Bengal’s contribution to Turkish independence
The Republic of Turkey is the achievement of Turkish nation's unprecedented struggle of life and death, under the leadership of Great Leader Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who is well-known to all Bangladeshi brothers and sisters. After World War I, Turkish nation, with its members of all ages united and became of one heart during the War of Independence which led to the foundation of our Republic.
During this struggle, Turkish nation remembers with gratitude the support received from the Muslims of South Asia including the Bengalis. People all over from Bangladesh sent their support for the Turkish War of Independence.
The respect and appreciation for Turkey, Turkish Nation and for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is reflected in the epic poem "Kemal Pasha," written by Kazi Nazrul Islam, national poet of Bangladesh, in 1921. Kazi Nazrul Islam was the one and only foreign poet who praised Ataturk and Turkish War of Independence with an epic poem at the time. He received the news of the Turkish victory in Sakarya against Greek forces when he was twenty-two years old in India and brought a victory song into life, which resonates in Bengali culture to this day.
Apart from Kazi Nazrul Islam, rebellious poets and writers Kazi Abdul Wadud, Ismail Hossain Siraji, Kazi Motahar Husain and Abul Fazal also supported Ataturk's reformist revolution. Bangladeshi national artist Sheikh Afzal painted a beautiful Ataturk portrait, which is on display in the National Museum. Principal of Dhaka College, Ibrahim Khan wrote a theatrical play named "Kemal Pasha" in 1925 that gained huge success and contributed to the love and respect of the Bengali people toward the Turkish nation and its independence movement led by Ataturk.
Another sign of appreciation for Ataturk and the Republic of Turkey was that 54 days after Ataturk's demise on November 10, 1938, on January 6, 1939, "Ataturk Model High School" was inaugurated in Feni.
Ambassador Mustafa Osman Turan met the current Principal and some teachers of the school in early March this year. They still keep alive the memory and the achievements of Ataturk with much pride.