Mustafa Kemal Atatürk quotes

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk photo
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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Birthdate: 1881
Date of death: 10. November 1938

Kemal Atatürk , commonly referred to as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was a Turkish field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. His leadership undertook sweeping progressive reforms, which modernized Turkey into a secular, industrial nation. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism. Due to his military and political accomplishments, Atatürk is regarded according to studies as one of greatest leaders of the 20th century.Atatürk came to prominence for his role in securing the Ottoman Turkish victory at the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. Following the defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, he led the Turkish National Movement, which resisted the mainland Turkey's partition among the victorious Allied powers. Establishing a provisional government in the present-day Turkish capital Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Allies, thus emerging victorious from what was later referred to as the Turkish War of Independence. He subsequently proceeded to abolish the decrepit Ottoman Empire and proclaimed the foundation of the Turkish Republic in its place.

As the president of the newly formed Turkish Republic, Atatürk initiated a rigorous program of political, economic, and cultural reforms with the ultimate aim of building a modern, progressive, and secular nation-state. He made primary education free and compulsory, opening thousands of new schools all over the country. He also introduced the Latin-based Turkish alphabet, replacing the old Ottoman Turkish alphabet. Turkish women received equal civil and political rights during Atatürk's presidency ahead of many Western countries. In particular, women were given voting rights in local elections by Act no. 1580 on 3 April 1930 and a few years later, in 1934, full universal suffrage, earlier than most other countries in the world.His government carried out a policy of Turkicisation trying to create a homogeneous and unified nation. Under Atatürk, non-Turkish minorities were pressured to speak Turkish in public, non-Turkish toponyms and last names of minorities had to be changed to Turkish renditions. The Turkish Parliament granted him the surname Atatürk in 1934, which means "Father of the Turks", in recognition of the role he played in building the modern Turkish Republic. He died on 10 November 1938 at the age of 57 in Dolmabahçe Palace; he was succeeded as President by his long-time Prime Minister İsmet İnönü and was honored with a state funeral. His iconic mausoleum, built and opened in 1953, is surrounded by a park called the Peace Park in honor of his famous expression "Peace at Home, Peace in the World".

In 1981, the centennial of Atatürk's birth, his memory was honoured by the UN and UNESCO, which declared it The Atatürk Year in the World and adopted the Resolution on the Atatürk Centennial, describing him as "the leader of the first struggle given against colonialism and imperialism" and a "remarkable promoter of the sense of understanding between peoples and durable peace between the nations of the world and that he worked all his life for the development of harmony and cooperation between peoples without distinction". Atatürk is commemorated by many memorials throughout Turkey and numerous countries all over the world, where place names are named in honor of him. Eleftherios Venizelos, former Prime Minister of Greece, forwarded Atatürk's name for the 1934 Nobel Peace Prize. Wikipedia

„Humankind is made up of two sexes, women and men. Is it possible for humankind to grow by the improvement of only one part while the other part is ignored?“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

As quoted in "Atatürk" in Images of a Divided World (29 October 2006) http://jmilton6000.wordpress.com/2006/10/29/ataturk/
Variant translation: Humankind consists of two sexes, woman and man. Is it possible that a mass is improved by the improvement of only one part and the other ignored? Is it possible that if half of a mass is tied to earth with chains and the other half can soar into skies?
Context: Humankind is made up of two sexes, women and men. Is it possible for humankind to grow by the improvement of only one part while the other part is ignored? Is it possible that if half of a mass is tied to earth with chains that the other half can soar into skies?

„Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

As quoted in Kemalizm, Laiklik ve Demokrasi [Kemalism, Laicism and Democracy] (1994) by Ahmet Taner Kışlalı
Context: Religion is an important institution. A nation without religion cannot survive. Yet it is also very important to note that religion is a link between Allah and the individual believer. The brokerage of the pious cannot be permitted. Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight. Know that whatever conforms to reason, logic, and the advantages and needs of our people conforms equally to Islam. If our religion did not conform to reason and logic, it would not be the perfect religion, the final religion.

„I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men.
Quoted in Atatürk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey, by Andrew Mango; "In a book published in 1928, Grace Ellison quotes [Atatürk], presumably in 1926-27", Grace Ellison Turkey Today (London: Hutchinson, 1928)

„Men, I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to die.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Orders to the 57th Infantry Regiment, at the Battle of Gallipoli (25 April 1915); as quoted in Studies in Battle Command http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/army/csi-battles.htm by Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, p. 89; also quoted in Turkey (2007) by Verity Campbell, p. 188
Variant translation: I am not ordering you to fight, I am ordering you to die.
Context: Men, I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to die. In the time that it takes us to die, other forces and commanders can come and take our place.

„To write history is as important as to make history. If the writer does not remain true to the maker, then the unchanging truth takes on a quality that will confuse the humanity.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Tarih yazmak, tarih yapmak kadar mühimdir. Yazan yapana sadık kalmazsa değişmeyen hakikat, insanlığı şaşırtacak bir mahiyet alır.
As quoted by Hasan Cemil Çambel in T.T.K. Belleten (1939), Vol: 3, no: 10, p. 272, Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture http://www.kultur.gov.tr/TR,25417/tarih.html

„Peace at, Peace in the World.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Maxim which became the motto of the Republic of Turkey; quoted in many sources including, Atatürk (1963) by Uluğ İğdemir, p. 200; and Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus (2000) by Svante E. Cornell, p. 287
Original: (tr) Yurtta Sulh, Cihanda Sulh.

„Our life here is truly hellish. Fortunately, my soldiers are very brave and tougher than the enemy.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Letter to Corinne Lütfü, from the Gallipoli peninsula (20 July 1915) as translated in Atatürk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey (2002) by Andrew Mango.

„Know that whatever conforms to reason, logic, and the advantages and needs of our people conforms equally to Islam.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

As quoted in Kemalizm, Laiklik ve Demokrasi [Kemalism, Laicism and Democracy] (1994) by Ahmet Taner Kışlalı
Context: Religion is an important institution. A nation without religion cannot survive. Yet it is also very important to note that religion is a link between Allah and the individual believer. The brokerage of the pious cannot be permitted. Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight. Know that whatever conforms to reason, logic, and the advantages and needs of our people conforms equally to Islam. If our religion did not conform to reason and logic, it would not be the perfect religion, the final religion.

„We must delve into our roots and reconstruct what history has divided. We can't wait for them to approach us. We must reach out to them.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Speech at Çankaya Pavilion (29 October 1933); quoted in Orta(daki) Asya Ülkeleri -Mustafa Balbay - Cumhuriyet Kitapları http://kitap.antoloji.com/kitap.asp?kitap=16216
Context: Today the Soviet Union is a friend and an ally. We need this friendship. However, no one can know what will happen tomorrow. Just like the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires it may tear itself apart or shrink in size. Those peoples that it holds so tightly in its grip may one day slip away. The world may see a new balance of power. It is then that Turkey must know what to do. Ally Soviets have under their control our brothers with whom we share language, beliefs and roots. We must be prepared to embrace them. Being ready does not mean that we will sit quietly and wait. We must get ready. How does a people get prepared for such an endeavour? By strengthening the natural bridges that exist between us. Language is a bridge... Religion is a bridge... History is a bridge... We must delve into our roots and reconstruct what history has divided. We can't wait for them to approach us. We must reach out to them.

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„Your voice is my voice. Do not forget it!“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Statement made to those going to foreign nations or international conferences, as quoted by F. Rıfkı Atay; also quoted (in Turkish) in Atatürk ve çevresindekiler [Atatürk and his Entourage] (1995) by Kemal Arıburnu, p. 128
Variant translation: Your voice is my voice. Do not forget!
Original: (tr) Sesiniz, benim sesimdir. Unutmayınız!

„My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Quoted in Atatürk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey, by Andrew Mango; "In a book published in 1928, Grace Ellison quotes [Atatürk], presumably in 1926-27", Grace Ellison Turkey Today (London: Hutchinson, 1928)
Context: I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men.

„Religion is an important institution. A nation without religion cannot survive. Yet it is also very important to note that religion is a link between Allah and the individual believer.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

As quoted in Kemalizm, Laiklik ve Demokrasi [Kemalism, Laicism and Democracy] (1994) by Ahmet Taner Kışlalı
Context: Religion is an important institution. A nation without religion cannot survive. Yet it is also very important to note that religion is a link between Allah and the individual believer. The brokerage of the pious cannot be permitted. Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight. Know that whatever conforms to reason, logic, and the advantages and needs of our people conforms equally to Islam. If our religion did not conform to reason and logic, it would not be the perfect religion, the final religion.

„The heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives on this country's soil! You are in the soil of a friendly country now. Therefore rest in peace.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

A tribute to those ANZACs who died in Gallipoli (1934), this is inscribed on the Atatürk Memorial in Turakena Bay, Gallipoli http://www.mch.govt.nz/emblems/monuments/ataturk.html and at the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra
Original: (tr) Bu memleketin toprakları üstünde kanlarını döken kahramanlar! Burada dost bir vatanın toprağındasınız. Huzur ve sükun içinde uyuyunuz. Sizler Mehmetçiklerle yan yana koyun koyunasınız. Uzak diyarlardan evlatlarını harbe gönderen analar! Gözyaşlarınızı dindiriniz. Evlatlarınız bizim bağrımızdadır, huzur içindedirler ve huzur içinde rahat rahat uyuyacaklardır. Onlar bu toprakta canlarını verdikten sonra artık bizim evlatlarımız olmuşlardır.
Context: The heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives on this country's soil! You are in the soil of a friendly country now. Therefore rest in peace. You are side by side with the little Mehmets. The mothers who send their sons to the war! Wipe your tears away. Your sons are in our bosom, are in peace and will be sleeping in peace comfortably. From now on, they have became our sons since they have lost their lives on this land.

„Mankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

As quoted by Paul Wolfowitz in an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, D.C. (13 March 2002) http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=198
Context: Mankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body. We must never say "What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?" If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness.

„Lasting peace is sought, it is essential to adopt international measures to improve the lot of the masses.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

As quoted in I. Milletlerarası Gençlik Kongresi [First International Youth Congress] (1988) by Selçuk University, p. 19
Context: Lasting peace is sought, it is essential to adopt international measures to improve the lot of the masses. The welfare of the entire human race must replace hunger and oppression. People of the world must be taught to give up envy, avarice and rancour.

„Men, I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to die. In the time that it takes us to die, other forces and commanders can come and take our place.“

—  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Orders to the 57th Infantry Regiment, at the Battle of Gallipoli (25 April 1915); as quoted in Studies in Battle Command https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/combat-studies-institute/csi-books/battles.pdf by Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, p. 89; also quoted in Turkey (2007) by Verity Campbell, p. 188
Variant translation: I am not ordering you to fight, I am ordering you to die.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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