Term Paper: Mustafa Kemel Ataturk's Reforms

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MUSTAFA KEMEL ATATURK'S REFORMS

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's reforms

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's reforms

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the founder of the First President of the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa was born in 1881 in Salonica (Selanik). During his military term, he served as a successful commander in 1912-1914, and further took part in the First World War in 1914-1918. In 1920, Mustafa opened a Turkish Grand National Assembly which allowed him to establish a new Turkish State, what was to be the center of Ankara. The Turkish forces under Ataturk were able to carry out an independence war against the allied powers where they won victories all over the country (Landau, 2009). In 1923, the independence of the new Turkish State became recognized by all the states after signing the Treaty of Lausanne. On October 29, 1923, Ataturk built a new vigorous state making him declare the new Turkish State to become a republic. However, as a result of declaration of the Republic, the caliphate was then abolished (Walker, Erol & Erol, 2006). In summary, the paper will discuss how Mustafa Kemal Ataturk built the Republic, his reforms after independence war of Turkey and how he made a modern country from the Islam.

As a young man, Mustafa was recognized as one of the members of the Young Turks that is a revolutionary movement of intellectuals. Mustafa was able to participate in the Young Turk Revolution, which successfully deposed Sultan Abdulhamid II in 1908 (Landau, 2009). During this period, he held a member of posts within the Ottoman Army, and from 1911 to 1912, he was involved in a fight against Italy in the Balkan Wars. In the second Balkan war, Mustafa Kemal was elected the chief of the staff after which he was posted at the Turkish embassy in Bulgaria. While in Bulgaria, Mustafa made a name for himself as the commander and in 1915, his bravery as well as, strategic powers allowed him to thwart the Allied invasion of the Dardanelles. In addition, Mustafa received several and repeated promotions until the when Armistice of Mudros ended the fighting in 1918. However, the battle came to an end, the treaty on the other hand, managed to give the Allies the right of occupying forts which controlled the major waterways and territory that seemed to have posed a threat to security. This forced Mustafa to organize a resistance to the forces in 1919, and when the Treaty of Servers was signed at the end of the World War 1, divvying up the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa demanded complete independence for Turkey; that is the new Turkish parliament and the Great National Assembly which was to engage in series of battles with the American forces and Greek. In 1923, Mustafa Kemal signed the Treaty of Lousanne. The signing of Treaty of Lousanne was important because it led to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, and Mustafa Kemal appointed the First President of the Republic of Turkey.

Mustafa kemal Ataturk reforms after the independence war of Turkey

As the President of the Republic of Turkey for 15 years, until his death in 1934, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was able to introduce a broad range of swift as well as sweeping reforms such as political, legal, economic, social, and cultural spheres which were virtually unparallel in any other country (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008). Mustafa achievements in Turkey were an enduring monument to him. This is because various emerging nations admired him as a pioneer of the national liberation. As a result, the world honored his memory as the foremost peacemaker who upheld the principles of the humanism as well as, the vision of a united humanity. In addition, Mustafa launched a programme of revolutionary political and social reform to modernize Turkey. The reforms included the abolition of all the Islamic institutions along with the introduction of Western legal dress, codes, calendar and alphabet. Other reforms included the emancipation of women and replacing the Arabic script with a Latin one (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008).

Social Reforms

In his quote; "The major challenge facing us is to elevate our national life to the highest level of civilization and prosperity," Mustafa Kemals' aim was to ensure that he modernized the Turkish life so as to give his nation a new sense of equality, dignity as well as, happiness (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008). After about three centuries of Mustafas' achievement, the Ottoman Empire declined in early 17th and 20th Century. With many Sultans presiding over economic and social system, the Ottoman Empire State became hopelessly outmoded for the modern times. However, Mustafa managed to resolve the issues and led his country out of the crumbling into a brave new future (Walker, Erol & Erol, 2006). In his program to modernize Turkey, education and secular government played a significant role. He made religious faith be matter of individual conscience where he managed to create a truly secular system in Turkey, a place where the vast Moslem were majority while small Christians and Jewish minorities were allowed to practice their faith. As a result of Mustafa's reforms, Turkey had full secular institutions (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008). This allowed the leader of modern Turkey aspired freedom as well as, equality for all. When Mustafa proclaimed the Republic, he said, "the new Turkish State is a state of the people and a state by the people." However, after he had established an egalitarian and populist system, Kemal later observed; "We are a nation without classes or special privileges," where he stressed the paramount significance of the peasants who were neglected during the Ottoman times, he quoted; "The true owner and master of Turkey is the peasant who is the real producer" (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008). Mustafa Kemal gave his nation a modern outlook by introducing many reforms. For instance, many women stopped wearing the veil and the calendar gave way to the Western calendar. Other social reforms included allowing all the citizens to take surnames. Conversely, there was a vast transformation which took place in rural and urban life (Landau, 2009).

Economic Reforms

When Turkey became Republic in 1923, the state lacked industry, capital and know-how this is because successive wars had fully decimated manpower in the nation causing the agricultural production to stand at a low level, while the huge foreign debts of Ottoman state confronted the new Republic. Mustafa swiftly initiated a dynamic program of economic development in Turkey; he said "Our nation has crushed the enemy forces. But to achieve independence we must observe the following rule: National sovereignty should be supported by financial independence. The only power that will propel us to this goal is the economy. No matter how mighty they are, political and military victories cannot endure unless they are crowned by economic triumphs (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008). " Kemal was so determined of doing whatever that will make his nation to be a better one; he undertook agricultural expansion, technological advancement as well as industrial growth to improve production in the economy. Various activities such as banking, manufacturing, housing, communication, mechanization and other mining activities were carried out. This caused the gross national product to increase in Turkey. It is also reported that the economic development of Turkey during Mustafa's presidency was very impressive in absolute figures as compared to other countries. The synthesis which evolved during that time allowed the state enterprises as well as, the private initiatives to become active both in agricultural and industrial growth. These economic growths served as the basis of economic structure not only in Turkey, but also in other dozen of developing countries (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008).

Legal Reforms

Between 1926 and 1930, the Republic of Turkey managed to achieve legal transformation which could have required years in some other countries. For instance, the religious laws were abolished during Mustafa's presidency where a secular system of jurisprudence was introduced (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008). In addition, the concepts, texts as well as, contexts of the laws were also made harmonious with the progressive thrust of Kamel's Turkey. Among the far-reaching legal transformation were the new Civil Code based on Swiss, Business law based on Italian along with Penal Code based on German models. The legal reforms were significant because it made the citizens such as men and women, rich and poor to be all equal before the law (Landau, 2009). This therefore gave Turkey a firm foundation for the society of justice and equal rights.

Conversely, with regard to the women's Rights, Kamel believed that everything seen in the world was creative work of women. Therefore, with the abiding faith in importance of women in the society, Kamel managed to launch reforms that gave the Turkish Women opportunities and equal rights. The new Civil Code which was adopted in 1926 was significant in that it abolished polygamy as well as recognizing the equal rights of women in divorce, inheritance and custody (Atatu-rk & Aksan, 2008). The other reform included change in educational system; that is from grade school to university… [END OF PREVIEW]

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