Vamık D. Volkan, M.D., DLFAPA, FACPsa.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ON KEMAL ATATÜRKS’ PSYCHOANALYTIC BIOGRAPHY
 
 
 
  
Vamık D. Volkan
 
 
 
Volkan, Vamık D. (2008.) On Kemal Atatürk’s Psychoanalytic Biography. In Identity Formation in the Ottoman World: A Volume of Essays in Honor of Norman Itzkowitz, (Eds.) Baki Tezcan, and Karl K. Babir. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Introduction: 
I first met Dr. Norman Itzkowitz in early 1970 at Princeton University while participating in a meeting examining historical and group-psychological processes in the Middle East. Remarkably, though we did not know each other, both of us came to the meeting with papers titled “Atatürk and His Women.” Our interest in and focus on the same topic and our identical paper titles naturally sparked recognition of our shared aims and established a sense of understanding between us. Since that time I have collaborated with Dr. Itzkowitz on various projects, ranging from an examination of the thousand-year history of Turkish-Greek relations, to participation in unofficial Russian-Estonian dialogues following Estonia’s re-independence in 1991, to assessment of psychopolitical processes in Post-Enver Hoxa Albania. This collaboration has also included our writing of two psychoanalytic biographies: one on Kemal Atatürk, and the second on Richard Nixon. Happily, our friendship and professional relationship are still going strong after more than thirty-five years.
 
It took us almost seven years to study Atatürk’s life and to complete our first book, The Immortal Atatürk (1984). We intended to study the Turkish leader’s life through a psychoanalytic lens in order to illustrate how his internal and external worlds influenced one another. But how was it possible to “analyze” a person who was not on our “couch” and, indeed, was dead?  Would we have enough data to understand him?  Would we have prejudices, pre-formed ideas (counter-transferences) about our subject that would interfere with a “correct” assessment of his internal world? As we struggled with our project, a “methodology” of writing psychoanalytic biographies slowly began to emerge.  
 
Psychoanalytic biographies: A brief review:
There is no single approach to writing a psychoanalytic biography. As the Israeli psychologist Avner Falk noted, Sigmund Freud himself undertook his biographical studies of Leonardo da Vinci and Moses in different ways. Advances in theory and practice have also influenced the approaches applied in such endeavors. Early psychoanalytic writings on the lives of famous artists and historical figures focused on interpreting the symbols they employed, such as those used by artists in their works, but they did not attempt to identify what accounted for the directions of their creativity. Later, when psychoanalysis became better established, questions were raised about symbol-based approaches because, as Bergmann observed, “symbols are over determined and their meaning is less constant and less universal than Freud assumed.”
 
Robert Waelder’s introduction of the principle of multiple functions and his examination of over determination established that a subject’s decisions, actions, and productions have multiple conscious and unconscious meanings and sources, and this influenced psychoanalytic writers who began considering more than one causal factor when investigating an individual’s artistic work, political ideology, or drastic and destructive actions.
 
Research on child development illuminated the importance of dyadic child-mother experiences in the formation of a child’s sense of self and in enlarging a child’s ego functions. Knowledge gained through studying child development led to a focus on the actual life history of the biographical subject. Childhood traumas, for example, began to attract considerable attention. The biographer sought to know why this or that ego function overdeveloped or underdeveloped, how the ego mediated between different mental demands, and what kinds of defensive or sublimated adaptations to one’s living conditions were made.
 
The character of psychoanalytic biography again changed significantly when Erik Erikson applied his concept of the psychosocial stages of development to biographical writings. Erikson suggested that, when considering an individual’s relationship with society, the biographer should focus on the adolescent years, a time when the person’s horizons expand beyond family and neighbors to a wider social sphere. Later, historical situations in the life of a young adult, as well as mid-life crises, were considered by psychoanalytic biographers in general.
 
One of the key issues that concerned psychoanalysts from Sigmund Freud to John Gedo is biographers’ temptation to project personal wishes, fantasies, expectations, and defenses (countertransference) onto their subjects. As Freud pointed out, biographers often choose their subjects because they are fixated on or feel special affection for them. In order to call a biography “psychoanalytic,” we must know how the writer deals with aspects of this counter-transference, as the failure to notice and analyze counter-transferences may impair the account of the subject's life. There are numerous examples from psychoanalysts who have described their counter-transferences to their subjects. Gedo explained how, while writing about the effect of adolescent vicissitudes upon Amadeus Mozart’s creativity, he struggled to straighten out the similarities and differences between Mozart’s childhood and his own. Daniel Rancour-Laferriere, who provided us with a psychoanalytic look at Joseph Stalin’s mind, also investigated his own feelings about his subject.
 
Critics continued to argue, however, that a psychoanalytic approach was reductionist and maintained that what is observed on the surface cannot simply be accounted for by unconscious instinctual forces. Although Erikson's model and rigorous historical scholarship addressed this accusation, warnings by some analysts continued, characterizing reductionism as a most pernicious pitfall in the writing of psychoanalytic biography. In responding, that reductionism should not be equated with fallacy, Falk argued that psychoanalysis is “a legitimate scientific method because, in truth, all science is reductionist.”
 
Itzkowitz and I used a developmental approach in writing our psychobiographies of Kemal Atatürk and Richard Nixon, and I relied on the same approach when I presented the life of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK.)
 
This methodology first examines information from the subject’s infancy and early childhood, including the dyadic relationship between child and mother, the construction of the subject’s unconscious fantasies, and the mother’s (and other caretakers’) unconscious fantasies about the child, all which influence the subject’s formation of a sense of self. It also investigates the subject’s early traumas, developmental arrests, early symptom formation and adaptation to the environment, growth-inducing experiences, and the nature of the subject’s oedipal struggles and the crystallization of the personality organization during “the adolescent passage.” Second, researchers focus on the adult subject’s internal responses to external events, attempts to change the environment to fit internal demands, activities in the service of maintaining self-esteem, affective expressions or affect control, sexual adaptation, choosing of mates, and responses to parenthood. Finally, inquiry is made into transformations of identity, regressions and subsequent progressions in the reconsolidation of identity, mid-life issues, and reactions to aging and the approach of death. Thus, the subject’s entire life is looked at developmentally through a psychoanalytic lens.
 
Obviously, the degree of success that can be achieved in writing a psychoanalytic psychobiography through the application of this developmental approach depends on the availability of information about the subject. Furthermore, especially when writing the psychobiography of a political figure, it will be imperative for the biographer to have sufficient information about the political culture and conditions surrounding the subject and the political figure’s large-group (i.e. ethnic, national, religious) identity.
 
Kemal Atatürk:
Itzkowitz and I, as psychobiographers, collected information on Atatürk according to a developmental, “total” history model that seeks to overcome the inherent limitations of a psychoanalytic biography. Before demonstrating this methodology, I will begin with a brief summary of the life of our subject, Atatürk, as it appears in conventional history:
 
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, was born Mustafa in 1881, in Salonika (now Thessaloniki, Greece), a port city that was then part of the Ottoman Empire. His father, a customs clerk and later a small businessman, died when he was seven. As a young teenager Atatürk left home to enter military school and graduated near the top of his class. Although an officer of the Ottoman Military, he was also critical of the sultan, and was active in anti-government organizations. After distinguished service in World War I, highlighted by his heroic leadership at Gallipoli, he was promoted to general at the age of thirty-five.
 
As Allied forces threatened to overrun what remained of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, and the sultan proved powerless to fend off Italian, French, British, and Greek incursions, Atatürk sought to salvage Turkish independence. He left Istanbul for Anatolia, the “heartland” of the Turkish people, and in Ankara organized what remained of the Ottoman army to resist invading Greek forces. Fearing his growing power and under pressure from the Allies, the Sultan ordered his dismissal, prompting Atatürk to establish a provisional nationalist government in Ankara to which he was elected president. From Ankara, then only a provincial town, Atatürk planned campaigns against the Greeks who had invaded part of Anatolia, ultimately defeating them in 1922. The Sultan was then deposed by the nationalist government, and the modern state of Turkey was established in 1923 with Atatürk as its leader.
 
Upon becoming the first president of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal took the surname Atatürk (meaning “Father Turk”) and instituted drastic and sweeping political and cultural changes to transform Turkey into a modern, secular, and Western nation. These included dismantling Islamic law and curtailing religious influences over the state, instituting a civil system based on European models, emancipating women, replacing Arabic script with a Latin alphabet, and establishing various economic modernizations. According to a generally held Turkish belief, Atatürk almost single-handedly inspired his war-weary country to reestablish its independence by force and created a new Turkish identity through Cultural Revolution. He died in 1938, but in an extraordinary way is venerated in Turkey today as though he still lives. He is called "The Eternal Leader” and his representation is immortalized.
 
Many factors in making Mustafa Kemal an unusual leader will not be discussed in this chapter. In illustrating Atatürk’s case, I will only focus on the fact that he was born in a house of mourning and on his earliest memory. The effects of these circumstances can then be traced through data collected in the following areas:
 
1-Atatürk's formative years:
There is not a great deal of documented information on Mustafa’s childhood, latency, adolescence, or even the exact date of his birth, although brief but important published accounts of his childhood are available. One of his sisters outlived him and contributed rather scanty recollections of her brother and his youth. Itzkowitz and I examined these and other primary sources. In addition, I talked with individuals whose parents had lived in the same neighborhood in Thessaloniki as Atatürk did during childhood, gathering their perceptions about the place, his family, and much information about old Salonika in general.
 
We know the following information about Atatürk’s early childhood:
At birth Atatürk was named Mustafa. All three of the previous children born to his parents died at an early age when the family lived in an isolated and inhospitable area near Mount Olympus. Mustafa’s father worked there as a customs clerk. According to a family story told by Mustafa’s only surviving sibling, one of the dead male children was buried in a grave by the sea or a river bed. A high tide exposed the corpse, which was found ravaged by animals.
 
Whether or not the story of  Mustafa’s dead brother is a “historical truth,” it reflects a painful time and indicates Atatürk’s exposure very early in life to the psychology of a house of mourning. Psychoanalysts, myself included, often deal with patients who experience complicated mourning, such as parents who have lost children. After the loss of a child, a woman, consciously or unconsciously, most likely is anxious about the survival of the next child she bears. She may perceive it as a replacement or substitute child and make it a living link to the child or children she has lost.Through “depositing” which is a special and stable form of projective identification, she imposes her image of the dead child, whom the living child never actually met, into that child’s developing identity. Thus a mother experiences her surviving child as special, yet at the same time, she may also be distant and ungiving as she struggles to deal with the previous losses the child embodies and with fears that the new child may suffer a similar fate. As mother and child interact, what the mother “deposits” in the child and her perception of that child as a replacement or link enter into the child’s own developing identity.
 
Psychoanalysts have observed that the child in such a relationship, in turn, may have fantasies of saving the mother from complicated mourning. At first, these fantasies are selfishly focused on obtaining a mother who is not preoccupied with someone else (a dead sibling or spouse) and, therefore, able to provide the child with “good enough” mothering. The child or later the adult, however, may become, through sublimating his or her original wish, truly concerned with the well-being of the mother or, more likely, of her symbolic representation.
 
Knowing that three previous children had died, we entertained the notion that young Mustafa, as a living link to his dead siblings, may have had early unconscious savior fantasies. Was this at the foundation of his later strivings to become the savior of his country, which was filled with grieving people who become refugees and/or had lost their sons during World War I and the preceding Balkan War? It was later remembered that one could not walk through the streets of Istanbul without hearing someone wailing. We sought specific references to such possibilities to prove our hypothesis that this pre-oedipal event strongly influenced Mustafa’s life.
 
Other deaths overshadowed Atatürk’s oedipal period:
Mustafa's family had a brief respite from hardship after his birth; his father had a new job as a small businessman and they lived in the city of Thessaloniki. Good times did not last long. The father’s initially successful business failed, and poor health, drinking, depression, and unemployment followed. When Mustafa was seven, his father fell ill and died, and one of Mustafa’s younger sisters soon followed him. Mustafa’s mother became a widow at the age of twenty-seven, with only a small pension to support herself, Mustafa, and his only remaining sibling, a younger sister.
 
Before his death the father did something for the young boy that Atatürk considered a special gift: He rescued him from the religious Muslim school in which his deeply religious mother had registered him, sending him instead to a secular school under the instruction of a teacher named Şemsi Efendi. Atatürk's recollection of this period recounts the "deep struggle" between his parents and how his father prevailed. His father did compromise, however, allowing Mustafa to complete the ceremonious entry into the clerical school, thus satisfying his mother, before attending the secular school a few days later. In this, his first childhood memory, Atatürk reported that he idealized his father for standing up to his mother as well as to the Islamic traditions that persisted in the Ottoman Empire; he also remembered his father as still working as a clerk in the customs office at this time, although in actuality he had long since given up that position. This idealized version of a courageous father seems to have persisted, while the image of his father as a sickly failure was denied or repressed.
 
Clinical experience shows how important it is for a child to find a substitute for a father lost during the oedipal period, and we wondered if the teacher Şemsi, may have filled this void for Mustafa. Secular education had reached elementary schools in the big cities by then, but was strongly opposed by traditional Muslim Turks. Şemsi Efendi's school had been attacked twice and his classroom destroyed, but he stalwartly kept teaching. We hypothesized that Atatürk found a substitute father in his teacher, a progressive and determined man similar to Atatürk’s idealized image of his father. We theorized that his idealization of these two men was, in part, the crucial source of his appreciation for things Western and his injunction to modernize Turkey. We also wondered if the Sultan, whom Atatürk would come to see as corrupt and weak, would come to personify the devalued side of his father.
 
Available information on Atatürk’s adolescence suggests that it was characterized by separation-individuation struggles, as he attempted to separate from his mother (or her representation.) We theorized that Mustafa’s oedipal “victory”—the death of his father—had made the mother-son relationship problematic and full of ambivalence: as his mother’s rescuer and link to her dead children he was special, but at the same time she may have been smothering.
 
After his father died, Mustafa and his sister lived with their mother on a farm outside Thessaloniki, but he eventually returned to the town to live with an aunt. At secondary school one of his teachers gave him a new name, Kemal, which means “perfect.” From then until the time he took the surname Atatürk, he was known as Mustafa Kemal. Envious of the uniforms worn by boys attending military school, Atatürk made the decision to enter a military preparatory school. He wrote that although the culture esteemed the military, his mother "strongly objected to my becoming a soldier,” and that "without letting her know, I took the entrance examination for the military secondary school on my own. Thus, I achieved a fait accompli against my mother.”
 
Soon after, his mother remarried, greatly angering her son, and after the wedding he packed his books in a bag and left his mother's house. Atatürk then departed for a military training school in Monastır (in Present-Day Macedonia), nearly one hundred miles from Thessaloniki, and did not return to his mother's house for years.
 
The history of Atatürk’s formative years (childhood and adolescence) suggests that he was driven toward self-sufficiency. Itzkowitz and I wondered if these characteristics were defensive/adaptive responses to living in a “house of death” and the conflicted relationship with his mother. By joining the military, the most westernized institution in the Ottoman Empire at that time, we theorized that Atatürk may have been pursuing both an idealized image of his father and a way to free himself from the influence of his devoutly religious mother, who was experiencing complicated mourning. After focusing on Atatürk’s formative years, Itzkowitz and I, wanted to trace the themes of these formative years through his adult life. We thought that if these themes reappeared, it would help us to reevaluate our hypotheses about Atatürk’s internal world and its interaction with external events and history.
 
 
2-Adult history:
There are many connections that separately do not, but that collectively do, give strong evidence that events from his youth—being born in a house of death and the event he considers his first memory—influenced Atatürk’s adult life. In various ways he sought to reverse childhood misfortunes:
 
As president of the new Turkey, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Atatürk sought to transform the city of Ankara into "a house of life.” He wanted the glittering gaiety of Paris or Berlin in his new and still-provincial capital. He went to balls and encouraged dancing, singing, and revelry. Furthermore, he had adopted a young boy as his “son” during the war, and, as president, adopted a number of “daughters” pushing them to excel and to become westernized. I interviewed one daughter who had become Turkey's most famous aviator, Sabiha Gökçen. Then in her sixties, she told how he had forbidden any display of grief by any member of his entourage, ordering his daughters to smile and advising them to distrust anyone who did not have a smiling countenance.
 
He told one of his adopted daughters, “I want so much to create something with my own hands.” In this comment, I heard an echo of his desire to give life to children in order to give life to his dead siblings and end his mother's grief. Yet these adopted children would not be raised as his mother would have raised them—in a grim and oppressive environment with strict and confining religious views. In her perennial mourning his mother had turned to religion, and this Atatürk rebelled against, especially its influence on politics and societal processes.
 
As president of Turkey, Atatürk closed tekkes (the traditional lodges of dervishes) and railed against the primitive worship of ancient saints of folk Islam: "To seek help from the dead is a blot on any civilization. In one of his speeches, given only a year before his death, Atatürk said:
 
 
 
 "Some people like gardening and flowers.
 Others prefer to train men.
Does that man who grows flowers expect anything from them?
He who trains men ought to work like the man who grows flowers."
 
 
 
 
In the above remarks there is an allusion to raising living things from the earth—symbolically bringing his dead siblings and father to life, thus repairing his mother’s broken heart. Only after she is repaired can he be free of her influence. He also refers to his sublimation of his role as repairer—he does not wish recognition for such efforts.
 
There is evidence that Atatürk also repeated in adult life the pattern from his youth—that of giving attention to his mother in her perennial mourning, while at the same time following the road his dead father had encouraged, thus leaving her behind (the theme of his memory of life.) It appears that it was difficult to reconcile his living mother, who conformed to the old ways, and his dead father, who left him an injunction to break with the Ottoman/religious past and look toward the future: 
 
On the night before he fled Allied-occupied Istanbul, Atatürk dined with his mother. He wore an aba, the long gown of the Near East, which he would on no account have worn in public; and in Muslim fashion the two sat on the floor while eating. Paying her traditional homage, he told her of his plan to leave Istanbul on the following night, and she prayed for him. The next day he started a highly dangerous journey to Anatolia, where he began the Turkish war of independence.
 

During the war and even when he was president, he continued to ritualize his relationship with his mother; he always paid her a visit, going to her upon first awakening to kiss her hand before embarking on activities too much a part of the modern, westernized world for her to dream of. Like his father’s solution to the conflict over religious versus secular schooling, Atatürk first appeased his mother and then was able to identify with the idealized father bent on westernization. Atatürk’s success in separating from his mother, at least physically, was accomplished through secretly taking the entrance examination for military school. Being “examined” and passing the test became a symbol of intrapsychic separation from his mother’s mental representation, and we see repetition of it in his later life: Atatürk adopted a peculiar manner of quizzing (giving an examination to) other people. While interviewing those who had known him, I was struck by how often this was mentioned; it appears also in writings about him. Apparently, he would question new acquaintances to determine their acceptability based on their responses. He scorned anyone who failed his"examinations," and often gave rewards to those who were successful.

 
His original concern about independence (separation-individuation) from his mother later generalized, preparing him to tackle issues of national independence. Seeking independence from the representation of a mother and issues of national independence may appear to be worlds apart, but a connection between the two seems evident in Atatürk’s case:
 
In 1921 Atatürk said,
 
 
 
                                                  "Freedom and independence is my character.” 
 
 
 
 
And went on to describe how he had been consumed by a love of freedom since childhood: I put it as a main condition that my country should have the same characteristics. In order for me to be able to live I should be the child of a free nation. Thus the national sovereignty is a matter of life for me.
 
Other statements similarly merge his personal upbringing with his public stance:
Since my childhood, in my home, I have not liked being together with either my mother or sister, or a friend. I have always preferred to be alone and independent, and have lived this way always ... Because when one is given advice one has either to accept and obey it—or disregard it alltogether. Neither response seems right to me. Wouldn't it be a regressive retreat to the past to heed a warning given to me by my mother who is more than 20 or 25 years older than I? Yet were I to rebel against it I would break the heart of my mother, in whose virtue and lofty womanhood I have the firmest belief.
 
The quote above indicates that Atatürk’s childhood mother (her mental representation) exerted an influence on him throughout his life on both a personal and unconscious level, as well as on his professional career and political ideology. But although Atatürk rarely mentioned his father in his adult life (referring to his father in his childhood memory was an exception), the impact of his death on young Mustafa also seems significant, as does the role of his first teacher (the substitute for an idealized father), Şemsi Efendi. The name Şemsi, derived from the Arabic word shems, (“sun”) means “the illuminator," a suitable name for a teacher; yet the sun is an image that would persist throughout Atatürk’s life. It is featured prominently in many of Atatürk’s speeches in symbolic reference to the lifting of darkness from his troubled country. Interestingly, many of his followers similarly saw him as the symbolic representation of the sun that would bring new light and life to Turkey, dispelling the dark cloud that hung over the remnant of the crumbled Ottoman Empire. Journalists of the time even referred to him directly as the “Savior Sun,” and some people who met him noted that they had trouble looking him in the eye because of his radiant blue-eyed gaze and the bright aura it invoked. In this symbol of hopefulness and reparation, Itzkowitz and I heard an echo of the house of mourning from which Mustafa may have desired to lift the darkened cloud that hung over his mother who was in perennial mourning.
 
3- Roads into the unconscious:
Only one dream of Atatürk's is reported; this foreshadowed the death of his ailing mother soon after the Turkish war of independence. The day his mother died she was in Izmir, while Atatürk was in Ankara. When Atatürk woke up that morning he was handed a telegram. He said he knew what was in the telegram and that his mother was dead, because he saw it in a dream. Although he appears to have correctly foreseen his mother’s death, this dream, lacking details, does not inform the psychobiographer much about Atatürk’s unconscious, so we must look for other symbolic references that may provide access to it.
 
One of Atatürk’s essays, for example, includes symbols that inform us about aspects of his internal preoccupation. This essay, which has been preserved in his own handwriting, opens with a discussion of man's relation to nature: Man does not decide whether or not to be born. At the moment of his birth he is at the mercy of nature and a host of creatures other than himself. He needs to be protected, to be fed, to be looked after, and to be helped to grow.
 
We are reminded of the story of Mustafa’s dead sibling whose body was buried by the sea or a river bed and torn apart by wild animals—man is born in a primitive state at the mercy of nature and its creatures. Yet this excerpt also reflects Atatürk’s own fulfillment of the role of “father” at the birth of Turkey, for he protected his country in battle, sought to feed it through agricultural reforms, and became a “teacher” to the Turkish people. This chapter does not fully discuss the evidence that suggests Atatürk sought an idealized father image, but through internal transformations he eventually became the idealized father of the Turks.
 
4- Counter-transference:
While working on the developmental psychobiography of Atatürk, I came to realize that to analyze him was to analyze part of myself. As I am a Cypriot Turk, Atatürk was the idol of my people and had been part of my idealized self as I grew up. The “Father Turk,” he was seen as more than a man, as anyone traveling to Turkey could witness by his omnipresent portraits, statues, and memorials. It took considerable energy to reconcile the human and the superhuman aspects of my subject as I struggled to integrate the information I was gathering into a realistic picture.
 
In the course of my work I was frequently reminded of a family story that recalled how my own father had bravely identified himself with Atatürk when the leader introduced Western headgear and restricted men from wearing the fez: Atatürk strategically went to the most conservative community in Anatolia, wearing a panama hat as he alighted from the train before a waiting crowd. Pointing to his hat he announced, "The name of this is ‘hat!" The Turkish men doffed their fezzes in compliance and scattered to find hats for themselves.
 
My father, wearing a Western hat in imitation of Atatürk, went to a traditional coffee house in a conservative Cypriot Turkish village and stepped up on a chair to demonstrate his conversion. But unlike Atatürk, my father’s boldness was met with hostility from villagers armed with pistols. Having my father’s story many times during my childhood, I thought my father, unlike Atatürk, had failed. But through investigating Atatürk’s life in detail, I was forced to re-examine my devaluation of my father and my idealization of Atatürk. I came to appreciate my father’s bravery and tempered my idealized image of Atatürk who was, in fact, a man in many ways similar to countless others who had troubled childhoods.
 
A dream I had while collecting information on Atatürk also helped me understand my counter-transference. In the dream Atatürk and a patient that I was seeing at that time exchanged identities. Like Atatürk, my young patient was handsome and gifted, and I thought of him as “The Last Renaissance Man.” Both had grandiose self-images, and one statement of Atatürk’s in particular could have been uttered by my patient. Why, after my years of education, after studying civilization and the socializing processes, should I descend to the level of common people? I will make them rise to my level. Let me not resemble them; they should resemble me!
 
Each man had childhood reasons for developing a grandiose self: each had suffered significant early losses; each was pushed to mature at an early age; and each considered himself to be “number one” and sought validation for this perception. Although they had both received flawed mothering, in each case the mother had seen her son as special—a savior—and supported his developing grandiosity. Arnold Modell (1976), reports on similar backgrounds of exaggerated self-esteem among those psychoanalysts consider as having narcissistic personality organizations, and clinical findings about the early mothering of these individuals seemed to apply to my patient as well as to Atatürk.
 
One of the differences between my patient and Atatürk was that the former’s narcissism eventually drove him to seek psychoanalysis, while the latter’s drove him to become leader of his country. Their similarities, however, shed new light on Atatürk, and helped me differentiate the psychopathology of my analysand from the psychology of my biographical subject. Each led to a more informed view of the other, though each was a distinct and unique individual. Atatürk’s greatness lay in his actualization of his inner expectations and requirements—his narcissistic needs were transformed, and he himself was transformed, as his own struggle became Turkey’s struggle.
 
Conclusion:
The process of writing a developmental psychobiography can be an arduous task. I learned that Dr. Itzkowitz was moved to tears as we completed our book on Atatürk. After its publication the Dean of the University of  Virginia's Medical School, Dr. Norman Knorr, held a reception to celebrate. An evening for me to remember with great pleasure, it was also a ritual marking the end of my association with Atatürk. That night I dreamt of seeing newspapers written in many different languages, all bearing headlines announcing the death of Atatürk. Although I felt a great sadness in my dream, on the following day, remembering it, I knew that, I could now let him rest in peace and address myself to other work, including cementing my friendship with Dr. Itzkowitz, my fellow traveler into the mind of the great Turkish leader.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
REFERENCES:
 
 
1- L.C. Brown, and N. Itzkowitz. (1977.) Psychological Dimensions of Near Eastern Studies. Princeton: Darwin Press.
 
 
2- V.D. Volkan, and N. Itzkowitz, (1994.) Turks and Greeks: Neighbors in Conflict. Cambridgeshire, England: Eothen Press.
 
 
3- A.C.G.M. Robben, and M.M. (2000.) “Modern Greek and Turkish Identities and the Psychodynamics of Greek-Turkish relations.” (Ed.) Suárez-Orozco.
In Cultures Under Siege: Collective Violence and Trauma, pp.227-247. New York: Cambridge University Press. 
 
 
4- V.D. Volkan (1997.) Bloodlines: From Ethnic Pride to Ethnic Terrorism. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 
 
 
5- V.D. Volkan              Blind Trust: Large Groups and Their Leaders in Times of Crises and Terror. Charlottesville, VA: Pitchstone Publishing.
 
 
6- V.D. Volkan and N. Itzkowitz, (1984.) The Immortal Atatürk: A Psychobiography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
 
 
7- V.D. Volkan, N. Itzkowitz, and A. Dod, (1997.) Richard Nixon: A Psychobiography. New York: Columbia University Press.
 
 
8- A. Falk, (1985.) Aspects of Political Psychobiography. Political Psychology, 6:605-619.
 
 
9- S. Freud, (1910.)  “Leonardo da Vinci and A Memory of His Childhood.” In Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis: Leonardo da Vinci, and Other Works [The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological works of Sigmund Freud, Vol.11. ] London: Hogarth Press, 1957.), pp.63-137; idem.“Moses and monotheism,” in Moses and monotheism:
An outline of psycho-analysis, and other works [Standard Edition,Vol.23 (1937-1939)] (London: Hogarth Press, 1964), pp.100-137.
 
10- M.S. Bergmann, (1973.) Limitations of Method in Psychoanalytic Biography: A Historical Inquiry. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association,
21:833-850, at p.835.
 
11- R. Waelder, (1930) The Principle of Multiple Function: Observations on Over-determination. Psychoanalytic Quarterly 5:45-62.
 
12-  M.S. Mahler, (1968.) On Human Symbiosis and the Vicissitudes of Individuation. New York: International Universities Press.
 
 
13- S. Freud, “Letter to Arnold Zweig dated May 31, 1936”, in The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Arnold Zweig, (ed.) E. L. Freud (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970), pp.127-128; H. Hartmann, Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation, trans., David Rapaport [“Ich-Psychologie und Anpassungsproblem” was first presented in 1937 before the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society and then published in German in 1939 in the Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und Imago] (New York: International Universities Press, 1958); idem. “Comments on the psychoanalytic theory of the ego”, Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 5 (1950):73-96.
 
14-  E.H. Erikson, (1958.) Young Man Luther. New York: Norton.
 
15- Bergmann, “Limitations.”
 
16-  Freud, “Leonardo da Vinci”; Gedo, “The Methodology of Psychoanalytic Biography.”
 
17- J. E. Gedo, “Position Paper on the Methodology of Applied Analysis.” Paper read at the meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, December 1986.
 
 
18- D. Rancour-Laferriere, the Mind of Stalin: A Psychoanalytic Study (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ardis Publishers, 1988), p.120.
 
19- See J. E. Gedo (1972.) “The Methodology of Psychoanalytic Biography”, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 20 638‑649.
 
20- J. E. Mack (1971.)“Psychoanalysis and Historical Biography,” Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 19, pp.143-179.
 
21- Falk, “Aspects of political psychobiography,” p.611.
 
[21]Volkan, and Itzkowitz, The Immortal Atatürk; Volkan, Itzkowitz, and Dod, Richard Nixon; Volkan, Bloodlines; see also Falk, Napoleon Bonaparte.
 
 
[22]P. Blos, The Adolescence Passage (New York: International Universities Press, 1979).
 
 
[23]Volkan, Bloodlines; Volkan, Blind Trust; V. D. Volkan, Killing in the Name of Identity ( Charlottesville, VA: Pitchstone Publishing, 2006).
 
 
[24]G. H. Pollock, The Mourning-Liberation Process, 2 vols. (Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1989); V. D. Volkan, Linking Objects and Linking Phenomena: A Study of the Forms, Symptoms, Metapsychology, and Therapy of Complicated Mourning (New York: International Universities Press, 1981); V. D. Volkan and E. Zintl, Life After Loss: The Lessons of Grief (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993).
 
 
[25]A. C. Cain and R. S. Cain, “On replacing a child”, Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry 3 (1964): 443-456; N. Green and A. J. Solnit, “Reactions to the threatened loss of a child: A vulnerable child syndrome”, Pediatrics 34 (1964): 58-66; E. O. Poznansky, “The ‘replacement child:" "A saga of unresolved parental grief”, Behavioral Pediatrics 81 (1972): 1190‑1193; Pollock, The Mourning-Liberation Process; V. D. Volkan and G. Ast, Siblings in the Unconscious (Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1997).
 
 
[26]Volkan, What Do You Get When You Cross a Dandelion With a Rose; V. D. Volkan, G. Ast, and W. Greer, The Third Reich in the Unconscious: Transgenerational Transmission and its Consequences (New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2002).
 
 
[27]D. Winnicott, The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment (New York: International Universities Press, 1965).
 
 
[28]Reported by A. Emin (Yalman), “Büyük Millet Meclisi Reisi Başkumandan Mustafa Kemal Paşa ile bir mülâkat [An Interview with Mustafa Kemal Pasha, President of the Grand National Assembly and Commander-in-Chief, in Turkish]”, Vakit (Turkish Daily), 10 January, 1922.
 
[29]Mahler, On Human Symbiosis.
 
[30]A. Emin (Yalman), “[An Interview]”.
 
[31]S. Gökçen, unpublished interviews with V. D. Volkan in Ankara, Turkey; 2 and 5 December, 1974. Gökçen died in 2001.
 
[32]Ibid.
 
[33]Ibid.
 
[34]In A. Afetinan, ed., M. Kemal Atatürk’ten Yazdıklarım [My Notations from M. Kemal Atatürk, in Turkish] (Istanbul: Milli Eğitim Basımevi, 1971).
 
 
[35]Volkan and Itzkowitz, The Immortal Atatürk, epigraph.
 
 
[36]Ş. S. Aydemir, Tek Adam (The Singular Man), 3 vols. (Istanbul: Remzi Kitabevi, 1969), vol 3, p.484.
 
 
[37]Ibid.
 
[38]M. K. Atatürk, “Hürriyet [Freedom, in Turkish, 1930]”, in M. Kemal Atatürk’ten Yazdıklarım [My Notations from M. Kemal Atatürk], ed. A. Afetinan (Istanbul: Milli Eğitim Basımevi, 1971), pp.77-97, at pp 77-78.
 
[39 ]Volkan, Primitive Internalized Object Relations.
 
[40] Aydemir, vol. 3, p.482.
 
[41] A. H. Modell, “The ‘holding environment’ and the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis”, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 24 (1976):285‑307.
 
 
[42]Kernberg, Borderline Conditions; Volkan, Primitive Internalized Object Relations; V.D. Volkan and G. Ast, Spektrum des Narzißmus: Eine klinische Studie des gesunden Narzißmus, des narzißtisch-masochistischen Charakters, der narzißtischen Persönlichkeitsorganisation, des malignen Narzißmus und des erfolgreichen Narzißmus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and  Ruprecht, 1994).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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