of the Turkish Republic with Ataturk as its first president
program of reforms to modernize Turkey
of Ataturk; Ismet Inonu becomes the Republic's second president
the alliance with Britain and France, Turkey remains neutral
during World War II
becomes a charter member of United Nations
enters Korean War as a part of United Nations force; change
from a single-party to a multi-party system
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
The attempt of the victorious Allies to
control the Anatolian territory led to the Turkish War of Independence
Following the occupation of Istanbul in
1920 by the British, Italian and French, a Greek army advanced from
Izmir deep into Anatolia.
While the sultan offered no resistance,
under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Nationalists
overturned the postwar settlement embodied in the Treaty of Sévres
(1920) and established the Republic of Turkey, formally recognized
by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Mustafa Kemal retired his military uniform
and inspired the people to an even greater task: Transformation
of the country into the democratic, secular Republic of Turkey.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
of Mustafa in Salonika
Military Secondary School where he is given the name of
War College in Constantinople
to 5th Army in Damascus
to 3rd Army in Salonika
Turk" Revolution in Salonika
to General Staff in Constantinople; goes to Tobruk and Derna
with Turkish Forces, promoted to Major
War; severe defeat, returns home
Military Attaché in Sofia
Lieutenant-Colonel; Turkey signs secret alliance with Germany;
Russia, Britain and France declare war on Turkey
to reorganize 9th Division, in Thrace; unsuccessful allied
naval attack on Dardanelles; allied military landing at
Ariburnu (Anzac); promoted to colonel; appointed to command
16th Army Corps
evacuation of Gallipoli Peninsula; transferred to Caucasus
front; promoted to General and Pasa
Inspector-General in Anatolia; lands in Samsun; issues "Declaration
of Independence" at Amasya; ordered by Government to return;
resigns from the army; Nationalist Congress at Sivas and
Erzurum; National Pact; new parliament elected; headquarters
23) First Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) at Ankara
battles against different enemies; given title of Gazi and
rank of Marshal by TGNA
is retaken; proclaims abolition of Sultanate
of Lausanne; People's Party; Second GNA; Angora (Ankara)
becomes capital; proclamation of the Republic; becomes President;
marries Latife in Izmir
of Ataturk; succession of Ismet Inonu as President of the
Thousands of his statues or busts and millions
of his photos have been erected or hung all over the country. His
name has been given to countless institutions, buildings, streets,
parks and suchlike.
Foreigners unaware of his accomplishments
might think that the Turks are a bit obsessed with a man now dead
for approximately 60 years.
No other nation on earth has loved a leader
as much as the Turkish nation loves Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
"Mustafa Kemal Ataturk differed from the
dictators of his age in two significant respects; his foreign policy
was based not on expansion but on retraction of frontiers; his home
policy on the foundation of a political system which could survive
his own time. It was in this realistic spirit that he regenerated
his country, transforming the old sprawling Ottoman Empire into
a compact new Turkish Republic.
....I don't act for public opinion. I act for
the nation and for my own satisfaction.....
It was a restless mind, nurtured on those
principles of Western civilization which had influenced Turkish
liberal thought since the nineteenth century; continually refueled
by the ideas of others, which he adapted and adopted as his own;
but always grounded in a common sense mistrustful of theory..."
He was born in Salonika in 1881 and named
Mustafa. Kemal was a nickname meaning "perfection" given by a tutor.
He was a good student and did well at the military academy.
He was one of the early members of the
Young Turks movement and a front-runner in the revolution which
demanded a constitutional government for the Ottoman Empire.
During the First World War, he fought on
many fronts. In 1915, then a Lieutenant Colonel, Mustafa Kemal was
commanding a division of troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula. His
actions in the Dardanelles as a soldier of determination, bravery
and brilliance gave him great standing amongst the soldiers. His
successes against the Allies were well received by the civilian
population and he was acclaimed as the "Hero of Gallipoli".
This man, a military genius, soon showed
himself as a great statesman too. After calling national congresses,
he was elected President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly
in April 1920. From then until his death in 1938, he remained in
power in Turkey.
In 1934 everyone had to take a surname
and Mustafa Kemal received the surname ATATURK which means "Father
of the Turks". With all that he did for his country, he really deserved
the fez; suppression of religious brotherhoods; closing
of sacred tombs as places of worship
new Civil Law code
of Latin alphabet
name of Ataturk when a new law required Turks to adopt surnames;
women made eligible to vote in elections and to become members
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's reforms can be
summarized as follows:
- Abolition of the Sultanate and Caliphate;
establishment of the Republic.
- Implementation of secularism nationwide.
- Abolition of the religious courts.
- Suppression of religious brotherhoods;
closing of sacred tombs as places of worship.
- Replacement of traditional clothing
by Western styles; abolition of the fez.
- Abolition of Medreses, unification
of education, renovations of school programs according to contemporary
and national needs, opening of new universities.
- Adoption of new Civil Law code.
- Adoption of the solar calendar and changing
of the Moslem holy day of the week, Friday, into a weekday with
Sunday becoming the official day of rest.
- Introduction of Latin alphabet.
- Purification of Turkish language from
- Implementation of "Peace at home, Peace
in the world" as Turkish foreign policy.
The statesman and career military officer
Ismet Inonu, (1884-1973), became the principal lieutenant of Kemal
Ataturk in the post-World War I struggle for Turkish independence.
Inonu was the Turkish representative at the Lausanne Conference
which overturned the wartime settlement and established the Turkish
Republic in 1923.
He was twice prime minister during Ataturk's
presidency. As the second president (1938-50), Inonu kept Turkey
neutral during World War II and prepared the country for democratic
elections, which resulted in the removal of his Republican People's
party from power (1950). He then led the opposition to the Democratic
party's regime until its overthrow by a coup in 1960.
coup of 1960
Relatively neglected from 1923 to 1939,
the army during the war had undergone a rapid expansion and a considerable
modernization subsequently with the aid of US advisers. Many officers
feared that the Democratic Peak (DP) threatened the principles of
the secular, progressive Kemalist state. Some younger officers saw
the army as the direct instrument of unity and reform. On May 3,
1960, the commander of the land forces, General Cemal Gursel, demanded
political reforms and resigned when they were refused. On May 27
the army acted; an almost bloodless coup was carried out by officers
and cadets from the Istanbul and Ankara War colleges. The leaders
established a 38-man "National Unity Committee" with Gursel as chairman.
The Democrat Party leaders were imprisoned. Most of the senior officers
wanted to withdraw the army from politics as soon as possible and
in November 1960 the decision was taken. The main work of the National
Unity Committee was to destroy the DP and to prepare a new constitution.
The DP was abolished and many Democrats were brought to trial on
charges of corruption, unconstitutional rule and high treason. Three
former ministers, including Menderes, were executed; 12 others,
including Bayar, had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
The new constitution was completed and approved by 61% of the votes
at a referendum. The first elections were held in October 1961.
The army then withdrew from direct political involvement.
The military coup of 1980
In 1980 the military, which had watched
the growing violence and the government's ineffectiveness with alarm,
intervened, precipitating a bloodless coup on September 12. A National
Security Council composed of the military high command took over
governmental duties, naming General Kenan Evren head of state, quickly
dissolved the Assembly, political parties and the trade unions.
The constitution was suspended and martial law imposed. In November
1982 a new constitution won overwhelming approval in a national
referendum. In April 1983 the National Security Council lifted its
ban on political parties and the following November it transferred
power to an elected unicameral parliament.
In 1989 Turgut Ozal was chosen by parliament
to succeed Evren. In 1993, Suleyman Demirel succeeded Ozal after
his death. Since then coalition governments have been effective
in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.