As it is known, National Anthems are the symbol of independence of a nation, and these anthems have a centuries old historical past. However, before the 1789 French Revolution, there was no tradition of national anthem in the world. The oldest national anthem in the world is British national anthem named “God Save the King/Queen”, which was declared in 1825. This tradition was soon adopted by other states and each nation adopted its own anthem. Turks, since the reign of Mahmud II, have used anthems such as “Mahmudiye Anthem” (1809-1838), “Mecidiye Anthem” (1838-1861), “Aziziye Anthem” (1861-1876),“Hamidiye Anthem” (1876-1909) and“Reşadiye Anthem” (1909-1918) duringceremonies; however, there is no officially used national anthem. With the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 23 1920, the necessity of having a national anthem was felt from the very first day. For this reason, Erkan-ı Harbiye (Turkish General Staff) made a request from the Ministry of National Education for the preparation of a national anthem. The Ministry immediately took an action and opened a competition for the national anthem on 7 November 1920. 724 poems applied to the contest. Well-known names such as Kâzım Karabekir and Kemalettin Kamu were among those who sent poems. However, the current poems were not found appropriate because they did not reflect the feeling desired by the ministry. Meanwhile, the famous poet Mehmet Akif, who was in Ankara in the meantime, did not participate in the contest since he did not find it suitable to be awarded at the end of the contest. With the learning of the situation, the Minister of National Education of the time, Hamdullah Suphi convinced Akif to write the National Anthem and Akif submitted “İstiklal Marşı” (Turkish National Anthem) to the ministry. The poem written by Akif caused great excitement in the Turkish Grand National Assembly and was accepted as the National Anthem on March 12 1921. “İstiklal Marşı”, written in an optimistic environment in which the Battle of İnönü was won, also became theTurkish Nation's declaration of freedom and independence. “İstiklal Marşı” is the product of a common fate. It is the commitment of the Turks that they will not bow to any power with the vigor they have taken from their past and they will resist any kind of attack. The Turkish nation, which has survived great hardships in every era of history, is at a turning point and continues to overcome all kinds of difficulties with national unity and integrity. This symposium aims to provide an opportunity to discuss “İstiklal Marşı”, which was a text of joint commitment of Turkish nation and to give insight into the political and historical conditions that brought it up at an academic level.
For the year 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the “İstiklal Marşı”, a symposium for the theme of “İstiklal Marşı” will be organized on 27-31 October 2021, hosted by Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University. The following topics will be included in the symposium.