This is not a documentary of historical events but a story based on historical documents about a period in Turkish history during the Turkish peoples' struggle to form an independent republic. Though the events in question occurred relatively recently, the story of Ethem Bey has long been clouded in misinterpretations. It is a canvas portrait of Turkey in that period of crisis and the machinations of the colonial powers to undermine the national aspirations of the Turkish people.
The story deals with the rivalry and conflict which arose early between Ismet, the clever politician, and Ethem, the soldier, and how this conflict affected Mustafa Kemal's outlook and decisions during this most turbulent time of modern Turkish history; it is a drama of ambition versus patriotism, compromise versus stubbornness, loyalty versus greed. It becomes apparent that Ismet envied Ethem's popularity and plotted cleverly and successfully to remove him from favour, forcing him ultimately to leave the country.
It was Winston Churchill who said “victors always write the history” and that saying is very true in regard to this period of Turkish history. The victor, in this case Ismet Inonu, did write the history of Turkey, and he determined its political and economic policy for nearly 60 years by making the military the masters of the Republic.
Ethem's departure from Turkey was immediately portrayed as treason and he was dubbed “Traitor”, when in reality Ethem's action was forced upon him by Inonu, and he left Turkey in order to avoid a terrible civil war, the outcome of which might have completely changed the geography and political status of the new Republic we know today. His leaving was in fact an act of sacrifice by a soldier who was a true patriot.
The Ismet Inonu campaign against him went so far as to wipe his name from the official history of the war, and if mentioned at all, it was only in negative terms. When he chose to leave the country to avoid a terrible civil war prompted by Ismet Inonu, the label of “Traitor” was put on him by the very republic he had helped to create. Only recently was this label removed and now his sacrifices and heroism are slowly being acknowledged.