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Two "Time" Star

Time magazine was founded in 1923 and has been published weekly ever since. It is easily one of the most prestigious newspapers of all time which can feature anyone from any profession from artists to scientists to world leaders. Being talked about in the newspaper is one thing but being the front page is another and our dear leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk has been the cover of the newspaper twice.

Atatürk isn’t the only Turk who has been on the front page of Time as in total 12 Turkish people such as our politicians, athletes and doctors have been as well. For instance as politicians İsmet İnönü, Şükrü Saraçoğlu, Adnan Menderes and Kenan Evren, as an athlete Naim Süleymanoğlu and as a doctor Mehmet Öz have represented us in the newspaper, but in this article I want to talk about one person in particular, Türkiye’s continuous leader who’s also renowned as a world leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was the first Turkish person who was featured on Time. His appearance on the cover of Time magazine and the views on the “New Türkiye” were also signs of a change in the American press which claimed that “Turks committed atrocities” during the War of Independence.

We first saw Atatürk on the cover of Time on the 24th of March in 1923. It was the fourth magazine published in Time and under the portrait of Atatürk wrote the expression “Where is a Turk his own master?”. On the page it states that Mustafa Kemal gave the response “in Türkiye” when asked the question. For this issue, historian Arnold J. Toynbee’s views were benefited from. Toynbee wrote “Mustafa Kemal Pasha is undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in contemporary history. He proved that a Turk could be his own master in Anatolia by personally demonstrating.” in his statement. The Time magazine itself wrote “And now he stands against the powers of the West, determined to protect what Türkiye has gained.” and pointed out the fact that Mustafa Kemal has done the most he could for this country and indicates that he will keep doing so until the end of his lifetime which sadly came too soon.

The second and the final appearance of Atatürk on the cover of Time magazine was on the 21st of February in 1927. The youthful and dynamic Republic of Türkiye achieved a magnificent growth of %8.5 when it was just in its fourth year. The magazine issue talked about Türkiye, which emerged as a great power in the Balkans and the Middle East, would once again be on the agenda of the world public opinion with Atatürk’s principles and reforms. In an environment where totalitarian regimes were slowly emerging in Europe, Türkiye’s democratic and republican steps surprised the whole world. All these developments brought Atatürk to the cover of Time once again after 4 years.

The improvements we made to the community as the citizens were all thanks to our esteemed leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The whole world knew how good of a leader he was and respected every decision he made. He changed many of the stereotypes towards how Türkiye wasn’t a developed country by switching to latin letters, giving women the right to vote earlier than many European countries, ensuring equality in education and most importantly declaring the republic of Türkiye. With the declaration he made it a possibility for me to write here today and not face any consequences based on my writing. Here we are, celebrating the 100th year of our republic. 100 years of equality, justice and peace. 100 years of freedom in speech, writing and expressing one's self. 100th year of celebrating freely all thanks to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Here’s to more years to come!

Works Cited:

BNN, Time dergisi 24 Mart 1923'te Atatürk'e kapağında yer verdi; Manşetteki Türkler, Accessed 31 Oct. 2023.

Mustafa Kemal Pasha Time magazine, Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.



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