Your first duty is to preserve and defend forever the Turkish independence and the Turkish Republic.
This is the only foundation for your existence and future. This foundation is your most valuable treasure. In the future too, there may be enemies both in your homeland and abroad, who will try to deprive you of this treasure. If one day, you are compelled to defend your independence and your republic, you should not hesitate to perform your duty, whatever possibilities and circumstances may present themselves. These possibilities and circumstances may be extremely unfavorable. It may be that the enemies who conspire against your independence and your republic have won a victory unprecedented in the history of the world. By force and by deceit all the fortresses of your beloved homeland may have been seized, all her shipyards occupied, all her armies dispersed, and every corner of the homeland invaded. And more tragic than all these situations, those who have been in power in your country may have fallen into ignorance and error; they may even be traitors. Moreover, those in power may identify their personal interests with the political goals of the invaders.The nation maybe crushed and exhausted.
Turkish youth of the future! Even under these conditions, your duty is to save the Turkish independence and the republic. The strength you need for this, is already present in the noble blood that flows in your veins.
Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK
Ankara, October 20, 1927