Either Independence or Death! On the Way to the Republic

September 26, 2023

Exhibition | Either Independence or Death! On the Way to the Republic

October 3-30, 2023

Venue: Çankaya Municipality Doğan Taşdelen Contemporary Arts Center, John F. Kennedy Street, No:4 Kavaklıdere-Ankara


Koç University Vehbi Koç Ankara Studies Research Center (VEKAM), Collectors Association and Çankaya Municipality, are thrilled to announce the Either Independence or Death! On the Way to the Republic exhibition on the centenary of the Republic of Türkiye.

The exhibition, which is prepared chronologically based on historical research, literary texts, memoirs, original documents and photographs of the period, is the largest exhibition of VEKAM and its partner institutions to date in terms of the area it covers and the number of objects.

The exhibition sheds light on the Turkish people’s National Independence Struggle led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades-in-arms, the Kuvayımilliye gangs resisting the occupation, the Turkish youth rushing to the front, the sacrifices of the entire population, including men, women and children from 7 to 70, and the heroism of Turkish soldiers, and the role of Ankara in this struggle.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience rare objects, some of which have never been shown in Türkiye before. Many everyday objects, copies of newspapers, unpublished photographs, documents, original records and video and audio recordings from the period will be available for the first time. For researchers, the exhibition will be accompanied by a thematic library containing over 60 publications on Ankara and the National Struggle.

The exhibition, which will feature more than 1200 rare documents, photographs, archives and collections of the Collectors Association, the majority of which belong to Nurhan and Korkut Erkan, with texts prepared by Korkut Erkan. The exhibition will include valuable works from institutions and personal collections such as the Ankara The State Museum of Fine Arts, Pera Museum and Istanbul Research Institute, Yapı Kredi Museum, Halûk Perk Research Center, Hisart Living History Museum, METU Society and Science Application and Research Center, Polatlı Historical Sites Promotion Center (POTA), War of Independence Museum (I. Turkish Grand National Assembly Building), Albert Khan Departmental Museum (France) and the American Library of Congress, among other institutions and personal collections. The Turkish Historical Society’s documentaries on the National Struggle Period will also be screened at the exhibition.

Those interested in history and art lovers will be able to attend various side events such as concerts, conferences, panels and documentary screenings free of charge until October 30. The exhibition can be visited in all galleries of Çankaya Municipality Doğan Taşdelen Contemporary Arts Center between October 03-30, 2023.

The exhibition and side events will be held in Turkish.


*Side events will be held free of charge at Çankaya Municipality Doğan Taşdelen Contemporary Arts Center, Sabahattin Ali Conference Hall.