Onur Aniti (Statue of Honor)
Located in the aptly named Atatürk Park, this bronze statue depicts a man synonymous with Samsun. The Onur Aniti, standing at 29 ft tall, depicts the man responsible for Turkey's national struggle for independence. The statue was built in 1931 by the Austrian sculptor Heinz Kriphel at a cost of $5,500 USD to the artist plus $37,000 USD for construction, to express the love and gratitude to the former president from the people of Samsun.
The Father of the Turks
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born in 1881 in Salonika (now Thessaloniki) in the former Ottoman Empire. When Atatürk was young he went to military school and then the military academy in Istanbul, graduating in 1905. He served against the Italians in Libya and then in the Balkan Wars before making his military reputation repelling the Allied invasion at the Dardanelles in 1915. It was in May 1919 that Atatürk began the nationalist revolution in Anatolia which would make him a national hero. He organized resistance to the peace settlement imposed on Turkey by the victorious Allies and pushed back against Greek attempts to seize Smyrna and its hinterland. Victory over the Greeks enabled him to secure revision of the peace settlement in the Treaty of Lausanne. Atatürk then established a provisional government in Ankara and, after the Ottoman Sultanate was formally abolished, Turkey became a secular republic in 1923. He established a single party regime that lasted until 1945 and set about modernizing and reforming Turkey. These reforms included the emancipation of women, the abolition of all Islamic institutions, and the introduction of the Western legal codes, dress, and calendar, and the Latin alphabet. In 1935 he was given the name Atatürk, meaning "Father of the Turks." He died on November 10, 1938.
A powerful monument
Get a photo or two of this magnificent statue that means so much to the city of Samsun. The sculpture was brought to Samsun in 1931 with a German steamer and erected in the park. The monument depicts Atatürk on a horse that stands upon a large pedestal. With a proud expression, he gazes to the west. He sits with a straight and firm posture on the galloping steed, and his steel arm is extended in a powerful gesture of defiance. There are two reliefs on the sides of the pedestal, showing the Turkish people preparing for war and celebrating victory. If the monument stirs your interest, a visit to the Samsun Ataturk Museum will give you more information about this great man from Turkey's history.