Defense minister: ”The Turkish-Greek population exchange was key for Turkey becoming a nation-state”
Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul yesterday attended an EU Troika defense ministers meeting in Brussels, followed by a ceremony at the Turkish Embassy to commemorate Ataturk. In his speech, Gonul said that the 1923 Turkish-Greek population exchange, a step taken by Ataturk which is little remembered today, was very important in making Turkey into a nation-state. Ottoman era efforts to westernize and make reforms weren't enough to save the country before the republic was founded, he added. Gonul said that in founding the republic, Ataturk placed great importance on economic policy as well as the nation-state.