“When my son asks me for the first time 'who am I?' I will tell him like an angel crying from the heavens that he is a Turk with a great history. This voice, this varnished sound will stir up storms in his soul. As I sing him his lullaby with my sorrowful voice, I will seed these days in his soul. I will recite to him the songs of the great Turkish nation. I will embellish his cradle with these monuments of the architects. I will tell him about Fatihs and Yavuzes in stories. He will see İzmir in his handkerchief, in his book, his wallet and his fez. When I die, I will give him the golden enchased sword from my father and the folded flag as inheritance. The shackles put on by the winners are bound to be broken, because on that day, the seeds that I planted in his heart will bloom as flowers of freedom, and will erupt as a red rebellion. The ones who think of an eternal peace should not forget that the echo of the blow to us will definitely damage the peace of humanity in the future.”
The occupation of İzmir by the Greek forces on 15 May 1919 was a decisive moment in history that sealed the fate of the Turkish nation. This started a chain of events that lead to the National Struggle and the foundation of the Turkish Republic. However, before the military aspect of the Struggle gained momentum, the Ottoman public showed their denouncement of the situation by organising protest gatherings. This book is concerned with eight protest gatherings that took place in Istanbul between 18 May 1919 and 13 January 1920, using newspaper articles fromİkdâm, İleri, Sabâh, HadisâtandAlemdâras primary sources.