"Decisions that saved Turkish nation from slavery" Top 5 Page for this destination Sivas by basak

Sivas Travel Guide: 79 reviews and 169 photos

My great great uncle's role in the history

I've been to Sivas upon the invitation of the city governor !!! I was very excited and did not hesitate to go.

Whenever i told my friends that i was going to Sivas, they were surprised. They wouldn't be this much surprised if i had told them that i was going to Japan. They were surprised because there are many nice cities in our country but Sivas is not a popular place among them.

Sivas is a small city with 300.000 people living in the middle of barren lands. Most of its people leave their homeland because there are not eneough economic resources to feed them. It is estimated that 500.000-600.000 Sivas-born people are living in other cities of Turkey or abroad.

If i had not received that invitation, going to Sivas would not come to my mind either....

However, me and my family was invitated there because we were the closest relatives of Mr. Nuh Naci Yazgan (my great great uncle) who was a deleagate at Sivas Congress held in 1919.

About Sivas Congress

Sivas Congress was a national congress held in the dark days after 1. World War. Now let me tell a little more about history...

Turkey had lost the 1st World War and its land was occupied by the Allied Forces. Turkish army was dispersed and disarmed. The government accepted every request of the allied forces. However, Turkish people could not accept being slaves; therefore a resistance started against occupation forces all over Turkey.

A young general (the victor of Galipoli) became the leader of the resistance and he asked the city governors and local leaders select 3 delegates from every city to join a congress in Sivas. Sivas was a safe place in the middle of Anatolia, it was not likely to be invaded by enemies that is why it was choosen as the congress location.

About 40 people achiveved to go to Sivas, although the government and occupation forces tried to stop them. Between 4-11 September 1919, they met at a high-school building in Sivas. There, as Ataturk (the young general who held the congress and later became the first president of Turkey) said "they took the decisions which paved the way to the independence of the nation."

During the congress they discussed how they should react against the occupations. They decided that the homeland could not be break up into pieces. The nation should resist against the occupations as a whole rather than every region trying to protect its land. Since the government do not function, a national organization should take place. Mandate or patronage of any other state will not be accepted.

One of the most disccussed issue was whether we should accept American mandate or not. Some delegates were so hopeless that they thought it was the only solution for the liberation of the nation. However, during the congress everybody was convinced that mandate was another form of slavery; therefore it could not be accepted.

All this was the beginning of a great story: The Story of Turkish National War and Foundation of Turkish Republic. If i can find good information in English on the web, i will share it here with those of you interested in history.

I am very proud that my great great uncle was one of those men who took place in the decision-making process of such important decisions for the whole nation.

My Stay in Sivas

Sivas Governorship makes a festival every year at September 4th. They invite the relatives of congress delegates as well as the politicians, businessmen and artists to the festival. Therefore, we were invited to Sivas and i flied to Sivas with my family.

Our hosts came to meet us in the airport. During our stay, they were together with us everywhere. We visited many historical places (madrasahs, mosques, old houses) in Sivas. The history of the city goes back to BC 5000. It has been a capital to several states that was founded in this region. All historical places are at very close distance to each other; so it is very easy to discover city by walk.

Among all places we have visited, the Congress Building(old high-school building) was the most impressive place for me, of course.

During nights, there were open air concerts at the city square and during the days there were many activities including opening ceremonies of several art exhibitions, 2-day semposium about the history of Sivas, the European championship of billards, a kite festival....It is not hard to see that first week of September is the most active time of the year for Sivas. I guess there are not many cultural, scientific or sportive activities at other days of the year. So it is best time of the year to visit the city.

Our stay in Sivas was very nice. Sivas people become very happy to have visitors and we were welcomed every where. If you are planing to spend long time in Turkey, i advise you to allocate at least 2 days to Sivas. Although it does not look as an attractive city at the first glance, you may find many interesting things to do in Sivas.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:amiable people
  • Cons:not much original hand-crafts to buy as souvenirs
  • Last visit to Sivas: Sep 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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