Turkish Youth

Your first duty is to safeguard and defend Turkish independence and the Republic of Turkey for all eternity. That is the one and only premise of your existence and your future. This premise is your most precious treasure. There will, in future, be evil persons both at home and abroad who will seek to deprive you of this treasure. If the day should come when you are compelled to defend your independence and your republic, you must pay no heed to the means and conditions of your circumstances as you leap to your duty. Such means and conditions may be most adverse: the enemies wishing to destroy your independence and your republic may already have won a victory unlike anything hitherto witnessed in the world; through force and deceit, every single citadel of your beloved homeland may have fallen; all its arsenals may have been captured, all its armed forces dispersed; the enemy may have penetrated to every corner of the homeland; and even more tragic and more terrible than any of these occurences, those in charge of your homeland may have been guilty of negligence or ignorance or even of treachery; those in power may even have aligned their own personal interests with the political ambitions of the invaders; the nation may lie ruined and exhausted, overcome by poverty and deprivation. Hearken to me, youth and future of Turkey! Even in such straits and exigencies as these, your duty is to rescue Turkish independence and the Turkish Republic! The strength you need for this lies in the noble blood flowing through your veins.

Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK October 20, 1927