Almost 100 years ago, the founder of what is now the Turkish Republic had received a letter from a curious American boy named Curtis Le France, who had written about his admiration and interest for Turkey to Atatürk, even asking the president of the new country – which had just risen from the ashes of the collapsed Ottoman Empire – to send him a photograph, should he ever get to read this humble letter.
Atatürk replied to the 10-year-old in a handwritten letter, sending it to the U.S. along with a photograph of him. Le France kept the letter for many decades, eventually donating the letter to Turkey on a visit to the country to mark the 75th anniversary of the republic, where he had come upon an invitation from then-Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit.
The letter was put on display in the Republic Museum in Ankara in March earlier this year after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Mustafa Adıgüzel asked parliament about the whereabouts of the letter.
The letter surfaced after a rummage through the state archives. It is now on display in the museum and open for view to those who want to get to read the letter Atatürk wrote.
Hurriyet Daily News