The Turkish national anthem “İstiklal Marşı” is the anthem that was officially adopted by the Turkish Republic in 1921, two and a half years before the establishment of the state.

The İstiklal Marşı was written by the Turkish poet Muhammad Akef Ersoy and composed by Osman Zaki Angor, the anthem talks about the meanings of independence and the redemption of the homeland, and the virtues of hope and dedication.

Turkish National Anthem

About the Turkish national anthem

The Turkish national anthem is one of the most important symbols of national unity in Turkey. Next to the Turkish flag , the people especially revere the anthem, where competitions are held for young smart children to read the anthem in popular celebrations.

The first verses of the anthem are read in schools and on official occasions, as it is considered a symbol of the Turkish national struggle for independence and the liberation of all lands from occupation.

History of the Turkish National Anthem

A national competition was organized in 1921 by the Turkish National Movement “Milli Force” led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to choose a suitable anthem aimed at encouraging the militias fighting for independence across the country, and to provide inspiration and pride for the new homeland that is created once victory is achieved.

Muhammad Akif Ersoy refused to participate in the competition at first, due to the presentation of a financial prize, but then Parliament contacted him and persuaded him to submit a poem, ignoring the reward if he did not want to receive it.

Muhammad Akif’s poem was unanimously accepted by the MPs after evaluation by a parliamentary committee.

The competition prize was later awarded to a community of veterans, after Arsoy refused to receive it.

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English translation for the Turkish national anthem

Fear not; For the crimson banner that proudly ripples in this glorious dawn, shall not fade,
Before the last fiery hearth that is ablaze within my homeland is extinguished.
For that is the star of my people, and it will forever shine;
It is mine; and solely belongs to my valiant nation.
Frown not, I beseech you, oh thou coy crescent!
Smile upon my heroic nation! Why the anger, why the rage?
Our blood which we shed for you shall not be worthy otherwise;
For freedom is the absolute right of my God-worshipping nation!
I have been free since the beginning and forever shall be so.
What madman shall put me in chains! I defy the very idea!
I’m like the roaring flood; trampling my banks and overcoming my body,
I’ll tear apart mountains, exceed the Expanses and still gush out!
The horizons of the West may be bound with walls of steel,
But my borders are guarded by the mighty bosom of a believer.
Let it howl! , Do not be afraid! And think: how can this fiery faith ever be extinguished,
By that battered, single-fanged monster you call “civilization”?
My friend! Leave not my homeland to the hands of villainous men!
Render your chest as armour and your body as bulwark! Halt this disgraceful assault!
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 glorious son of a martyr – take shame, grieve not your ancestors!
Unhand not, even when you’re promised worlds, this heavenly homeland.
Who would not sacrifice their life for this paradise of a country?
Martyrs would burst forth should one simply squeeze the soil! Martyrs!
May God take my life, my loved ones, and all possessions from me if He will,
But let Him not deprive me of my one true homeland in 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 and their testimonies are the foundations of my religion,
And may their noble sound prevail thunderously across my eternal homeland.
For only then, shall my fatigued tombstone, if there is one, prostrate a thousand times in ecstasy,
And tears of blood shall, oh Lord, spill out from my every wound,
And my lifeless body shall burst forth from the earth like an eternal spirit,
Perhaps only then, shall I peacefully ascend and at long last reach the heavens.
So ripple and wave like the bright dawning sky, oh thou glorious crescent,
So that our every last drop of blood may finally be blessed and worthy!
Neither you nor my kin shall ever be extinguished!
For freedom is the absolute right of my ever-free flag;
For independence is the absolute right of my God-worshipping nation!

The Turkish national anthem in Ottoman language

،قورقما سونمز بو شفقلرده یوزن آل سنجاق
،سونمه‌دن یوردمڭ اوستنده توتن اڭ صوڭ اوجاق
.اوبنم ملتمڭ ییلدیزیدر پارلایاجق
.اوبنمدر اوبنم ملتمڭدر آنجاق
،چاتما قربان اولایم چهره ڭی ای نازلی هلال
،قهرمان عرقمه بر گول نه بو شدت بو جلال
،سڭا الماز دوكولن قانلرمز صوڭره حلال
!حقیدر حقه طاپان ملتمڭ استقلال
،بن ازلدن بریدر حر یاشادم حر یاشارم
،هانگی چیلغین بڭا زنجیر اوره جقمش شاشارم
،كوكره مش سیل كبی‌یم بندمی چیگنر آشارم
.ییرتارم طاغلری انگینلره صیغمام طاشارم
،غربڭ آفاقنی صارمشسه چلیك زرهلی دیوار
،بنم ایمان طولی كوكوسم كبی سرحدم وار
،اولوسون قورقما نصل بویله بر ایمانی بوغار
.مدنیت دیدیگن تك دیشی قالمش جانوار
،آرقاداش يودمى آلچاقلری اوغراتما صاقین
،سپر ايت كوده ڭی دورسون بو حیاسزجه آقین
،طوغاجقدرسگا وعد ایتدیڭی كونلر حقڭ
.كیم بیلیر بلكی یارین بلكی یاریندنده یاقین
،باصدیغڭ یرلری طوپراق دییه رك گچمه طانی
،دوشون آلتنده كی بیڭلرجه كفنسز یاتانی
،سن شهید اوغلیسڭ اینجیتمه یازیقدر آتاڭی
.ویرمه دنیالری آلسه ڭده بو جنت وطنی
،كیم بو جنت وطنڭ اوغرینه اولمازكه فدا
،شهدا فیشقیراجق طوپراغی صیقسه ڭ شهدا
،جانی جانانی بوتون واریمی آلسین ده خدا
.ایتمه سین تك وطنمدن بنی دنیاده جدا
،روحمڭ سندن الهی شودر آنجاق املی
،دكمه سین معبدمڭ كوكسنه نامحرم الی
،بو اذان لر كه شهادتلری دینڭ اتملی
.ابدی یوردمڭ اوستنده بنم ایگلملی
،او زمان وجد ایله بیڭ سجده ایدر وارسه طاشم
،هرجریحه مدن الهی بوشانور قانلی یاشیم
،فیشقیریر روح مجرد گبی یردن نعشیم
.او زمان یوكسله رك عرشه ده گر بلكی باشم
،دالقالان سن ده شفقلر كبی ای شانلی هلال
،ولسون آرتق دكولن قانلرمڭ هپسی حلال
،ابديا سڭا یوق عرقمه یوق اضمحلال
،حقیدر حر یاشامش بایراغمڭ حریت
.حقیدر حقه طاپان ملتمڭ استقلال

Turkey national anthem in Turkish

Korkma! Sönmez bu şafaklarda yüzen al sancak,
Sönmeden yurdumun üstünde tüten en son ocak.
O benim milletimin yıldızıdır, parlayacak;
O benimdir, o benim milletimindir ancak.
Çatma, kurban olayım, çehreni ey nazlı hilal!
Kahraman ırkıma bir gül; ne bu şiddet, bu celal?
Sana olmaz dökülen kanlarımız sonra helal…
Hakkıdır, Hakk’a tapan milletimin istiklâl.
Ben ezelden beridir hür yaşadım, hür yaşarım,
Hangi çılgın bana zincir vuracakmış? Şaşarım.
Kükremiş sel gibiyim, bendimi çiğner, aşarım,
Yırtarım dağları, enginlere sığmam, taşarım.
Garbın afakını sarmışsa çelik zırhlı duvar,
Benim iman dolu göğsüm gibi serhaddim var.
Ulusun, korkma! Nasıl böyle bir imanı boğar,
“Medeniyet” dediğin tek dişi kalmış canavar?
Arkadaş! Yurduma alçakları uğratma sakın,
Siper et gövdeni, dursun bu hayâsızca akın.
Doğacaktır sana vadettiği günler Hakk’ın,
Kim bilir, belki yarın belki yarından da yakın.
Bastığın yerleri “toprak” diyerek geçme, tanı,
Düşün altındaki binlerce kefensiz yatanı.
Sen şehit oğlusun, incitme, yazıktır atanı,
Verme, dünyaları alsan da bu cennet vatanı.
Kim bu cennet vatanın uğruna olmaz ki feda?
Şüheda fışkıracak, toprağı sıksan şüheda.
Canı, cananı, bütün varımı alsın da Hüda,
Etmesin tek vatanımdan beni dünyada cüda.
Ruhumun senden İlahî, şudur ancak emeli:
Değmesin mabedimin göğsüne namahrem eli.
Bu ezanlar, ki şehadetleri dinin temeli,
Ebedî, yurdumun üstünde benim inlemeli.
O zaman vecd ile bin secde eder, varsa taşım,
Her cerihamdan, İlahî, boşanıp kanlı yaşım,
Fışkırır ruhumücerret gibi yerden naaşım,
O zaman yükselerek arşa değer belki başım.
Dalgalan sen de şafaklar gibi ey şanlı hilal!
Olsun artık dökülen kanlarımın hepsi helal.
Ebediyen sana yok, ırkıma yok izmihlal.
Hakkıdır, hür yaşamış bayrağımın hürriyet;
Hakkıdır, Hakk’a tapan milletimin istiklâl.

This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic) Deutsch (German) Türkçe (Turkish) Русский (Russian) Français (French) Nederlands (Dutch) Español (Spanish)


Abdullah Habib

The Founder of Turkpidya, an Egyptian student from mixed Turkish descent. A multilingual man passionate about Turkey and writing. A material scientist and engineer.

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