Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT stated in his speech, at the ceremony held at the Republic Square on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Sivas Congress with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, that he remembered firstly Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, his comrades and all martyrs with gratitude, appreciation and mercy. 03.09.2019

Şentop stated that, “The national struggle, which began in Samsun and ended with victory in İzmir is not a process which began and ended in a certain period of time; but rather it is the name of conscience which necessitates acting continuously and decisively on the road to full freedom.”

Şentop indicated that the country had faced with acquisition and occupation 100 years ago and when you look at it from today’s perspective you might regard various decisions and moves as easy and natural; however, it was not easy for a nation, who was extremely beaten by losses and pain, exhausted and humiliated, to rise up again.

Şentop pointed out that after so many losses and defeats, first of all you need faith, then determination and commitment in order to have the power and determination to do this, “That is exactly what national struggle is. If we are to summarize the spirit of national struggle which we are proud to inherit, three words are enough: faith, determination and commitment.”

Şentop stated that it is not right to regard national struggle with all of its steps as a memory which belongs to the past and continued his words:

“The national struggle, which began in Samsun and ended with victory in İzmir is not a process which began and ended in a certain period of time; but rather it is the name of conscience which necessitates acting continuously and decisively on the road to full freedom. That is why commemorating the War of Independence, Erzurum and Sivas Congresses, Inauguration of the GNAT and August 30 Victory Day means declaring to all friends and enemies, our august nation’s attitude, its path to follow, and the price it will pay and get paid against similar threats and dangers. The national struggle was not only an armed battle. The real fight was at the beginning, during negotiations about following the right and honorable path against occupation threats. One of the main issues of Sivas Congress which had convened 100 years ago was the rejection of US mandate and patronage.

A Speaker went up to the stand at Sivas Congress and stated ‘Our financial status would not allow us to live autonomously since we have a lot of debt’ however; vast majority of the congress delegation embraced the necessity to fight for full freedom at all costs, unhesitatingly, in a way that is worthy of our nation’s nobility and declared it to the rest of the world. The winners were those who chose full freedom. One of the main lessons learned from Sivas Congress is this.”

Mustafa Şentop indicated that, “If you have full faith in your personality and nation, mandate and patronage should not even cross your minds” and added that mandate, which was absolutely rejected at Sivas showed up from time to time within the past century with its refined versions.

Şentop emphasized that those who lack faith in the nation and nation’s will have revealed their “mandate and patronage” requests with a pro-coup and guardianship based mindset and stated the following:

“Each and every mindset which disdains the nation, underestimates the nation and one that tries to obtain support from outside its borders against the nation’s will, carries the effects of mandate in its mind and heart, which was rejected and condemned in Sivas. In order to survive in this geographical region by means of having freedom and liberty, it is essential to protect unity and solidarity and establish and maintain a fair system which is based on national will. Just like we had resisted to Mongolians and the crusaders for hundreds of years and our determined resistance to imperialism a hundred years ago, today we will continue to protect and maintain our nation’s freedom, sovereignty and dignified stance by uniting around an elected, strong leader against discriminatory terrorism and new, rising imperialist plans abroad. There will of course be differences in political views; however, putting aside each and every diversified opinion and uniting for national matters is one of the most precious characteristics of our nation. Our nation has always pointedly determined and assessed dispute and disagreement subjects and also those upon which it can act together.”

Şentop underlined the fact that national struggle was different than similar examples in the world in two ways: one of them is the goal of full freedom and the other is the principle of keeping the fight for full freedom based totally on national will.

Speaker Şentop stated that “Our august Assembly, whose 100th establishment anniversary will be celebrated next year, did not rise as a result of the national struggle” and added:

“Our veteran Assembly was the center and headquarters of the War of Independence and Sivas was the first city to come to mind for the august Assembly’s inauguration. Even only this is enough to show how much of an important and strategic choice Sivas Congress and Sivas was 100 years ago. Our nation, who shapes geographies and organizes history is not done with saying words to the world and to mankind. On the contrary, our nation’s status in the new world which is full of chaos, can be described as increasingly authoritative.

Those who attempt to hostility against our nation and Turkey due this reason are doomed to lose regardless of their guises, purposes or foundations. The most significant evidence of our nation’s courage and determination regarding this issue is its determination to fight and resist which was born in May 1919 in Samsun and then spread to the whole country. Today, Turkey is not just the name of a country and geography. Today, Turkey is the name of hope, a move and a humanitarian cause and today, Turkey is not just our homeland, but it is also our duty. That is why, we will glorify and amplify Turkey and we will keep its future bright in order to keep our hopes alive, to conclude the move which aims the common good of mankind and to strengthen the conscience that regards the country as its duty. This is a blessed duty inherited to us by Sultan Alp Arslan who defeated the enemy at the Battle of Malazgirt 948 years ago, our august martyrs, heroes of the War of Independence who raised the slogan ‘Either freedom or death’ 100 years ago and our fellow citizens who resisted the coup attempt on July 15th.”