Ataturk Kosesi ing

BeDaVa DeRs Al

Ataturk Kosesi ing

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881 – November 10, 1938) was an army officer, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey as well as its first President.

Mustafa Kemal established himself as a successful and extremely capable military commander while serving as a division commander at the Battle of Gallipoli. He later fought with distinction on the eastern Anatolian and Palestinian fronts, making a name for himself during World War I.[1] Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the hands of the Allies, and the subsequent plans for its partition, Mustafa Kemal led the Turkish national movement in what would become the Turkish War of Independence. Having established a provisional government in Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Entente powers. His successful military campaigns led to the liberation of the country and to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

As the first President of Turkey, Atatürk embarked upon a major programme of political, economic and cultural reforms. An admirer of the Enlightenment, Atatürk sought to transform the ruins of the Ottoman Empire into a modern, democratic, secular, nation-state. The principles of Atatürk's reforms are often referred to as Kemalism and continue to form the political foundation of the modern Turkish state.

Early life:

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born in the then Ottoman city of Salonika (Turkish: Selânik; modern-day Thessaloniki, Greece) in the the spring of 1881 to Ali Rıza Efendi, and Zübeyde Hanım. Born as Mustafa, his second name Kemal (meaning Perfection or Maturity) was given to him by his mathematics teacher in recognition of his academic excellence.[2] In his early years, his mother encouraged Mustafa to attend a religious school, though a reluctant Mustafa completed only a brief stay there. His determination to enter into the military school saw him enroll into a junior military school and then the War College in Istanbul.


Military career


After the graduation in 1905, he was assigned to Damascus as a lieutenant. He joined a small secret revolutionary society of reformist officers called "Motherland and Liberty." In 1907, he was promoted to the rank of captain and assigned to Manastır. He joined the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). However, in later years he became known for his opposition to, and frequent criticism of, policies pursued by the CUP leadership. In 1908, the Young Turk Revolution seized power from Abdülhamid II. He played a role in this revolution. In 1910, he took part in the Picardie army maneuvers in France. In 1911, served at the Ministry of War for a short time. Later in 1911, he was posted to the Ottoman province of Trablusgarp (present-day Libya) to oppose the Italian invasion. He returned to capital in October 1912 following the outbreak of the Balkan Wars. During the First Balkan War, he fought against the Bulgarian army at Gallipoli and Bolayır on the coast of Thrace. In 1913, he was appointed military attaché to Sofia and promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1914.

Mustafa Kemal in Gallipoli with his soldiers, 1915
Mustafa Kemal in Gallipoli with his soldiers, 1915

Ottoman Empire entered World War I and engaged with the Allies in the Middle Eastern theatre. Mustafa Kemal was given the task of organizing and commanding the 19th Division attached to the 5th Army during the Battle of Gallipoli. The Gallipoli campaign became a disastrous defeat for the Allies. Mustafa Kemal became the outstanding front-line commander and gained much respect from his former enemies for his chivalry in victory. Following the Battle of Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal served in Edirne until the January 14, 1916.

He was assigned to the command of the XVIth Corps of the 2nd Army and sent to the Caucasus Campaign. The massive Russian offensive reached to the Anatolian key cities. On 7 August, Mustafa Kemal rallied his troops and mounted a counteroffensive.[3] Two of his divisions captured not only Bitlis but the equally important town of Muş, greatly disturbing the calculations of the Russian Command.[4] On March 7, 1917, Mustafa Kemal was appointed from the command of the XVI Corps to the overall command of the 2nd Army. The Russian Revolution erupted and the Caucasus front of the Czar's armies disintegrated.[3] Mustafa Kemal had already left the region as was assigned to the command of the 7th Army at the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.

He returned to Aleppo on August 28, 1918, and resumed his command. Liman von Sanders lost the Battle of Megiddo. Nothing stood between General Allenby's forces and Mustafa Kemal. Concluding that he didn't have enough men to encounter the British forces, Mustafa Kemal retreated towards Jordan for establishing a stronger defensive line. Mustafa Kemal was appointed to the command of Thunder Groups Command (Turkish:Yıldırım Orduları Gurubu), replacing Liman von Sanders. Mustafa Kemal's position became the base line for the Armistice of Mudros.

Kemal's last active service to the Ottoman Army was organizing the return of the troops that were left behind the south of his line. At the end of the war, Mustafa Kemal was 37 years old. Mustafa Kemal returned back to an occupied Istanbul on November 13, 1918. Along the established structures of partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, British, Italian, French and Greek forces began to occupy Anatolia. The occupation of Istanbul along with the occupation of İzmir mobilized the establishment of the Turkish national movement and the Turkish War of Independence.[5]


 Leadership During the War of Independence

Mustafa Kemal, Commander in chief of the Turkish forces, 1921
Mustafa Kemal, Commander in chief of the Turkish forces, 1921

Mustafa Kemal's active participation in the national resistance movement began with his assignment as a General Inspector to oversee the demobilisation of remaining Ottoman military units and nationalist organizations. On May 19, 1919, he departed from Istanbul to Samsun. The first goal in his mind was the establishment of an organised national resistance movement against the occupying forces. In June 1919, he and his close friends issued the Amasya Circular, which stated that the independence of the country was in danger. Ottoman government issued a warrant for the arrest, later condemning him to death. He resigned from the Ottoman Army on July 8.

Mustafa Kemal called for a national election to establish a new Turkish Parliament that would have its seat in Ankara.[6] On 12 February, 1920, the last Ottoman Parliament gathered in Istanbul. Parliament dissolved by the British forces after the declaration of the National Pact (Turkish: Misak-ı Milli). Mustafa Kemal used this opportunity to establish the "Grand National Assembly of Turkey" (GNA) gathered on April 23, 1920, with Mustafa Kemal as the speaker of the parliament. On August 10, 1920 Grand Vizier Damat Ferid Pasha signed the Treaty of Sèvres, which finalized the plans for the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire including what Turkish nationals accepted as their heartland. Kemal Insisted on complete independence and the safeguarding of the interests of the Turkish majority on Turkish soil. He persuaded the GNA to gather a National Army. The National Army faced the Allied occupation forces and fought on three fronts: in the Franco-Turkish, Greco-Turkish and Turkish-Armenian wars. After a series of initial battles during Greco-Turkish war, the Greek army advanced as far as the Sakarya River, just eighty kilometers west of the GNA. On August 5 1921, Mustafa Kemal was promoted to Commander in chief of the forces [7]. The Battle of Sakarya from August 23 to September 13, 1921 ended with the defeat of the Greeks. The Allies, ignoring the extent of Ankara's successes, hoped to impose a modified version of the Serves treaty as a peace settlement on Ankara. Kemal rejected their proposal. The final battle, the Battle of Dumlupınar, was fought during August and September of 1922. He launched an all-out attack on the Greek lines at Afyonkarahisar.

The Conference of Lausanne began on November 21, 1922. In accordance with the directives of Mustafa Kemal, İsmet İnönü refused any proposal that would compromise Turkish sovereignty while discussing matters regarding the control of Turkish finances and justice, the Capitulations, the Turkish Straits and the like.[8] On July 24, 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed. Ten weeks after agreement was reached the Allied forces left Istanbul.[9] The final outcome of the independence war was the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923.


Presidency, 1923–1938

President Atatürk leaving the Turkish Parliament after a meeting
President Atatürk leaving the Turkish Parliament after a meeting

The Treaty of Lausanne ended the Turkish War of Independence and recognized the new nation's independence. However, efforts to modernise the country had just started; institutions and constitutions of Western states such as France, Sweden, Italy, or Switzerland were yet to be analyzed and adopted according to the needs and characteristics of the Turkish nation. Mustafa Kemal was 42 years old when the Republic of Turkey was formed. Highlighting the publics lack of knowledge regarding Kemal's intentions, the public cheered: "We are returning to the days of the first caliphs".[10] In order to establish reforms Mustafa Kemal placed Fevzi Çakmak, Kazım Özalp and İsmet İnönü in the important positions. Mustafa Kemal capitalized on his reputation as an efficient military leader and spent the following years, up until his death in 1938, instituting wide-ranging and progressive political, economic, and social reforms, transforming Turkish society from perceiving itself as Muslim subjects of a vast Empire into citizens of a modern, democratic, and secular nation-state.

A basic political principle for Kemal was the complete independence of the country, for him the total independence of the country was not negotiable,[11]. However, he was well aware that independence could not be maintained solely by the military force. His view of independence was expressed in a statement, saying that:"…by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence."[12] Thus, as the backbone of the legislative, judicial, and economic structures were put in place, Atatürk led wide ranging reforms in the social, cultural, economical aspects of life in Turkey.


Nature of the state

Mustafa Kemal during one of his Anatolian tours

The nature of the state established by Kemal was influenced by his concept of Six Arrows, encompassing republicanism, populism, secularism, revolutionalism, nationalism and statism. These principles were later referred to as part of the Kemalist ideology based on Ataturks conception of realism and pragmatism.[13] In forging the new republic, the Turkish revolutionaries turned their back on the perceived corruption and decadence of cosmopolitan Istanbul and its Ottoman heritage.[14] Instead, they established their capital in Ankara deep in Anatolia, which at the time was no more than a provincial town.

In the first years of the republic, the revolutionaries faced challenges not only from supporters of the old Ottoman regime, but also new ideologies such as communism. Mustafa Kemal saw the consequences of fascist and communist doctrines in the 1920s and 1930s and rejected both[15], preventing the spread of totalitarian party rule which held sway in the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy.[16]. Some perceived Atatürk's silencing of opposition as a means of eliminating competition, others believed it a necessary means to protect the young Turkish state from succumbing to the instability of new ideologies and competing factions.


Single-party state

Mustafa Kemal, being the leader of the single-party state, had the final say on who could be listed for the party ballot. A political satire cartoon of that period depicts him as he shakes the "golden scoop of Kemal"

The single-party regime in Turkey was established de facto in 1925. GNA was established during the war of independence upon the call of Mustafa Kemal, the lower house of the last Ottoman parliament (heyeti mebusan), which had previously assembled in Istanbul, convened on 23 April 1920 in Ankara[17].During this period, the role of deputies at GNA were to be the voice of society by expressing its political views and preferences. The elections were free, however system was egalitarian electoral system based on general ballot[17]. The GNA had the right to select and control both the government and the Prime Minister. the GNA acted as a legislative power, control the executive and, if necessary, act as an organ of scrutiny[17].

At first, the only established political party at GNA was the "Peoples Party" later renamed to Republican People's Party (Turkish "Cumhuriyet Halk Fırkası") which was founded by Mustafa Kemal himself on September 9, 1923. Mustafa Kemal's private journals show that, even before the establishment of the republic in 1923, he believed in the importance of the sovereignty of people as opposed to the sovereignty of the absolute monarch, which was the case in the Ottoman Empire. He wanted a "direct government by the Assembly"[18] and he visualized a parliamentary sovereignty (a representative democracy), where the National Parliament would be the ultimate source of power.[19] However, in the following years, Kemal took the position that the country needed an immense amount of reconstruction, and "direct government by the Assembly" could not survive in this environment.

There have been criticisms of Mustafa Kemal, arguing that he did not promote democracy by dominating the country with his single party rule. In response to such criticisms, his biographer Andrew Mango wrote that: "between the two wars, democracy could not be sustained in many relatively richer and better-educated societies. Atatürk's enlightened authoritarianism left a reasonable space for free private lives. More could not have been expected in his lifetime."[20] Even though, sometimes he might not be a democrat in his actions, he has always supported the idea of eventually building a democratic state. In one of his many speeches about the importance of the democracy, Mustafa Kemal said in the year 1933: "Republic means democratic administration of the state. We founded the Republic, reaching its tenth year it should enforce all the requirements of democracy as the time comes."[21]


Parliamentary opposition

However his cultural revolution faced fierce opposition. In 1925 Mustafa Kemal asked Kazım Karabekir to establish the Progressive Republican Party to ease the tensions, thus the first multi-party system began. The Progressive Republican Party's economic program suggested liberalism, in contrast to state socialism, and its social program was based on conservatism in contrast to modernism. Leaders of the party strongly supported the Kemalist revolution in principle, but had different opinions on the cultural revolution and the principle of secularism.[22]

In 1925, while the "Issue of Musul" was on the table Sheikh Said Piran developed the Sheikh Said Rebellion. The "Maintenance of Order Law" was passed, giving Mustafa Kemal the authority to shut down subversive groups. Soon after the Sheikh Said Rebellion, the Progressive Republican Party was dissolved under a new law, an act Mustafa Kemal claimed was necessary for preserving the Turkish state.

On August 11, 1930, Mustafa Kemal decided to try a multi-party system once again. He assigned Ali Fethi Okyar to establish a new party. In his letter to Ali Fethi Okyar, laïcité was insisted on. At first, the brand-new Liberal Republican Party succeeded all around the country. But once again the opposition party became too strong in its opposition to Atatürk's reforms, particularly in regard to the role of religion in public life. Finally, seeing the rising fundamentalist threat and being a staunch supporter of Atatürk's reforms himself, Ali Fethi Okyar abolished his own party and Mustafa Kemal never succeeded in establishing a long lasting multi-party parliamentary system.


Foreign policies

Kemal’s foreign policy was aligned with his motto “peace at home and peace in the world.” Kemal's perception of peace was not simply the absence of war but linked to his project of civilization and modernization[23]. The base and the expected outcome(s) of the Kemal's policies depended on the power of the parliamentary sovereignty (justice, moral superiority, and social structure of the nation) that was established by the Republic[24]. The Turkish war of independence was the last time Kemal used his military might. The foreign issues were resolved by peaceful methods during his presidency.


Mosul and Kurds

The "Issue of Mosul" was over the control of the Mosul Province with Great Britain. Mosul was one of the first foreign controversy of the new Republic. Some three days after the Armistice of Mudros General Marshall following the instruction "every effort was to be made to score as heavily as possible on the Tigris before the whistle blew" from the British War Office captured the Mosul.[25] In 1920 Misak-ı Milli, which consolidated the lands based on the same past, history, concept of morals and laws, declared that Mosul Province was part of the historic heartland. In 1923 Treaty of Lausanne accepted the League of Nations arbitration over Mosul. Mustafa Kemal tried to persuade the assembly that accepting the League of Nations arbitration did not mean giving up Mosul, but rather waiting for a time when Turkey might be stronger. The artificially drawn border had an unsettling effect on the population. Later on it was claimed that Turkey began where the oil ends as the border was drawn by the British geophysicists based on the oil reserves. Kemal did not wanted this separation[26]. The British were in an precarious situation with the Issue of Mosul, and were adopting almost equally desperate measures to protect their interests. Iraqi revolt against the British was put down by RAF Iraq Command only four years ago during the summer of 1920. Presumably from British perspective, if Mustafa Kemal succeeded in securing the stability in his side, he will turn his attention to recovering Mosul and penetrate to Mesopotamia, where the native population would probably join him, thus an insurgent and hostile Moslem nation brought up to the very gates of India. British Foreign Secretary attempted to disclaim any connection to the oil. On 23 January 1923, Curzon argued that the existence of the oil was no more than hypothetical[25]. England wanted oil. Mosul and Kurds were the key[27].

While three person League of Nations committee was sent to the region to oversight the situation in 1924, the Sheikh Said rebellion, beginning in 1924 and escalating until 1927, broke out to establish a new government positioned to cut Turkey's link to Mesopotamia. Sheikh Said Piran was the Kurdish, rich, hereditary chieftain of the local Naqshbandi order. Said Piran emphasized the issue of religion (during this period civil codes were adopted, abolished religious orders, forbade polygamy, and civil marriage was made compulsory). Said Piran stirred up his followers against the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate and the policies of the Kemalist government which he considered as against religion. Some members of the government saw the revolt as an attempt of a counter-revolution. They urged for an immediate military action to prevent the spread. In the name of the restoration of the Holy Law using the Islamic green banner, Said Piran's forces roamed through the country, seized government offices and marched on the important cities of Elazığ and Diyarbakır.[28] The relationship between the rebellion and British support was questioned. The British assistance was sought realizing that rebellion, or its expected outcome, could not stand alone [29].

During 1925 League of Nations formed a three member committee to study the case while Sheikh Said rebellion was on the rise. Partly because of the continuing uncertainties along the Northern frontier [North of Iraq] committee recommended that the region to be connected to Iraq with a condition that the UK would hold the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. By the end of March 1925, the necessary troop movements were completed, and the whole area of the rebellion was encircled.[30] The revolt was put down. Britain, Iraq and Kemal made a treaty on 5 June 1926, that mostly followed the decision of the League Council. In 1926 the Kemal faced with growing opposition to its reform policies, a continuing precarious economic situation, and a defeat in the Mosul issue. A big section of Kurdish population along the Iraqi Turkmens were left behind. Sheikh Said rebellion hastened both the imposition of Republican party and speed of the Ataturk's reforms. In 1925, population was largely illiterate and disparate, Turkey was in ruins, reconstruction was difficult, poverty was everywhere, people were in pain which easily feed the violence[31]. Mustafa Kemal attributed the rebellion rather than a section of population to certain notables, who had been found guilty by the courts (kanunen mucrim olan bazi muteneffizan) and who used the mask of religion to conceal the interests of landlords, feudal tribal leaders and other 'reactionaries' on March 7, 1925[32].



Telegram sent by Kemal after the local legislative assembly accepted his proposal for the Hatay State's flag

In 1936 Kemal coined the name Hatay for the Sanjak of Alexandretta, and raised the "Issue of Hatay" (Turkish: Hatay meselesi) at the League of Nations. On behalf of the League of Nations, representatives of France, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey prepared a constitution for Hatay, which established it as an autonomous sanjak within Syria. Despite some inter-ethnic violence, in the midst of 1938 an election to the local legislative assembly was conducted and it was convoked. The cities of Antakya (Antioch) and İskenderun (Alexandretta) were regained by Turkey in 1939.


Legal reforms
 Abolition of the Caliphate

An important dimension in Kemal's drive to reform the Turkish political system and to promote the national sovereignty was the abolition of the Caliphate. Mustafa Kemal wanted to integrate the powers of the Caliphate into the powers of the Assembly, and his initial activities began on January 1, 1924.[33] Mustafa Kemal acquired the consent of İnönü, Çakmak and Özalp before the abolition of the Caliphate. On March 1, 1924, at the Assembly, Mustafa Kemal said "the religion of Islam will be elevated if it will cease to be a political instrument, as had been the case in the past."[34] On March 3, 1924, the Caliphate was officially abolished and its powers within Turkey were transferred to the Turkish Grand National Assembly.


 Civic independence

The leading legal reforms instituted by Mustafa Kemal included the complete separation of government and religious affairs and the adoption of a strong interpretation of the principle of laïcité in the constitution. This was coupled with the closure of Islamic courts and the replacement of Islamic canon law with a secular civil code modeled after the Swiss Civil Code and a penal code modelled after the Italian Penal Code. Kemal said on one occasion that: "We must liberate our concepts of justice, our laws and our legal institutions from the bonds which, even though they are incompatible with the needs of our century, still hold a tight grip on us"[35]


 Economic policies


Mustafa Kemal instigated economic policies not just to develop small and large scale businesses, but also to create social strata (industrial bourgeoisie along the peasantry of Anatolia) that were virtually non-existent during the Ottoman Empire. The primary problem faced by the politics of his period was the lag in the development of political institutions and social classes which would steer such social and economic changes.[36] The Mustafa Kemal's vision regarding early Turkish economic policy was apparent during the İzmir Economic Congress of 1923 which was established before the signing of the Lausanne Treaty.


 State intervention, 1923–1929

The initial choices of Mustafa Kemal's economic policies were a reflection of the realities of his period. After World War One, due to the lack of any real potential investors to open private sector factories and develop industrial production, Kemal's activities regarding the economy included the establishment of many state-owned factories for agriculture, machinery, and textile industries. Mustafa Kemal and İsmet İnönü had a national vision in their pursue of the state controlled economical polices. Kemal and İsmet wanted to knit the country together, eliminate the foreign control of the economy, and improve communications. Istanbul, a trading port with international foreign enterprises, was deliberately abandoned and resources were channeled to other, relatively less developed cities, in order to establish a more balanced development throughout the country.[37]

For Mustafa Kemal, as for his supporters, tobacco remained wedded to his policy in the pursuit of the economic independence. Turkish tobacco was an important industrial crop, where its cultivation and manufacture were French monopolies under capitulations of the Ottoman Empire. The tobacco and cigarette trade was controlled by two French companies the "Regie Compagnie interessee des tabacs de l'empire Ottoman", and "Narquileh tobacco.[38]" Ottoman Empire gave the tobacco monopoly to the Ottoman Bank as a limited company under "Council of the Public Debt". Reigie, as part of Council of the Public Debt, had the control over production, storing, distribution (including export) with an unchallenged price control and Turkish farmers were depended on the company for their livelihood.[39] In 1925, this company was taken over by the state and named as "Tekel." The second biggest industrial crop was cotton. Cotton planting during this period was promoted to furnish raw material for the new factory settlements in Turkey.[40] One of these factory settlements was in Nazilli. Nazilli beginning with the establishment of Cotton mills and then followed by the first Turkish cotton print factory "Nazilli Calico print factory (1935)" become a major center.[41][42] The control of tobacco was the biggest achievement of the Kemalist political machinery's "nationalization" of the economy for a country that did not produce oil. They accompanied this achievement with the development of cotton related industry.

Mustafa Kemal ordered the establishment of the Turkish State Railways, which would connect the country from one side to the other. 3,208 km of rail lines were constructed during Kemal's lifetime, which was named as the "Railway period"

Atatürk considered the development of a national rail network as another important step for industrialization, and this was addressed by the foundation of the Turkish State Railways in 1927, setting up an extensive railway network in a very short time. The road network was 13,885 km ruined surface roads, and 4.450 km stabilized roads, and 94 bridges. This stayed the same until 1935. In 1927 Kemal ordered the integration of road construction goals into development plans. In 1935 a new entity was established under the government named "Sose ve Kopruler Reisligi" which will be the driving force of the new roads after the World War II. However in 1937 total roads inside the boarders were 22,000 km which were mainly a system to aid the railways.

There was a growing and deeply rooted sentiment signaling the need for a truly national establishment and the birth of a banking system that was capable of the financing means to back up economic activities, managing funds accumulated as a result of policies providing savings incentives and where necessary extending resources which could trigger industrial impetus, as a result with the initiative of Kemal the first Turkish bank İş Bankası established in 1924. Kemal was the first member of İş Bankası. The Ottoman Bank's role during the initial years as a central bank remained, however it was extended on a temporary basis due to the Kemals's intention to establish Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, which was realized in 1931. Along the İş Bankası, banks like Sümerbank (specialized in industrial agriculture products) and Etibank (specialized in mineral and related industries) were also founded during this period.

The national group who had Kemal as the leader developed many projects within the first decade of the republic, but the Anatolian economy was based on agriculture, with primitive tools and methods; roads and transportation facilities were far from sufficient; and the management of the economy was inefficient. The Great Depression brought many changes to this picture.


 The Great Depression, 1929–1931

Mustafa Kemal supported large-scale government subsidized industrial complexes, such as Sümerbank, increasingly after the Great Depression
Mustafa Kemal supported large-scale government subsidized industrial complexes, such as Sümerbank, increasingly after the Great Depression

The young republic like the rest of the world, found itself in a deep economic crisis during the Great Depression: the country could not finance essential imports; its currency was shunned; and zealous revenue officials seized the meager possessions of peasants who could not pay their taxes.[37] Mustafa Kemal had to face the same problems which all the countries faced: political upheaval.

The establishment of a new party with a different economic perspective was needed and Mustafa Kemal asked Ali Fethi Okyar to fulfill this need. The Liberal Republican Party came out with a liberal program and proposed that state monopolies should be ended, foreign capital should be attracted, and that state investment should be curtailed. Mustafa Kemal supported İnönü's point of view that "it is impossible to attract foreign capital for essential development." However, the effect of free republicans was felt strongly and state intervention was replaced with moderate state intervention, which was not close to capitalism; but a form of state capitalism. One of Mustafa Kemal's radical left-wing supporters, Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu (from the Kadro (The Cadre) movement), claimed that Mustafa Kemal found a third way between capitalism and socialism in his Marxist journal.[43]


 Liberalization and planned growth, 1931–1939

Kemal at the Etimesgut Airport in Ankara, built by the Turkish Aircraft Association. His famous quote, "the future lies in the skies", is embossed today on the airport's facade

The first two of "five year economic plans" were performed under the supervision of Mustafa Kemal. However, with the death of Kemal and the rise of World War II changed the use of economic plans drastically. Governments from then on [death of Kemal] began to take measures which harmed the economic productivity in various ways.[44]

Mustafa Kemal had to deal with the turbulent economic issues with a "high debt" which was known as Ottoman public debt. Turkish private business can not acquire-exchange credits and it was impossible to integrate Turkish economy without a solution. Atatürk pursued a treaty signed in 1929 with the Ottoman Debt Council. While paying the Ottoman debt, Kemal's economic policies got recognition by the very first foreign borrowing credited from a private USA company amounting to 10 million dollars in 1930. This slowly followed with the replacement of previously isolated-economic policies to the integrated economic policies. At Atatürk's request, Celal Bayar became Minister of Economy and served from 1932 to 1937.[45] Celal Bayar was a liberal economist who was raised from small a business practice who became a major industrialized player of his time. During this period of mixed economy with private initiative, textile, sugar, paper and steel factories as well as many industrial establishments, power plants, banks [such as the Halk Bank], and insurance companies were established. On October 25, 1937 Mustafa Kemal appointed Celal Bayar as the prime minister of the 9th government. Integrated economic policies reached its peak with the signing of the 1939 Treaty with Britain and France which signaled another turning point in the Turkish history.[44] It was the first step towards an alliance with the "West".[44] Celal Bayar continued to serve as prime minister when Atatürk died and İnönü became president in 1938. The differences of opinion with Inönü [state control] without the protection of Mustafa Kemal led Celal Bayar [liberal] to lay down his office on January 25, 1939.

The success of the 1930s due to early implementation of the economic system was an achievement credited to the national policies of the Mustafa Kemal and his team.[46] Atatürk supported the development of automobile industry that did not existed before. He did not just want to initiate an industry but an industry that would be a center to its region. The motto of the Turkish automobile association, as supplied by Atatürk, is, "The Turkish driver is a man of the most exquisite sensitivities."[47] Atatürk realized the important role of aviation, summing it up in the words, "the future lies in the skies".[48] Turkish Aeronautical Association was founded by the directive of Mustafa Kemal, in 1925.[49] Mustafa Kemal also ordered the establishment of Turkish Aircraft Association Lottery to found the projects. Instead of the traditional raffle prizes, this new lottery paid money prizes but the major part of its income transferred to establishment of a new factory. Kemal watched the first national aircraft (MMV-1) in 1932. Mustafa Kemal did not see the flight of the first Turkish military aircraft build at the factory but soon after his death before the onset of World War Two, American Curtiss Hawk fighters were operational.

During 1935, Turkey was coming up as an industrial society on the Western European model with the guides set out by Atatürk.[50] In his death, most regions of Turkey had viable micro-economic stability and macro economic stability was in a viable state. The sign of sound economic policies were marked by the first-ever emergence of the local banks. However, the gap between Mustafa Kemal’s goals in his speeches and the achievements of the socio-political structure of the country was not aligned.[50]


 Educational reforms

Kemal linked the educational reform to the liberation of the nation from the dogma, which he believed was even more important than the Turkish war of independence.

Today, our most important and most productive task is the national education [unification and modernization] affairs. We have to be successful in national education affairs and we shall be. The liberation of a nation is only achieved through this way.[51]"

Mustaf Kemal



Kemal teaching the new Turkish alphabet to Ülkü

In the summer of 1924, Mustafa Kemal invited American educational John Dewey to advise him on ideas for reforms and recommendations aimed at modernizing the Turkish educational system.[52] Mustafa Kemal initiated his public education reforms to enhance public literacy and thus better prepare citizens for roles to public life. He wanted to institute compulsory primary education for both girls and boys; since then this effort has been an ongoing task for the Republic. Literate citizens, who comprised as little as 10% of the population, used the Ottoman Language written in Arabic script with Arabic and Persian loan vocabulary.[52] Dewey notes that roughly three years with rather strenuous methods were necessary to learn to read and write in Arabic script on the elementary level[52]. The creation of the new Turkish alphabet as a variant of the Latin alphabet was undertaken by the Language Commission (Dil Encümeni) at the initiative of Kemal.[52] The Turkish alphabet was decreed on 24 May 1928. The first Turkish newspaper was published with the use of the new alphabet on 15 December 1928. The fast adoption of the new alphabet was the result of the combined effect of opening the People's Houses (tr: Halk Evleri) throughout the country and the active encouragement of people by Kemal himself. Kemal made many trips to the countryside in order to teach the new alphabet. The literacy reform was also supported by strengthening the private publishing sector with a new Law on Copyrights and congresses for discussing the issues of copyright, public education and scientific publishing.

Kemal also promoted the modern teaching methods in primary education in which Dewey took a place of honor. Dewey's "Report and Recommendation" for the Turkish educational system was a paradigmatic recommendation for an educational policy of developing societies moving towards modernity at the time.[52]

Besides general education, Kemal was interested in forming a skill base in the country through adult education. His adult education ideas found its way in People's Houses. Turkish women were taught not only child care, dress-making and household management, but also the tools which they could use to become part of general economy. He summarized the adult education as "to equip the new generations at all education levels with knowledge that shall make them efficient and successful in practical and especially economic life."



Cover of the French L'Illustration magazine (issue of October 13, 1928), showing Mustafa Kemal as he introduces the new Turkish alphabet to the people of Sivas
Cover of the French L'Illustration magazine (issue of October 13, 1928), showing Mustafa Kemal as he introduces the new Turkish alphabet to the people of Sivas

Mustafa Kemal pointed out that one of the main targets of "Education in Turkey" had to be raising a generation nourished with what he called the public culture. Public culture aimed that state schools (public education) have a common curriculum. Common curriculum became known as the "unification of education." Unification of education was put into force on 3 March 1924 by the law of "National Education No: 430". Unification of education in its treatment of students was inclusive, organized and operated to be a deliberate model of the civil community. The schools submitted their curriculum to what was named as "Ministry of National Education" which was a government agency modeled after other Ministry of Educations of its time. Ministry of National Education draw a contemporary route to the traditional social structure; by causing or gaining contemporary citizen consciousness. Kemal said "Our schools [curriculum] should aim to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and to achieve" and he personally engaged to the development of two textbooks. The first one published in 1930 was "Vatandaş İçin Medeni Bilgiler" (Turkish Civics). The "Vatandaş İçin Medeni Bilgiler" introduced the science of comparative government and explained about means of administering public trust by explaining the rules of governance as applied to state institutions. Kemal's vision of education of the public while developing the functions and responsibilities of these institutions was an extraordinary vision and a brave move for his time and special context. The institutions in question were only a couple years old. Kemal's new "unified" educational system designated a responsible citizen as well as a useful and appreciated member of the society[52]. The second textbook he wrote was "Geometry" and published in 1937. Turkish education become a state supervised system which was designed to create a skill base for the "social" (integrative force to establish access to education, alleviation of poverty and using female education program to enforce gender equality) and general "economic progress" of the country[53].

The law of "National Education No: 430" passed on the same day as the abolishment of Caliphate and, concurrently, the Republic abolished the two miniseries and subordinated the clergy to the department of religious affairs. The change was one of the foundations of secularism in Turkey. The unification of education under one curriculum was the end of "clerics or clergy of the Ottoman Empire" even if it was not the end of religious schools as they were moved to higher education until consequent governments pulled back to secondary education after Mustafa Kemal's death.

Unlike any other "Public school" systems of today, there were three main horizontal institutions closed to each other in 1923. The first and most common one was local schools and medreses based on Arabic, Koran and memorizing. The second was reformist schools of Tanzimat called as idadî and sultanî and the third was schools educating in foreign language like colleges and minority schools. Under the Kemal the old medrese education was modernized.[52] Mustafa Kemal changed the classical Islamic education with a vigorously promoted reconstruction of educational institutions along the line of an enlightened pragmatism.[52]


 Establishing the Quality of Education

Atatürk visits the Istanbul University
Atatürk visits the Istanbul University

During the initial years Mustafa Kemal constantly tried to generate mediums to propagate his ideas of modern education. Kemal instigated official education meetings named "Science Boards" and "Education Summits." At "Science Boards" and "Education Summits" the quality of education, training issues and certain basic educational principles were discussed.

Another important part of Mustafa Kemal's emphasis was on establishing institutions to advance Turkish language and history. The establishment of the Turkish Language Association (Türk Dil Kurumu) was archived in 1931 for conducting research works on Turkish language. The establishment of the Turkish Historical Society (Türk Tarih Kurumu) was archived in 1932 for conducting research works on history. Many teachers were employed in Turkish History and Language Institutions. Mustafa Kemal declared that the advancement of education called for the endeavors of the private sector and he summoned society to take part in the effort[54]. Kemal established the Turkish Education Association on January 1st, 1928[54]. Association become active in the field of education, supporting intelligent and hard-working children in financial need as well as making material and scientific contributions to the educational life.

Atatürk at the library of Çankaya Presidential Residence in Ankara
Atatürk at the library of Çankaya Presidential Residence in Ankara

In 1933, Mustafa Kemal ordered the reorganization of the Istanbul University into a modern institution and later established the Ankara University in the capital city to make sure that the principles that are the expressions of a modern society, such as science and enlightenment, are held dear and protected.[55]

Kemal personally engaged with the translation of scientific terminology[56]. Kemal wanted the Turkish language reform based on a methodological base. The Turkish language has an integral structure and without modelling this structure any attempt to 'clean' the Turkish language from foreign influence was inherently wrong for him. Mustafa Kemal personally engaged with the Sun Language Theory (Turkish: Güneş Dil Teorisi), which was a linguistic theory proposing that all human languages are descendants of one Central Asian primal language. Kemal's interest started with the works by the French scientist Hilaire de Baranton entitled "L'Origine des Langues, des Religions et des Peuples", that all languages originated from hieroglyphs and cuneiform used by Sumerians [57] and the paper of Austrian linguist Dr. Hermann F. Kvergic of Vienna entitled "La psychologie de quelques elements des langues Turques" ["the psychology of some elements of the Turkic Languages"].[58] Kemal introduced the Sun Language Theory into Turkish political and educational circles in 1935, at the high point of attempts to 'cleanse' the Turkish language of foreign influences. After 1936, Kemal saw the extremist aspects of the purification campaign and corrected them [56].


 Social policies

It is evident from his personal journal that Mustafa Kemal began to develop the concepts of his social revolution very early. Mustafa Kemal constantly discussed with his staff on issues like abolishing the veiling of women and integration of females to social life, and developed conclusions. In November 1915, Mustafa Kemal wrote in his journal that "the social change can come by (1) educating capable mothers who are knowledgeable about life; (2) giving freedom to women; (3) a man can change his morals, thoughts, and feelings by leading a common life with a woman; as there is an inborn tendency towards the attraction of mutual affection."[59]


 Women's rights

Atatürk with his adopted daughter Sabiha Gökçen, the world's first female combat pilot, from the archive of the Turkish Air Force
Atatürk with his adopted daughter Sabiha Gökçen, the world's first female combat pilot, from the archive of the Turkish Air Force

One of Atatürk’s goals was to improve the status of Turkish women and integrate them thoroughly into the society. He saw secularism as an instrument to achieve this goal. Mustafa Kemal did not consider the gender as a factor in social organization. According to his view, society marched towards its goal with all its women and men together. It was scientifically impossible for him to achieve progress and to become civilized if the gender separation continued as in the Ottoman times.[60] During a meeting in the early days of the newly proclaimed republic, addressing to the women, he declaimed:

To the women: Win for us the battle of education and you will do yet more for your country than we have been able to do. It is to you that I appeal.
To the men: If henceforward the women do not share in the social life of the nation, we shall never attain to our full development. We shall remain irremediably backward, incapable of treating on equal terms with the civilizations of the West.[61]

Mustafa Kemal
Eighteen female MPs joined the Turkish Parliament with the 1935 general elections
Eighteen female MPs joined the Turkish Parliament with the 1935 general elections

The place of women in Mustafa Kemal's cultural reforms was best expressed in the civic book that was prepared under his supervision.[62] Mustafa Kemal said that

There is no logical explanation for the political disenfranchisement of women. Any hesitation and negative mentality on this subject is nothing more than a fading social phenomenon of the past. ...Women must have the right to vote and to be elected; because democracy dictates that, because there are interests that women must defend, and because there are social duties that women must perform."[63]

Mustafa Kemal

Turkish legislators had accepted the Swiss civil code which defined the rights of women in a marriage as equal to those of men.[64] The reforms instituted legal equality between the sexes and the granting of full political rights to women on December 5, 1934, well before several other European nations. However, the change was not easy. In the the 1935 elections, which was the last election Atatürk had the chance to observe, there were only 18 female MPs out of a total of 395 representatives.



Opening the State Art and Sculpture Museum in Ankara
Opening the State Art and Sculpture Museum in Ankara

Mustafa Kemal believed in the supreme importance of culture; which he expressed with the phrase "culture is the foundation of the Turkish Republic."[65] His view of culture included both his own nation's creative legacy and what he saw as the admirable values of global civilization, putting an emphasis on humanism above all. He once described modern Turkey's ideological thrust as "a creation of patriotism blended with a lofty humanist ideal."

In 1934, upon Mustafa Kemal's order the first ever Turkish opera work "Özsoy" composed by Adnan Saygun and leaded by Semiha Berksoy staged at the People's House in Ankara.[66]

To assist in the creation of such a synthesis, Atatürk stressed the need to utilize the elements of the national heritage of the Turks and of Anatolia, including its ancient indigenous cultures as well as the arts and techniques of other world civilizations, both past and present. He emphasized the study of earlier civilizations, foremost of which being the Sumerians, after whom he established "Sümerbank", and the Hittites, after whom he established "Etibank", as well as other Anatolian civilizations such as the Phrygians and Lydians. The pre-Islamic culture of the Turks became the subject of extensive research, and particular emphasis was laid upon the fact that, long before the Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations, the Turks have had a rich culture. Atatürk also stressed the folk arts of the countryside as a wellspring of Turkish creativity.

The visual and the plastic arts, whose developers had, on occasion, been arrested by some Ottoman officials claiming that the depiction of the human form was idolatry, were now highly encouraged and supported by Atatürk, and these flourished in the new Turkish Republic. Many museums were opened, architecture began to follow modern trends, and classical Western music, opera, and ballet, as well as the theatre, also took greater hold. Several hundred "People's Houses" (Halk Evi) and "People's Rooms" (Halk Odası) across the country allowed greater access to a wide variety of artistic activities, sports, and other cultural events. Book and magazine publications increased as well, and the film industry began to grow.


Decree on dress

Mustafa Kemal with his Panama hat
Mustafa Kemal with his Panama hat

The Decree on dress targeted the religious insignia used outside times of worship. Kemal passed a series of laws beginning from 1923, especially the Hat Law of 1925 which introduced the use of Western style hats instead of the fez, and the Law Relating to Prohibited Garments of 1934, which emphasized the need to wear modern suits instead of antiquated religion-based clothing such as the veil and turban. The guidelines for the proper dressing of students and state employees (public space controlled by state) was passed during his lifetime. Mustafa Kemal regarded the fez (in Turkish "fes", which Sultan Mahmud II had originally introduced to the Ottoman Empire's dress code in 1826) as a symbol of oriental backwardness and banned it. He encouraged the Turks to wear modern European attire.[67] He was determined to force the abandonment of the sartorial traditions of the Middle East and finalize a series of dress reforms, which were originally started by Mahmud II.[67] Mustafa Kemal first made the hat compulsory to the civil servants.[67] After most of the relatively better educated civil servants adopted the hat with their own free will, in 1925 Mustafa Kemal wore his "Panama hat" during a public appearance in Kastamonu, one of the most conservative towns in Anatolia, to explain that the hat was the headgear of civilized nations.

Even though he personally promoted modern dress on women, he never made specific reference to women’s clothing in the law. In the social conditions of the 1920s and 1930s, he believed that women would adapt to the new way with their own will. He was frequently photographed on public business with his wife Lâtife Uşaklıgil, who covered her head. He was also frequently photographed on public business with women wearing modern clothes. But it was Atatürk's adopted daughters like Sabiha Gökçen and Afet İnan who provided the real role model for the Turkish women of the future. He wrote: "The religious covering of women will not cause difficulty … This simple style [of headcovering] is not in conflict with the morals and manners of our society."[68]


 Religious freedoms

Atatürk effectively abolished the centuries-old traditions by means of reforms to which much of the population was unaccustomed but nevertheless willing to adopt. In some cases, these reforms were seen as benefiting the urban elites rather than the generally illiterate inhabitants of the rural countryside,[69] where religious sentiments and customary norms tended to be stronger. In particular, Atatürk's strict religious reforms met with some opposition, and they continue to generate a considerable degree of social and political tension to this day. In the future, political leaders would draw upon dormant forces of religion in order to secure positions of power, only to be blocked by the interventions of the powerful military (as in 1960 when Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was overthrown by the military).[70]

In Mustafa Kemal's world there was no dualism. He enforced his ideas to full extent. According to Mustafa Kemal, a progressive nation also was progressive in understanding its belief system. Mustafa Kemal commissioned the translation of the Quran into Turkish and he had it read in front of the public in 1932.[71]

Notwithstanding the Islamic prohibition against the consumption of alcoholic beverages, he encouraged domestic production of alcohol and established a state-owned spirits industry. He was known to have an appreciation for the national beverage, rakı, and enjoyed it in vast quantities.[72]


 Personal Life


Mustafa Kemal married Latife Uşaklıgil. They divorced after 3 years of marriage. Ataturk adopted seven daughters and a son. In his leisure time, he enjoyed reading, horseback riding, chess and swimming. He was also an avid dancer and enjoyed both the waltz and traditional Zeybek folk dances. Ataturk published many books and kept a personal journal. The "Nutuk," a thirty-six hour speech written and given by Mustafa Kemal to the Grand National Assembly over the course of six days that describes events leading to the formation of the Republic of Turkey, was first published in 1927 and then has been re-published several times.

During 1937, indications of Atatürk's worsening health started to appear. In the early 1938, while he was on a trip to Yalova, he suffered from a serious illness. He was recommended to go to İstanbul for treatment, where he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver[73]. During his stay in İstanbul, he made an effort to keep up with his regular lifestyle for a while. He died on November 10, 1938, at the age of 57. Atatürk's funeral called forth both sorrow and pride in Turkey, and seventeen countries sent special representatives, while nine contributed with armed detachments to the cortège.[74] On November 1953, Mustafa Kemal's remains were taken from the Ethnography Museum of Ankara.[75] Ataturk finally came to rest at his mausoleum, the Anıtkabir. In his will, he donated all of his possessions to the Republican People's Party, bound to the condition that, through the yearly interest of his funds, his sister Makbule and his adopted children will be looked after, the higher education of the children of İsmet İnönü will be funded, and the Turkish Language Association and Turkish Historical Society will be given the rest.




 Peace at home, peace in the world

Atatürk hosting a reception at the USSR Embassy in Ankara, on November 7, 1927
Atatürk hosting a reception at the USSR Embassy in Ankara, on November 7, 1927

Mustafa Kemal said; "what particularly interests foreign policy is the internal organization of the state. It is necessary that foreign policy should agree with the internal organization." He eternalized this view with his famous motto "peace at home, peace in the world." He worked to establish his vision, which was evident in his funeral.[74] This was not a random choice as Mustafa Kemal's foreign policy, but was an extension of the domestic needs of the newly established state; as the internal organization and stability of the young Turkish Republic depended on the application of this foreign policy. In achieving this goal, Mustafa Kemal hosted visits by many foreign monarchs and heads of state to Ankara and Istanbul including, in chronological order, King Amanullah Khan of Afghanistan (May 1928), Prime Minister of Hungary Count István Bethlen (October 1930), King Faisal I of Iraq (June 1932), Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos of Greece (October 1932), King Alexander I of Yugoslavia (October 1933), Shah Reza Pahlavi of Persia (June 1934), King Gustav V Adolf of Sweden (October 1934), King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom (September 1936), King Abdullah I of Jordan (June 1937), and King Carol II of Romania (June 1938). Many of the visits meaningfully coincided with the Republic Day, October 29, the anniversary of the declaration of the new Turkish Republic by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, in 1923.

Mustafa Kemal participated in forging close ties with the former enemy, Greece, culminating in a visit to Ankara by the Greek premier Eleftherios Venizelos, in 1932. Venizelos even forwarded Atatürk's name for the 1934 Nobel Peace Prize,[76] highlighting the mutual respect between the two leaders. Atatürk was visited in 1931 by General Douglas MacArthur of the United States, during which the two exchanged their views on the state of affairs in Europe which would eventually lead to the outbreak of World War II. MacArthur expressed his admiration of Atatürk on many occasions and stated that he "takes great pride in being one of Atatürk's loyal friends."[77]



Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, in Ankara, Turkey
Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, in Ankara, Turkey

His successor, İsmet İnönü, fostered a posthumous Atatürk personality cult which has survived to this day, even after Atatürk's own Republican People's Party lost power following democratic elections in 1950. Atatürk's face and name are seen and heard everywhere in Turkey: his portrait can be seen in all public buildings, in schools, in all kinds of school books, on all Turkish banknotes, and in the homes of many Turkish families. Even after so many years, on November 10, at 09:05 a.m. (the exact time of his death), almost all vehicles and people in the country's streets will pause for one minute in remembrance of Atatürk's memory.

He is commemorated by many memorials throughout Turkey, like the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, Atatürk Bridge over the Golden Horn (Haliç), Atatürk Dam, Atatürk Stadium, and Anıtkabir, the mausoleum where he is now buried. Giant Atatürk statues loom over Istanbul and other Turkish cities, and practically any larger settlement has its own memorial to him. In 1981, the Turkish Parliament issued a law (5816) outlawing insults to his legacy or attacks to objects representing him.



In 1981, the centennial of Atatürk's birth, the memory of Atatürk was honored by the United Nations and UNESCO, which declared it The Atatürk Year in the World and adopted the Resolution on the Atatürk Centennial.

There are several memorials to Atatürk internationally. The Atatürk Memorial in Wellington, New Zealand (which also serves as a memorial to the ANZAC troops who died at Gallipoli); the Atatürk Memorial in the place of honour on ANZAC drive in Canberra, Australia; the Atatürk Forest in Israel; and the Atatürk Square in Rome, Italy, are only a few examples. He has roads named after him in several countries, like Kemal Atatürk Avenue in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Atatürk Avenue in the heart of Islamabad in Pakistan, and Mustafá Kemal Ataturk street in the central and upscale Naco district of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His statues have been erected in numerous parks, streets and squares of many different countries in the world. The famous Madame Tussauds Museum in London has a wax statue of Atatürk.



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