ATATÜRK’S THOUGHTS ON THE TURKISH REVOLUTION
What is the Turkish Revolution? This revolution refers to a wider change than the word “ Revolution “ first suggests. Today, our country is governed in the best way that has abolished all the others that were practiced in many centuries.
The bond among the individuals that the nation suggests for its existence has changed its form and essential character, in other words, the nation has instituted its unity by the bond of “Turkish Nationality” instead of the bond of religion and sect.
The nation acknowledges the fact that science and the means that can be a nation’s reason of existence and power in the international struggle, can only be found in contemporary civilization, as a solid principle.
These changes that our great nation has performed in the course of its life are in summary one of the most magnificent revolutions that is much deeper than any revolution. 1925 ( M. E. I. S. D. I, p. 28 )
The real revolutionaries are those who know how to penetrate the true tendency in the souls and conscience of the people they want to direct to the revolution of progress. I would like to take this opportunity to stress that the true owner of the political and social revolutions, and the wonders Turkish nation performed in the last years, is the nation itself. It is you. If this progress and capacity hadn’t existed, nothing would have been sufficient to create it. Undoubtedly, the impossibility of taking a society which is at a certain level of civilization to a much higher level in no time is obvious. This is the main principle of the revolutions we’ve made and we are still making. It is definitely essential to get rid of the mentality that cannot accept it. Until now, there have been many that have this mentality that benumbs and rusts society’s mind. The fabricated nonsense in the minds will surely be expelled. Unless it is completely expelled, it is impossible restore the mind to its true light. 1925 ( Atatürk’s B. N., p. 92 – 93 )
A destructed country on the edge of the cliff … Bloody battles against many enemies … Year long war … And then, a new motherland, a new society, a new government that are esteemed at home and abroad, and continuous revolutions to reach these goals … Here is a summary of the Turkish revolution. 1935 ( Atatürk’s S. D. I, p. 365 )
Which one should be preferred for Turkey, gradual or sudden progress? There are two ways. One of them, as you all know, is the way of the French Revolution: Regimes would change, counter revolutions against revolutions would be made, a century and a half would pass while the left thrashing the right, the right stomping on the left …. Does this nation have that much blood in its veins and that long time to wait? 1922 ( İsmail Habib Sevük, For Atatürk, p. 73 )
The law of the revolution is superior to the existing law. As long as we are not killed and the movement started in our minds is not suffocated, the revolution we have started will not stop even for a single moment. 1923 ( İsmail Arar, Atatürk’s İzmit Press Conference, P. 56 )
The revolution is as bright, as hot and as far from us as the sun. I always find my direction using this sun, and go forward, forward, forward until it is too scorching and bright to get any closer. Then I stop, and redirect myself using the sun. ( Ahmet Cevat Emre, Huhit Magazine, Year : 4, Issue : 48, 1932, p.2 )
There are some periods in a nation’s history when all the physical and moral forces must be united and aimed at the same direction to reach certain goals. In recent years, our nation perceived the important results of such a movement of unity.
All the nationalist and republican forces must unite their power to defend the revolution and the country against internal and external threats.
Forces of the same kind must unit in the same manner. 1931 (Atatürk’ün S.D. III, P. 90)
Let all the world know that there is only one side, that I am on the side of the republic, the political and social revolution. On this matter, I do not even want to think that any citizen of the new Turkish Republic feels any different. 1924 ( Atatürk’s S. D. II, p. 189 )
Those with fresh ideas are those with the real ideas who see and perceive the right path. This is the main desire and the point of view of the nation we all must comply to. 1925 ( Mustafa Selim İmece, Atatürk’s S. D. K. and I. S. , p. 17 )
Friends, for the revolutions we have made and we are still making, we follow the light and the enlightened; our goal and skill is to enlighten the illiterate and encourage them to walk with us to reach the light. It would not only be ignorance, but also treachery to resort to a referendum which would hinder us from taking our republic to the level of contemporary civilization. In a country where 80 % of the population is illiterate, revolutions can not be decided by plebiscites!…1984 (Bâki Vandemir, Yerli, yabancı 80 imza Atatürk’ü Anlatıyor, P. 172)
We will perform all the requirements of the republic trusting the nation’s sharpness and capacity to progress, and never suspecting its determination. We know that we face many hindrances and difficulties. We will solve all of these problems one by one with determination and faith, and the unbeatable power of the love of the nation. It is that love of the nation, which is the source of never-ending power, fire and endurance in our hearts in spite of everything. 1924 ( Atatürk’s S. D. II, p. 166 )
Our nation is a self sacrificing one for its motherland, independence and freedom; This is a fact it has proven. Our nation is also jealously protective of the revolutions it has made. No one, no power can keep a nation that has such inbred virtues in its heart from treading the right path it walks on. 1924 ( Atatürk’s B. N., p. 84 )
As the height of the sun of revolution that rose on the horizon of Turkey, increased spreading its warmth, the heart of Turkish nation filled with the warmest love towards the world’s great and worthy feats, and all the principles of progress have been fully adopted. 1923 ( Atatürk’s T. T. B. IV, p.560 )
The obstacles that want to slow down the social and intellectual pace of our nation which is capable of every progress and maturity must absolutely be eliminated. 1924 ( Atatürk’s B. N., p. 86 )
We have made a great revolution. We have carried the country from one era to a new one. We have broken many old institutions. Those institutions have thousands of followers. We must not forget that they are waiting for the right time and opportunity. Even the most advanced democracies have employed hard measures to protect the regime, and we need the measures that protect the revolution even more than them. 1925 ( Avni Doğan, Independence, Establishment and Afterwards, p. 165 )