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The History of the Turkish Republic


The history of modern Turkey begins with the foundation of the republic on October 29, 1923 (the Republic was declared on January 20, 1921), from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire, with Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) as its first president. The government was formed from the Ankara-based revolutionary group, led by Atatürk, which had defeated Greece in western Turkey (see Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)). The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on July 24, 1923, and negotiated by Ismet Pasha (Inönü) on behalf of the Ankara government, established most of the modern boundaries of the country (except the province of Hatay which was given to Turkey by France in 1939).

Atatürk's Reforms
On March 3, 1924, the National Assembly abolished the ministry of sacred law, all schools were placed under the ministry of education and a new constitution was approved on April 20, 1924. For the next 10 years, there was a steady process of secular westernization, guided by Mustafa Kemal. Some of the reforms:

Latin alphabet replaces Arabic script. May 24, 1928 
The wearing of a fez, a traditional Muslim hat, is outlawed.
All people are required to adopt family names. Mustafa Kemal himself is given the name Atatürk (Father Turk) and all others are banned from using this name.
The use of Persian and Arabic words is discouraged. Instead, words from Central Asia (including countries north of Turkey) are imported and their use is encouraged, with spotty success. The climax of this movement is the proposal of the Sun Language Theory by Mustafa Kemal himself. Many government documents from this period are unreadable by anybody because they use a language which nobody adopted.
Imams are now appointed by the government.

Politics in the era of Kemal
Atatürk, modern Turkey's founder and first PresidentAfter the foundation of the Liberal Republican Party by Fethi Okyar, the fanatically religious groups joined to well-intentioned liberals and consecutively widespread bloody disorders took place especially in the eastern territory. The liberal party was dissolved on November 17, 1930 and no further attempt for a multiparty democracy was made until 1945. Turkey was admitted to the League of Nations in July 1932.


After Atatürk >>>


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