About Atatürk

Political and Cultural Reforms

Illustrated Biography of Atatürk and Chronology of Independence and Reforms Political and cultural reforms

October 29, 1923 The Turkish Grand National Assembly declares Turkish state as a republic and M. Kemal is elected President.

March 1, 1924 Ataturk’s speech in Parliament: “There is a need to separate Islam from its traditional place in politics and to elevate it in its appropriate place. This is necessary for both the nation’s worldly and spiritual happiness. We have to urgently and definitively relieve our sacred and holy beliefs and values from the dark and uncertain stage of political greed and of politics. This is the only way to elevate the Muslim religion”. (In 1982 the Government adopted a decision to attach Turkish Imams serving in Europe on the payroll of the Saudi official organization “Rabitat-ul-Islam”, which operates to spread fundamentalism to the world. The Government also accepted $ 210 million donation for establishing an Islamic Cultural Center at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara)

March 3, 1924 Khalifate is abolished and Ottoman family is deported. Sharia (Islamic law) offices are closed, Sharia system is abolished. Religious education system is abolished. Civil education system is introduced as the uniform education. (Religious instruction was first allowed outside public schools by Government orders on January 27, 1947; Selective courses on religion was then introduced into schools on November 25, 1948; Opening of religious schools to train Imams followed on January 15, 1949; A theology school opened at Ankara University on June 4, 1949; Courses on religion became mandatory on October 21, 1950; Imam school graduates became eligible to enter universities on May 17, 1967)

February 11, 1925 A reactionary revolt by Sheik Said starts in the eastern provinces.

February 21, 1925 The Turkish National Assembly adopts a resolution to translate Koran into Turkish.

February 25, 1925 The Turkish Grand National Assembly prohibits all religious activities in politics.

May 5, 1925 Armenia sends Manuk Manukian from Greece to assassinate M. Kemal.

November 30, 1925 The Turkish Grand National Assembly orders the closure of religious and secterian convents. (20 religious tombs opened for public veneration on February 17, 1950) (On January 12, 1997 the Prime Minister gave an official Ramadan dinner to 51 sect and other religious leaders)

December 26, 1925 The Turkish Grand National Assembly adopts the international calendar.

February 17, 1926 The Turkish Grand National Assembly adopts the Civil Code.

March 1, 1926 The Turkish Grand National Assembly adopts the Penal Code.

March 22, 1926 The Turkish Grand National Assembly establishes the Turkish Language Institute.

April 22, 1926 The Turkish Grand National Assembly adopts the Commerce Code.

August 27, 1927 An assassination attempt on Ataturk is foiled.

October 28, 1927 First census of the Republic era is carried out

April 10, 1928 Constitution is amended to include the Republic’s principle of Laicism.

November 1, 1928 The Turkish alphabet is adopted. Ataturk states: “The adoption of the Turkish alphabet will be a milestone in this country’s struggle for progress”.

January 1, 1929 Public schools for adults for mandatory education open.

September 1, 1929 Arabic and Farsi classes in schools are discontinued.

February 12, 1932 Cultural community centers called “Halkevleri” open for the purpose of educating the public on reforms and on cultural identity. ( Closed by a Parliamentary decision on August 8, 1951)

July 18, 1932 Turkey joins the League of Nations.

February 4, 1933 Government issues an order that Koran and Ezan are to be read in Turkish. (The requirement of reading Ezan in Turkish was lifted on June 16, 1950)

October 15-20, 1933 He delivers his historical speech on the occasion of the tenth Anniversary of the proclamation of the republic. This speech constitutes) a formal and comprehensive account of his actions from the time of the War of Independence to that date.

January 12, 1934 Greece’s former Prime Minister Venizelos nominates Ataturk for the Nobel Peace Prize.

June 21, 1934 The Turkish Grand National Assembly adopts the law regarding surnames.

November 2, 1934 Government temporarily suspends broadcasting Turkish music on radio

November 24, 1934 The Turkish Grand National Assembly gives him the surname of Ataturk.

December 5, 1934 The Turkish Grand National Assembly adopts the voting rights for Women in parliamentary elections.

April 22, 1935 International Women’s Congress meets in Istanbul. Ataturk’s message to the Congress: “I am convinced that the exercise of social and political rights by women is necessary for mankind’s happiness and pride. You can rest assured that Turkish women together with world’s women will work towards world peace and security”.

July 20, 1936 Montreux Treaty is signed, which revised the legal regime applicable to the Straits by giving full sovereignty over them to Turkey.

October 2, 1936 Turkey brings the case of people of Hatay for independence to the League of Nations.

January 27, 1937 The League of Nations recognizes the independence of Hatay.

February 5, 1937 Amendment of the Constitution to include the principle of laicism.

March 21, 1937 A reactionary uprising erupts in Dersim

November 4, 1937 Mark Twain Society of America presents an award to Ataturk: “You have left a more glorious name in history than that of Alexander the Great, Julius Cesar and Napoleon. Your military and civil genius has deeply affected human history”.

November 10, 1938 Atatürk dies in Istanbul.

June 29, 1939 Hatay National Assembly decides unanimously to join Turkey, because of continuous intervention of French in their internal affairs.

Mustafa Kemal the first President of the Republic of Turkey, (1923)
Teaching new Turkish Alphabet, Kayseri (1928)
Giving the Tenth Year Speech (1933)
Turkish women were given their political rights in 1934,long before many countries in Europe and in the Middle East.


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