The greatest honour precious Turkish people inherited from Anatolian wisdom, is the belief of giving one’s life for the homeland without hesitation.
In September 1915, a news-piece titled The Testament of a Martyr was published in Servet-i Fünun Newspaper, containing the final words of a brave man who made Çanakkale impassable and was martyred there seven months before. Another mother’s son fell in his prime. A valiant and honourable martyr who sacrificed his life without blinking an eye for his homeland, and considers it a glory to be martyred at the home of the Prophet out of love for the country: Hasan of Tokat.
Hasan, son of Davut who performed military service at Dardanelles Front during the First World War, was born in 1891 in Pınarlı village near central district of Tokat. Hasan of Tokat, a soldier in the first cavalry infantry unit, was martyred at Seddülbahir Kereviz Stream on February 28th 1915. According to the news-piece, Hasan’s testament is as follows:
We are informed of the final testament of this noble soldier who prizes martyrdom, and martyrdom of this brave and courageous son of glorious Turkish army that attacked the enemy troops in the Battle of Seddülbahir day and night, and caused them to lose thousands of soldiers and a great deal of ammunition.
A wallet was among the belongings of Hasan of Tokat, son of Davut, who fell defending the gate of caliphate and sultanate in Seddülbahir. These sincere lines could be read in a letter in his wallet he had written to his brothers and sisters. Here is the testament in the wallet of this hero…
To my brother: You will receive this tiny notebook if you hear that I was martyred on the sacred grounds for survival of Islam, our holy caliphate and the Ottoman Empire. Avenge our enemies, do not fear death for your country! My soul that looks over you will curse you if you run from the enemy. And I will not give my blessing as a brother.
To my dear sister:
You will receive this tiny notebook if you hear that I was martyred on the sacred grounds for survival of Islam, our holy caliphate and the Ottoman Empire. May the son you raise avenge me, raise a dutiful son who benefits the homeland…
The message from Hasan of Tokat to his brothers and sisters, is in fact a will left to every citizen of this nation. When Hasan of Tokat calls his siblings to “not fear death for their country”, he actually calls to our glorious nation. He sends this message to his brothers and sisters but it is our duty to perform these tasks when the time comes as members of this nation and our national responsibility which we owe to the martyrs. Battle of Dardanelles, an event in the history shown to nations as an example of defending homeland for glory and honour, is also a symbol as a nation used their chests as shields in the face of guns and at the tip of barrels, determined to defend the homeland for the sake of patriotism beyond cannons, rifles and tanks.
Every member of this glorious nation who considers love for homeland a religion, demonstrated the patriotic solemn stand of 1915 with Dardanelles spirit and the same enthusiasm on July 15th and made history a witness once more, winning the greatest victory for democracy. As Mehmet Akif, poet of the National Anthem said, “May God never allow us to write another National Anthem.” May this nation with a history full of glory and pride, never experience dark days again. May the “brave heroes” of these lands who faced the bullets, Corporal Seyits, Hasans of Tokat, Ömer Halisdemirs rest in peace…