Autograph letter signed 'Ali Çetinkaya ve Refikasi ve Kizi', sent to Turkish doctor Ethem Akif Battalgil.
ALI ÇETINKAYA, (Ottoman-born Turkish army officer and politician, who served eight terms in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey), (1878-1949).
"TBMM Hususi" Letterhead, Dated 11. IV. 1942, Ankara.
Original manuscript autograph letter signed (ALS) by Ali Çetinkaya sent to Turkish doctor Ethem Akif Battalgil who was the father of Fahire Battalgil (Battalgazi), who was the first Turkish zoologist. For Battalgil's brother's death, Çetinkaya is conveying his condolences. The letter was written and signed by Ali Çetinkaya, but, he added his wife and daughter. Dated 11. IV. 1942, Ankara. Ali Çetinkaya, also known as "Kel" Ali Bey was an Ottoman-born Turkish army officer and politician, who served eight terms in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, including a period in 1939-40 as his country's first Minister of Transport. He was born in Kara Hisâr-i Sâhib (present-day Afyonkarahisar) in Hüdavendigâr Vilayet as the son of Ahmed Efendi. He studied in the Bursa Military High School (Bursa Askerî Idadisi ). After graduating from military high school, he entered the Ottoman Military Academy (Mekteb-i Füsûn-u Harbiyye-i Sâhâne ) In 1898 he graduated the academy and joined the Ottoman military as a Second Lieutenant (Mülâzim-i Sani ). During World War I, he served for the army in the Caucasus and Galicia fronts. When the Greek forces were landing at Smyrna on May 15, 1919, he was a lieutenant colonel and the commander of 172nd Infantry Regiment stationed in the Aegean coastal town of Ayvalik. His regiment was under the command of the 56th Division of Hürrem Bey. Ali played a key role in the first stage of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922, starting with the opening battle. He was briefly able to hold back the advance into the city of Greek occupation forces. His action is considered to mark the first shots fired by regular forces in the 1919-22 Greco-Turkish War, although there were earlier confrontations in which irregular militias participated, including the battle involving Hasan Tahsin in Izmir, as well as actions in Urla and Ödemis. The hill in Ayvalik from where the first shots were fired is now called Ilk Kursun Tepesi (First Bullet Hill). Today there is a military rehabilitation center on that hill. After the war, Ali Çetinkaya was elected to the Turkish Grand National Assembly for eight successive terms and served until 1942, holding ministerial posts in six different governments, including, with the formation of a Ministry of Transport, becoming Turkey's first Minister of Transport. Ali Çetinkaya is considered a hero in Turkey. Cunda Island of Ayvalik was renamed Alibey Adasi (Ali Bey Island) after him, although the old name remains in common use.