Ataturk is the national hero of Turkey. He founded the modern Turkish Republic out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire; an empire that was seen as the sick man of Europe at the turn of the century. During the war, Sultan and many of the people saw a hopeful future in the acceptance of either the British or American mandate. Ataturk, however, had a very different vision. He left İstanbul in a small boat, namely Bandirma. Going ashore at Samsun, on the 19th of May 1919 the day the War of Independence began. So Bandırma played a very important role in Turkish Independence, one can see a picture or a model of this boat everywhere in Samsun.