ATATÜRK’S THOUGHTS ON CIVILIZATION
We have to be civilized persons in every aspect. We have suffered much. The cause for this is the misunderstanding of the world situation. Our opinions, our thoughts will be civilized from head to toe. We shall not take heed of nonsensical words. Look at the entire Turkish and Islamic world, in what grave and difficult situation they are because their ideas and thoughts are not adapted to the reforms made imperative by civilization. Our regression and our recent disaster stem from this as well. If we have rescued ourselves in 5 or 6 years, it is the result of our mental changes. We cannot stop any more. We shall definitely progress because we are obliged to do so. Our nation must clearly know that civilization is like a fire that can burn and harm the people who are unacquainted with it. We shall take our proper place in the civilization family, we are now a member of, and we shall protect and enhance it. Prosperity, happiness and humanity are a part of this process. 1925 (Mustafa Selim İmece, Atatürk’s Ş. D.K and I.S., Page 18)
It is necessary to deepen and support the foundation of the reforms. Do not deceive each other. The civilized world has made great progress. We must catch up and must be included in that civilization. It is necessary to remove all these null and void discussions. The discussion whether to wear the hat or not is nonsense. We shall wear the hat and adopt all kinds of civilized inventions of the West. The uncivilized will be crushed under the feet of the civilized. 1925 (Atatürk’s S.D.II, Page 223)
Whatever I have done and reformed in favor of my nation, I succeeded by getting in touch with my people and with their support.
Our target and aim is the happiness and independence and development of our nation and country. We shall try to reunite our nation with the blessings of civilization taking a short-cut. We must do this. 1925 (Mustafa Selim İmece Atatürk’s Ş. D.K. and I.S., Page 39)
Let it be known that we are not against foreigners. To the contrary, we want to live in friendly contact with them. The Turks are the friends of all civilized nations. Let foreigners come to Turkey. They will be very welcome, unless they undertake to be the cause of danger to for our freedom. Our aim is to constitute new relationships and to establish many more connections with other countries. Countries are different, but civilization is only one. A country must be a part of this civilization to be developed. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire started the day that the foreign relations were cut off because of the victories gained against the western countries. This was a mistake that we shall not repeat.1923 (Atatürk’s S.D. III, Page 67-68)
We do not mean to imitate Western civilization. We have adopted the good sides to it as we have seen them worthy of our place in World Civilization. (Afet İnan, On Atatürk H.B., Page 176)