Starting their educational institution during the Ottoman Empire, Darüşşafaka continued to keep their mission after the proclamation of the republic and continued raising the youth of our country. Darüşşafaka students follow the path and march to their goals with pride, on the road that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk has shown them. They are aware of the treasure that has been given to them. They graduate as strong human beings who adopted the values of their country.
Mustafa Kemal gifted the first important historical moments to our countries, such as the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the Independence War of Turkey, to the children and young people of our country. As he is the head teacher of the Turkish Nation, he is, as well, the head teacher of Darüşşafaka.
‘’Atatürk loved children. In his language, children meant ‘’love’’. No matter what age his loved ones were, he called them ‘’kid,’’. He never had a child and I am not certain if he felt deep sorrow inside because of that. I presume not, regardless; every Turkish child was like his own. He loved these children with such passion, setting his heart on them, children loved him back and felt deeply connected to him.
When I visited him one day, I found her (Ülkü) in the big guy’s lap. They were joking. The child was laughing immensely and pulling his golden hair, sticking to his nose, sometimes with her little hands that she made fists and gave him tiny slaps.
It was like he became a child as well; he was laughing while supposedly trying to protect his head.
At that exact moment, he looked at me, his eyes like a piece of the sky, shining with joy:
Another day, while Atatürk expressed his opinions on disciplining children:
Source: Atatürk’ten Hatıralar, Hasan Rıza Soyak, Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 3. Baskı, İstanbul, 2006. ISBN: 975-08-0882-7. Sayfa: 64-65