İsmet İnönü

Cumhurbaşkanı, Asker, Devlet Adamı

24 Eylül, 1884
25 Aralık, 1973
War College (Military Academy)
Diğer İsimler
Mustafa İsmet İnönü (tam adı), İsmet Paşa

Soldier, statesman, 2nd President of Turkey (B. September 24th, 1884, Izmir – D, December 25th, 1973, Ankara). His full name was Mustafa İsmet İnönü, he was also known as İsmet Pasha. He was a colonel in the Ottoman period, a four-star general and former Army Chief of Staff during the Republic of Turkey, the Prime Minister and the second President of the Republic of Turkey after the proclamation of the Republic, he was a Turkish soldier who owned the Medal of Independence and he was a politician. When he became the CHP leader after Atatürk’s death, the title "National Chief" was given by the party congress to him. He was the husband of Mevhibe Hanım, father of Ömer İnönü, Prof. Erdal İnönü and Özden Toker, father in law of the journalist Metin Toker, grandfather of the politician Gülsün Bilgehan (Toker).

Mustafa İsmet was born as the second son of Reşit Efendi and Cevriye Hanım (Temelli). His father’s family was from Malatya. His grandparent Abdülfettah Efendi was from Kürümoğulları which was one of the prominent families of Bitlis. His mother Mrs. Cevriye (1867-1959) was originally from Razgrad (Bulgaria), his father Müderris Hasan Efendi was from the Razgrad ulama and immigrated to Istanbul in the 1870s. Cevriye and Reşit got married in 1880 in Istanbul. Their first child was Ahmet Mithat (1882-1960), then Mustafa İsmet, Hasan Rıza (Temelli) (D. 1972) and Hayri Temelli; they had four sons and they had a daughter named Seniha Okatan (D. 1964).

Mustafa İsmet, who completed primary and secondary education in Sivas, continued in Mülkiye İdadisi (T.N. Engineering Senior High School) in Istanbul in 1897 after studying in Mühendishane İdadisi (T.N. Civil Service Senior High School) for one year in Sivas. He entered Berri-i Humayun (Military Artillery School) on February 14th 1901 in Istanbul and graduated as a lieutenant in the artillery from here on September 1st 1903. Mustafa İsmet graduated from the War College (Military Academy) with the first place degree on September 26th 1906. Mustafa İsmet met with the heroes of the War of Independence and the founding team of the Republic such as Mustafa Kemal, Kazım Karabekir, Fethi Okyar, Ali Fuat Cebesoy, Asım Gündüz under the same roof in this school. İsmet Bey graduated from the War College with the rank of staff captain and made his staff officer internship as the company commander in the 3rd Battery in the 8th Field Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Army.

İsmet Bey became the staff officer of the 2nd Cavalry Troop in 1908. He joined İttihad ve Terakki Party (T.N. Party of Union and Progress) due to a letter he received indirectly from his friend Mr. Fethi (Okyar) who was in Selanik at that time and he took charge of this secret organization. When the Young Turks Revolution exploded (July 24th, 1908), he confiscated the army and the civil administration de facto in Edirne. In the following year, he joined the Army of Action that started walking from Rumelia to suppress the Istanbul military mutiny known as March 31st Event (April 13th, 2009). In 1910, he was appointed to the Staff Function of the 4th Corps and in 1911 he was appointed to the staff officer position of the Yemen Kuvay-i Mürettebe Komutanlığı (T.N. Yemen Command of Organized Forces) and to the chief of staff position of the Yemen Kuvay-i Umumiye Komutanlığı (T.N. Yemen General Command) by being promoted to the squadron leader position on April 26th 1912. During his service between February 26th 1910 and March 5th 1912 he carried out the negotiations on behalf of the state with the imam of Yemen Yahya Hamidettin and provided termination of local rebellions.

He served in the 1st Office of the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief in Harbiye Nezareti (T.N. Ministry of War) during 1912-1913 and he was appointed to the staff officer position of the Çatalca Army Command of the Right Flank. He joined the delegation that negotiated with the Bulgarians in the conclusion of the İstanbul Antlaşması (T.N. Treaty of Istanbul) as military consultant after the war. He actively took part in the army's modernization initiated by Enver Pasha who was appointed to the Minister of War and as the Chief of General Staff in 1914. He remained in office until 1915. He was promoted to the squadron leader position on April 26th 1912, to the lieutenant colonel on November 29th 1914 and became the Chief of the 1st branch of the General Headquarters on December 2nd 1914. He was appointed to the Chief of the Army Staff on December 2nd 1915 and became colonel on December 14th 1915. He was appointed to the order to service in 4th Division Command to make his troop service on January 30th 1916. His next military duties during the First World War passed in the First World War and all in East and Syria Front Lines. He was appointed to the 3rd Corps Command on July 2nd 1917 and undersecretaries of the Ministry of Defense on 24th October 1918. He was a military advisor in the commission that was founded for preparations to the Peace Conference in Paris on December 29th, 1919. On August 4th 1919, he was appointed to the General Directorate of the Proceedings of the Military Council just for eight days and to the membership of the commission that was established to improve the gendarmerie and the police the organization for some time.

İsmet Bey went to Ankara for the first time on 8th January 1920 and worked with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for a short time. He returned to Istanbul upon the invitation of Fevzi Pasha (Çakmak) who was the Minister of War in the newly formed Government of Ali Rıza Pasha. He came to Ankara again on April 9th 1920 upon the invitation of Mustafa Kemal and he severed all of his official connections with Istanbul. He joined the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) that was opened on April 23rd 1920, as the member of the Parliament from Edirne. The colonel İsmet Bey was sentenced to death by the Military Count in Istanbul on June 6th 1920. He was appointed as the Commander of the Northern part of the Western Front on November 10th 1920 without prejudice of this duty as a member of the parliament. He played an active role in the suppression of the uprising of Çerkez Ethem and internal rebellions. When he stopped the progression of the Greek in the First İnönü War in 1921, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier from the rank of colonel that he had served for 5 years. After the success of Second İnönü War in March 1921, Fevzi Pasha, who was the Chairman of the National Defense (Minister of Defense), was promoted to the rank of Full General by the decision of the Parliament (TBMM). İsmet Pasha was appointed to the Commander of the Western Front position on May 4th 1921. However, upon his defeat in the Battles of Kütahya-Eskişehir, he was dismissed by the Parliament on July 17th 1921, and he was replaced by Fevzi Pasha who was the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defense at the same time. Then, during the Battle of Sakarya, he was found in the retinue of Mustafa Kemal Pasha with the rank of brigadier general upon the introduction of Atatürk, who was the President of the Parliament as the Commander in Chief by the Parliament. He became a Major General on September 13th 1922 and lieutenant general on August 30th of the same year.

İsmet Pasha was appointed to carry out negotiations of Mudanya Armistice on October 26th 1922 by Mustafa Kemal. İsmet Pasha, who represented the Turkish side in the Mudanya Armistice negotiations that determined the end of the National Struggle (3rd October to 11th October 1922), became the Minister of Foreign Affairs on October 26th 1922. He chaired the negotiator committee in Lausanne negotiations. He signed the Treaty of Lausanne that confirmed the independence and sovereignty of the new state and overrode the Treaties of Sevres and Mondros. İsmet Pasha, who was the Deputy of Malatya again in the second period of the Grand National Assembly of the Republic (TMBB) (1923-1927), participated in the Executive Board (the Government) founded by Mr. Fethi (Okyar) again as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was the head of the Turkish delegation that carried out negotiations in the Treaty of Lausanne signed on July 24th 1923.

He became the first prime minister who founded the government after the Republic was founded on 29th October 1923 and he also served as the Vice Chairman of the Halk Fırkası (the Cumhuriyet Halk Party (T.N. Republican People’s Party)). He was in close political cooperation with Mustafa Kemal in the process resulting in the proclamation of the Republic. The first revolutions started to be constructed during the period when he was the prime minister for the first time. Integration of education (Unification of Education Law), abolition of the caliphate and the founding of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (March 3rd, 1924) again took place in this period. He resigned from his post on November 8th 1924 by agreeing with Mustafa Kemal upon the execution of the extreme opposition by Terakkiperver Cumhuriyet Fırkası (T.N. Party of Progressive Republicans) towards Çankaya through the government. Fethi Bey (Okyar) founded the new government on November 21st 1924.

However, after the Sheikh Said rebellion in the east, he was charged with forming a new government by the President of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal on March 3rd 1925. He carried out the re-establishment of the Courts of Independence by introducing the Law on the Maintenance of Order on March 6th 1925. Based on this law, he had all the opposition parties and opposition newspapers closed. In the meantime, the continued his military duty and he retired after being promoted to the rank of four-star general in 1926.

İsmet Pasha received the surname “İnönü” given by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk when the surname law was introduced in 1934; he continued his post of prime minister without interruption from 1924 to 1937. In this period, he took active roles in the adoption and implementation of the 'Statism' principle in the economic policy during all the major political developments, publicizing and implementing the reforms, in the country.

Upon his approval of the report that proposed forming of a “Fascist Council” over the parliament (TMBB) that was written by Recep Peker, who was the General Secretary of CHP after his return from Italy where he was sent to study Fascism in 1936, when the President Atatürk refused the decision by saying “As far as understood, the prime minister signs the reports without reading them because of exhaustion” and when İsmet Pasha retorted to this evaluation a tension arose between them. He was dismissed from his prime ministry and the CHP Partly Leader positions by the President when the differences in thought arose during the suppression of the Dersim Rebellion in September 1937 and Celâl Bayar was appointed instead of him. During this period, he only served as a deputy of Malatya in Parliament until the death of Atatürk.

İsmet İnönü was the one first to come to mind in the election of the new president after Ataturk's death on 10th November 1938. So, in the election held on November 11th 1938 Parliament, he was unanimously elected as the second President of the Republic of Turkey. He was appointed as the chairman of the party (for life) and was awarded the title "National Chief" in the 1st Extraordinary General Assembly of CHP on December 26th 1938 based on a law that was enacted in 1925, his portraits were used on paper money and stamps.

During the Second World War (1939-45) which began immediately after his election of the President, he tried to keep the country out of the war, and managed to do so. The economic and social problems in the war years remained as an unforgettable legacy of the era. The Wealth Tax was implemented in practice in this period, about which the discussions extend to the present day. During this period, the Village Institutes were established under the leadership of Hasan Ali Yücel. He had to cede the power to the Demokrat Party with the transition to multi-party democratic political life after the Second World War. When the 1950 elections ended the rule of CHP that lasted for 27 years in Turkey, İsmet İnonü, who was the Prime Minister for 14 years and President for 12 years, considered the result as inevitable.

 He remained in the leadership of his party for a period of ten years in opposition despite losing in the 1954 and 1957 elections. After the power of the DP was away on May 27th 1960 military coup and acceptance of the new constitution, although CHP couldn’t provide the majority required to be the power alone in the general elections on October 15th 1961, it became the first party in the elections and İnönü was charged with forming a new government. He served as prime minister in the governments in coalition with other political parties and independents during this period. However, İnönü Government resigned when the rejection votes were more than the acceptance votes in the voting of the budget and left its place to the Government of Suat Hayri Ürgüplü on February 20th 1965. The differences of opinion within the party deepened when his party lost the October 10th, 1965 elections. Following the adoption of the "left of center" policy by the CHP supported by İnönü, the party lost the general elections held in 1969.

After the intervention of the Turkish Armed Forces on March 12th 1971, important differences of opinions emerged within the party about the attitude of CHP and İnönü had conflicts with Bülent Ecevit who was the general secretary of the party.

Two days after the intervention, he gave a severe speech in the CHP group. However, he agreed to give ministers to the new government to lighten the mood. Ecevit resigned from the general secretary position by the conflict that emerged in the issue of whether the party would give members to the new founded government or not. İnönü, who had an intense struggle with Ecevit, announced that he would resign if his policy was approved by his party in the 5th CHP Extraordinary General Assembly gathered in May 1972. When the party council stood by Ecevit in the assembly, he left his CHP Chairman position on May 8th 1972. İnönü, who was the first chairman that was replaced due to the intra-party struggle in Turkish political life, resigned of the membership of the CHP on November 4th 1972, and of the deputy on November 14th 1972. Upon his request and because of being the former president, he served as a senator of the Republic Senate.

Books containing a part of İsmet Inönü’s memoirs as well as his sermons and speeches in various dates have been published. İsmet Pasha, died on December 25th 1973, was buried in the Anıtkabir mausoleum with state funeral on December 28th.


İnönü Diyor ki (1944), İnönü’nün Söylev ve Demeçleri I 1920-1946 (1946), Hatıralar: Genç Subaylık Yılları 1884-1918 (1968), İsmet Paşa’nın Siyasi ve İçtimai Nutukları 1920-1933 (1993), Televizyona Anlattıklarım (prepared by Nazmi Kal), Yeni Bir Yorum Denemesi (İsmet İnönü, The Making of a Turkish Statesman, prepared by Metin Heper).  

REFERENCE: Mehmet Zeki / Türkiye Teracim-i Ahval Ansiklopedisi (c. Il, 1929), Şevket Süreyya Aydemir / İkinci Adam (3 cilt, 1980), Ali Rıza Cihan - Abdudullah Tekin / Çağdaş Devlet Adamı İsmet İnönü (1989), Gülsün Bilgehan / Mevhibe – Çankaya’nın Hanımefendisi (2 cilt, 1998), Şerafettin Turan / İsmet İnönü: Yaşamı Dönemi Kişiliği (2000), Metin Heper / İsmet İnönü: Yeni Bir Yorum Denemesi (İngilizceden çev. Sermet Yalçın,1999), Kemal Öztürk / İlk Meclis (1999), Hilmi Yavuz / Ceviz Sandıktaki Anılar (2001), İhsan Işık / Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi (2001, 2004) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, gen. 2. bas. 2007) – Ünlü Devlet Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 1, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Falih Rıfkı Atay / Çankaya (2004).


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