World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey commemorated the writer of the Turkish National Anthem, Mehmet Akif Ersoy on the 73rd anniversary of his death.
Writer of the lyrics of the national anthem, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, mirrors Turkey's past and future from his 63-year lifetime.
Born in 1873, Turkey's national poet and writer of the lyrics of the Turkish national anthem, "Istiklal Marsı," Mehmet Akif Ersoy died in 27 December 1936.
Though professionally a veterinarian, Ersoy was deeply influential in the literary and religious circles of the later Ottoman period. His poems resemble prose as he used everyday language even in the sophisticated lines of his poetry. His famous collection of poems, "Safahat," is widely read in Turkey.
Turkish state TV said a series of readings and conferences have been organized this week throughout Turkey to have a broader understanding of Ersoy's timeless poems which drive their motives from centuries-old roots of Turkish culture. A final ceremony was held on Sunday in Tacettin Dergahı of Ankara where the national poet wrote lyrics of Turkish national anthem.
Praising Mehmet Akif Ersoy as a great patriot who spent his life serving for his country, TRT quoted President Abdullah Gul as saying Akif's works shed light to Turkey's present and the future as well as its past.
In a statement released by the Presidential Office, Gul highlighted Akif's identity as a philosopher and a man of letters, underscoring that he has become a precious part of Turkey's social memory with his high moral standards, patriotism and modest lifestyle.
"Mehmet Akif Ersoy felt his nation's feelings, sufferings and moral values in his heart and expressed them in an influential way through his words. His masterpiece, a gift to Turkish nation, Istiklal Marsı constitutes one of his best works," President Gul said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan remembered Mehmet Akif with respect saying that "he devoted his entire life for revitalization of national unity during the war of independence".
Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin drew attention to the poet's unique characteristic full of love for his nation, mentioning that his determination for struggle shed light for future generations.
Who is Mehmet Akif Ersoy?
Mehmed Akif, whose father was an Kosovar Albanian, mother was a Turk, was born in Fatih district of Istanbul, in 1873. He had a simple and traditional life style. His original name is Mehmet Ragıyf. Akif lived in an era that the desperation and poverty were in the highest level in the administration of the country, the Ottoman State was declared as the "ill man".
He started his primary education in Emir Buhari district of Fatih and then he got Arabic and Quran education. On the other hand, he was good at Turkish, Persian and French. He was a very outstanding poet in the Turkish history.
He worked as a vet for the ministry of agriculture for 20 years. In 1913 he went to Egypt for two months. He improved his view and knowledge on the Islamic countries by means of his journeys.
Akif was also an MP from Burdur, in 1921 with the poem he wrote for the contest of the national anthem election took the first place. On 12 March, 1921 his poem was approved by the Turkish parliament as the national anthem of Turkey and he was rewared even if later he did not accept the given money reward.
His favourite saying about writing the national anthem is " May Allah not show us another atmosphere to write a national anthem again.
Akif dies in Istanbul in 1936.