Together with Ataturk - From Erzurum until his decease.
by Mazhar Müfit Kansu
Translated by Müge Sözen
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The Turkish War of Independence started in May 1919 with the arrival of Ataturk to Samsun. Mazhar Mufit Kansu was close to Ataturk from his arrival to Samsun until his death.
This book covers the period from May 1919 to September 1919. In this period, we learn about the events that passed at the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence and the financial difficulties through Mazhar Mufit Kansu's interpretation.
Mazhar Mufit Kansu published these memories in the newspaper “Son Telgraf” (“Last Telegram”) in 1948. It was decided by the Turkish Historical Society to convert these articles into a book in 1963.
In 2020, the first volume of the book was translated into English by Ataturk Research Center CT. Firstly, Ottoman Turkish texts, which appear mostly in the original Turkish copy, were translated into today's Turkish by a group of freelancers. Words, the meanings of which could not be found, were left unchanged; some of the Ottoman texts that require professional translation could not be translated into today's Turkish, and could not be added to this book. In addition, the Hijri calendar was converted into the Gregorian calendar, and the city names used in the Ottoman Turkish language were translated into today's language.
The translation was made with an amateur spirit, and loyal to the original text as much as possible. We would like to thank Ms. Müge Sözen for her devoted work in this text, which is very difficult to translate.
About Mazhar Müfit Kansu
“Mazhar Müfit Bey (1873, Denizli – 1948, Istanbul) was a Turkish civil servant and a politician. In 1934 he assumed the surname Kansu.
He was born in Denizli, Ottoman Empire. After serving as a mathematics and history teacher in Edirne and Gelibolu, he chose civil service. In 1897, he was appointed as a governor of various kazas such as Havsa, Çorlu, Uzunköprü and Xanthi (now in Greece). In 1908 he was promoted and appointed as the governor of several sanjaks such as Mersin, İzmitand Balıkesir. (Both sanjaks and kazas were administrative units where sanjaks are bigger than kazas.)
In 1918 he was appointed as the governor of Bitlis Province which was recently recaptured from Russian Empire. In 1919, he joined Turkish nationalists in the Turkish War of Independence. He was a member of the Committee of Representation formed as the executive branch of the Congress of Sivas. Nationalists supported the General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire, and he attended the Ottoman Parliament as the representative of Hakkari. After the Ottoman Parliament was closed by the Allies of World War I on 18 March 1920, he returned to Ankara, the capital of the nationalists (via Beirut and Silifke).
“In Ankara, he was appointed governor of Elazığ Province. After the Republic was proclaimed on 29 October 1923, he served as a member and chief of various Independence Tribunals. In later years, he became a MP of the provinces Denizli and Artvin (then known as Çorlu) up to 1946.
Mazhar Müfit Kansu, being a close friend of the founder of the Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), published his memoirs about Atatürk in a newspaper shortly before his death in 1948. In 1966, these notes were published as a book titled Erzurum'dan Ölümüne Kadar Atatürk'le Beraber ("Together with Atatürk; From Erzurum Until His Death")”