DMEDD invited the members of SHOM to a visit of a very special museum, the "Pembe KöŞk" (Pink Villa), the oldest villa in Ankara. Pembe KöŞk was the home of Turkish President Ismet Inönü from 1929 to 1973 and served as a center-stage for numerous cultural activities during the early years of the Turkish Republic. The museum opens occasionally to the public and we had the privilege to be accompanied by President Inönüs daughter Ms Özden Inönü Toker during the museum tour.
A lot of SHOM members and even more DMEDD members used this quite unique opportunity to visit Pembe KöŞk and to be guided by a real insider and woman of Turkish history. Ms Özden Inönü Toker welcomed everyone personally, asking about our names, what country we are representing and making a little chitchat. She then guided us through the old villa, explaining its importance and telling us personal anecdotes about some of the exhibits. Everything remained exactly the same as when she and her family were living in the house and the curators took much care to show the several artefacts together with pictures, often taken at that very spot in the house.
Ms Inönü Toker was born in 1930 and Mustafa Kemal was a frequent guest in their house. A lot of her childhood memories are talking place at the very beginning of the Turkish Republic and are therefore and important cornerstone in Turkeys history. Many of us were amazed how phisically fit Ms Inönü Toker still is and how good her memory works. She is an extraordinary woman who definitely has a lot to tell - she could easily entertain a big group for a whole day. Her motto is: "Be kind" and she definitely lives according to it as she was patiently taking pictures with all of us and responding to our several questions.
Many of us were touched and impressed by this old lady and her stories and we could imagine and understand how much she and this house mean to our turkish friends from DMEDD. A big thank you for DMEDD to let us be part of this wonderful visit and travel back in history!