Mr. Erdoğan, don’t leave Çankaya Mansion

During my academic career, I used to live in a basement a few meters away from the Çankaya Presidential Mansion. Gülümsün, our daughter, had not started school yet. While taking her for walks, we would come across the flag ceremony of the Presidential Guard Regiment. I would explain to her Çankaya’s importance.

Çankaya means the same as it does to the majority of Turkey. It is the rebirth of a nation from its ashes.

It was the re-beating of the heart of Anatolia, of our lost motherland. This place is the symbol of the exit from an era when the population was wrecked by the sorrow in the Balkans, the misery in the Caucuses and the betrayal in the Middle East, when even a tiny piece of land in Anatolia was made unbearable for us.

It is the monument of a nation standing up on its feet again.  

In other words, Çankaya is colossal in the hearts of the people of the Republic… It is too big for anybody to just wipe it away.

When I first entered Çankaya as a journalist, when I saw the building where Atatürk made his historic decisions, this was the voice coming from my inner soul:

“My god, how can such a modest monument be erected over such an immense memory…”

I understood that day that this devoted generation had retreated to the borders of modesty and established this nation with blood and sacrifice.

History is written, not by buildings, but by the soul inside…

Now I want to call out to you as a citizen who has a Republic of Turkey identity/citizenship number, dear president…   

You were wrong by abandoning this place...

If I am not mistaken, by making this decision, I think you want to write a brand new history for yourself.

You have...

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