M. Kemal Atatürk was a national leader who founded the present Republic of Turkey, and who introduced sweeping reforms to the nation. As a reformist and modernist with unparalleled vision, he ended the theocratic regime of the Ottoman Empire, and founded a democratic republican nation state.
He launched a cultural reform to put the new Turkish nation on an equal footing with, as he called it, “the contemporary civilization”. He was a universally recognized military genius who put an end to the centuries old colonialism of European powers by defeating them at their plan designed by Britain to annihilate the Turkish nation.
Viewed in an international perspective, he achieved a radical political and cultural transformation in less than twenty years, at a time when the bad peace settlements of World War I created dictators, national socialism, fascism, and communism in most of Europe. Therefore, his victory over theocracy and colonialism stand as a matchless example for democracy and for the free world, respectively. United Nations and UNESCO declared year 1981 Atatürk Centennial, “The Atatürk Year in the World “, on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Kemal Atatürk. He is the only person to receive such recognition by UNESCO.
Atatürk’s contribution to humanity was also recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1979 as a “personality who worked for international understanding, co-operation, and peace … as an example for future generations”, and “an exceptional reformer in all fields coming within UNESCO’s competence”, and “an outstanding example in promoting the spirit of mutual understanding between peoples and lasting peace between the nations of the world, having advocated all his life the advent of an age of harmony and co-operation in which no distinction would be made between men on account of colour, religion or race.” (Resolution 3/1.5 and 2.3/4)
For an Illustrated biography of Atatürk and Chronology of Independence and Reforms please select:
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