From Atatürk / (Halim YAĞCIOĞLU)

You still have not understood me,
And never will for ages to come.
You still talk about ‘19 May, 1919,’
And praise me and yourselves with stale words.

That is not how to understand Mustafa Kemal.
Mustafa Kemal’s cause is not one of words alone.

Let go that golden leaf,
Let the martyrs rest in memory,
Speak of what you have done for me.
Have you overcome poverty and want?

Bring me good news again,
Of new discoveries fit for civilized lands,
I want action from you, not words,
Do you understand?
Have you written the name of the Turk in space
With Ataturk’s capsule?

Understanding Mustafa Kemal means not being distracted,
Mustafa Kemal’s cause is not one of words alone.

Those sorrowful laments are still on your lips.
You still weep for me every November 10.
Wake up, I say. Awake, awake.
Other nations are exploring distant worlds.

Understanding Mustafa Kemal means being open,
Mustafa Kemal’s cause is not one of words alone.

If you love and understand me,
Spend your days in the laboratories, not the coffee houses.
Let knowledge and reading turn your hair white.
That is the only way to shed light on that eternal darkness.

Weeping is not how to understand Mustafa Kemal,
Mustafa Kemal’s cause is not one of words alone.

I brought you democracy and freedom.
But I see you are still where you were,
And you have made no progress.
You have fallen out amongst yourselves,
Instead of serving the people.
What became of electricity and plenty for our villages?
What became of unreserved smiles?

Simply hearing is not how to understand Mustafa Kemal,
Mustafa Kemal’s cause is not one of words alone.

I want you to catch up with developed nations.
Loathsome sycophants can lead nobody to science or art.
This nation, my beloved nation,
Wants you to work.
Put an end to self-praise and distraction.

Deception is no way to understand Mustafa Kemal,
Mustafa Kemal’s cause is not one of words alone.

Halim YAĞCIOĞLU