President of Our Foundation

ozden-toker

My mother Mevhibe İnönü and my father İsmet İnönü lived 48 years in Pink House which was named by my husband Metin Toker. When they moved in here, they were away from each other for 9 years, one was at the front of the war, and the other was waiting behind the front. When my father passed away in 1973, we, my husband and our children, continued to live with my mother.

We established İnönü Foundation in 1983. My mother was at the head of the foundation. When we lost her, the duty passed on to me. And now I welcome the people who visit İnönü Museum, Pink House.

I (Özden Toker) take them to a journey in time. We begin from the War of Independence, the foundation of the Republic, the reforms and finally come to the present day. The time stops in our house, so they can find every memory same as 80 years ago in the same place and live the moment again. The children who I guide in the house are quite surprised. They are amazed that I saw Atatürk and kissed his hand and that I still stand in front of them.

They have a common idea and they say:

“How lucky you are!”

They are right, I know I am lucky. My brothers and I were born in the first 10 years of the Republic and are the first generation of the Republic. We opened our eyes among the people who won the War of Independence, founded Republic of Turkey and brought the reforms into being. We grew up with them and the Republic. Our excitement for the Republic never lessened, but we started feeling more and more responsible to it. We know that we owe a lot to these children of all ages who say “How lucky you are.”

Thus, 10 years after our father İsmet İnönü died, we decided as a family to establish İnönü Foundation in order to return this favor. Pink House, the summer house in Heybeliada and the house where my father was born all stayed the same. Even the furniture and the curtains remained just the same. The documents of our father, his letters, correspondences, 5000 books, belongings, our mother’s hundreds of clothes, private objects, all these were at hand waiting for us. We had no right to keep these only to ourselves. Because what we were going to share was not only our story but also the story, memories and history of the Republic of Turkey.

We have learned many things from the foundation which we started as amateur in 1983. We began to open the Pink House free to visits twice in a year until we transform it permanently into a museum. The raising number of visitors has shown us that we made a correct decision. In the last Republic Day, we had over 700 visitors. When we wanted to share our memories as being the first generation of the Republic, we realized how many people there were in the way we think and feel. There are thousands and millions of families of the Republic like us.
On top of that, as İnönü Foundation, we tried to reach to the young people in different regions of our country by organizing meetings, panels, concerts at the universities. But we realized that this was not enough, either.

And now we try to be closer to you with this web page. We hope to manage it.

Best Regards

Özden Toker