Mehmet Akif Ersoy, he was born in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire in 1873. He is noted for writing the lyrics of Turkish National Anthem, İstiklâl Marşı (The March of Independence in English) – which was adopted in 1921, and is accepted by many Turks as their "National Poet". The lyrics were originally written as a poem in a collection of his writings. Paradoxically, one of his most famous works, a book called Safahat, was not widely read or published until recently. He studied veterinary science at the university. He is also said to have written a commentary upon the Qur'an which he later burned on discovering that it was to be published by the new secular government in Turkish instead of the original Arabic, and used in secular education. Although semi-Albanian by birth and deeply religious, he is held as a nationalist figure in Turkey. In fact, his real allegiance was somewhere in between Turkish and Islamic identities, and he was something of the Namık Kemal of his time. Deeply upset by the strongly secular nature the republic took soon after the sultanate was abolished in 1923, he left Turkey for Cairo to teach Turkish language, and returned only shortly before his death in 1936. He was interred in the Edirnekapı Cemetery in İstanbul. İSTİKLAL MARŞI Fear not! For the red flag that proudly ripples in this glorious twilight, shall never fade, Before the last fiery hearth that is ablaze within my nation is extinguished. For That is the star of my nation, and it will forever shine; It is mine; and solely belongs to my valiant nation. Frown not, I beseech you, oh thou coy crescent, But smile upon my heroic race! Why the anger, why the rage? ¹ Our blood which we shed for you will not be blessed otherwise; For freedom is the absolute right of my God-worshiping nation. I have been free since the beginning and forever will be so. What madman shall put me in chains! I defy the very idea! I'm like the roaring flood; powerful and independent, I'll tear apart mountains, exceed the heavens ² and still gush out! The lands of the West may be armored with walls of steel, But I have borders guarded by the mighty chest of a believer. Recognize your innate strength, my friend! And think: how can this fiery faith ever be killed, By that battered, single-fanged monster you call "civilization"? ³ My friend! Leave not my homeland to the hands of villainous men! Render your chest as armor and your body as trench! Stop this disgraceful rush! For soon shall come the joyous days of divine promise... Who knows? Perhaps tomorrow? Perhaps even sooner! View not the soil you tread on as mere earth, recognize it! And think about the shroudless thousands who lie so nobly beneath you. You're the noble son of a martyr, take shame, hurt not your ancestor! Unhand not, even when you're promised worlds, this paradise of a homeland. What man would not die for this heavenly piece of land? Martyrs would gush out were one to just squeeze the soil! Martyrs! May God take all my loved ones and possessions from me if He will, But may He not deprive me of my one true homeland for the world. Oh glorious God, the sole wish of my pain-stricken heart is that, No heathen's hand should ever touch the bosom of my sacred Temples. These adhans, whose shahadahs are the foundations of my religion, And may their noble sound last loud and wide over my eternal homeland. For only then, shall my fatigued tombstone, if there is one, prostrate ⁴ a thousand times in ecstasy, And tears of fiery blood shall flow out of my every wound, And my lifeless body shall gush out from the earth like an eternal spirit, Perhaps only then, shall I peacefully ascend and at long last reach the heavens. So flap and wave like the bright dawning sky, oh thou glorious crescent, So that our every last drop of blood may finally be worthy! Neither you nor my race shall ever be extinguished! For freedom is the absolute right of my ever-free flag; For freedom is the absolute right of my God-worshiping nation!