History of the Foundation

History of the Foundation

İnönü Foundation, which is located in Ankara, was established in February 22, 1983 with the aim of enshrining the close friend of Atatürk, the second President of the Republic of Turkey and a great statesman İsmet İnönü’s memory and collecting and preserving the documents and possessions left behind him as well as making them available to the use of researchers and transmitting them to the future generations.

İsmet İnönü is the second identical name of our Republic.

As in Şevket Süreyya Aydemir’s words after the “One Man” Atatürk, he is the “Second Man”…

He was the closest companion-in-arms and workmate of Atatürk, the İnönü hero of the War of Independence, the master diplomat of Lausanne, the leader of Republican People’s party, the first Prime Minister of our Republic, the second President after Atatürk, “National Leader” of an era, the architect of the trial period of the multi-party system and then the leader of the main opposition party…

With the concise and warm description of his beloved nation he is “İsmet Pasha”…

What about his “humanistic” side?

He was a warm-hearted family father… He had a constant desire for learning… He had a particular interest for art enough to take cello lessons when he was over 50 years old. He was a good and regular follower of the concerts.

He was a sportsman horse rider, interested in snooker, a chess master, a nature-lover and an environmentalist who was an expert on pines.


Regarding the average life-span in Turkey, İsmet İnönü lived a long life.

When he departed this life at the age of 89 in December 25, 1973, in spite of 25 years that passed a gap that was irreplaceable was born.

İsmet Pasha left a “history” inheritance, particularly Pink House that is full of memories of his 48 years, to his family and nation.

It was primarily the duty of the family to protect this “history.”

Mevhibe İnönü, who got married to İsmet İnönü in İstanbul in 1916 and who shared happy and fruitful marriage for 57 years, was now alone with her memories in Pink House. Their sons Erdal (1926), Ömer (1924) and grandchildren Hayri and Eren were visiting Mevhibe İnönü from time to time. But her daughter Özden was always there with her. Her grandchildren Gülsün, Nurperi and Güçlü were her connection to the outside world.

When the whole family came together, they talked about what could be done in memory of İsmet İnönü. But it was for sure that nothing could be achieved without being organized.


10 years passed after the death of İsmet İnönü and the politics was cut to the bone due to the military coup made in September 12, 1980. During the stage of retransferring to democracy and of the foundation of new parties, the name İnönü started to come up with the name of the professor of physics Erdal İnönü this time.

Erdal İnönü, as being the son of a historical person, was being called to form and to organize the Social Democratic Populist Party.

Erdal İnönü, who was now spending his time in Ankara instead of İstanbul, brought the idea of “having to be organized in order to immortalize the memory of the father of the family” forward:

“Let’s establish a foundation as İnönü family.”

When the offer was accepted, we rolled up our sleeves.

It was the 22nd of February, 1983, when the foundation voucher beginning with“…with the aim of enshrining the close friend of Atatürk, the second President of the Republic of Turkey and a great statesman İsmet İnönü’s memory and transmitting them to the future generations…” finalized. Mevhibe, Ömer, Erdal İnönü and Özden İnönü put their signatures under the voucher as the founders and lawful heirs of İsmet İnönü.


Mevhibe İnönü (1897-1992) was brought to the head of İnönü Foundation. Being the wife of a statesman, Mevhibe İnönü had an important role not only in the political life in Turkey but also the in the society. And she always pioneered the women of the Republic.

Secular, modern and cultured woman Mevhibe İnönü was always the role model in many ways and she always acted very responsibly to preserve the history of the family. If she had not kept notes, old pictures, uniforms, arms, documents, letters, medals, accessories, in brief the “recent history”, Pink House which she loved profoundly would not have been opened as “museum.”

Today Özden Toker (1930) who graduated from the English Philology department at Faculty of Languages, History and Geography is at the head of the Foundation. And this is how she reflects her feelings sincerely about the Foundation:

“When we decided to establish a foundation upon the advice of Erdal İnönü, I was not aware of the fact that we were starting something very excited. This was a brand new subject for me. Time went by and I understood how beneficial, positive and permanent work we initiated. A foundation, especially like ours, means a full dedication.