I had long conversations everywhere with people on the formation of a political party
I had long conversations everywhere with people on the formation of a political party.
On the 7 th December, 1922, I declared, through the Press at Angora, my intention of forming a new party on a democratic basis under the name of the “People s Party.”
I called upon all patriots and men of Art and Science for help and co-operation in drawing up the programme which should guide this party.
The views I received in writing from various people, as well, also, as the direct exchange of opinion with the people, were very helpful indeed to me.
At last, on the 8 th April, 1922, I set down my views in the form of nine leading principles. This programme, which I had published during the elections for the Second Grand National Assembly, served as the foundation for the formation of our party.
This programme contained essentially all that we had carried through up to that day. There were, however, some important and vital questions which had not been included in this programme, such as, for instance, the proclamation of the Republic, the abolition of the Caliphate, the suppression of the Ministry of Education, and that of the Medressas and Tekkas*) and the introduction of the hat.
I held the opinion that it was not appropriate to give into the hands of ignorant men and reactionaries the means of poisoning the whole nation by introducing these questions into the programme be fore the hour had come to do so, because I was absolutely sure that these questions would be settled at the proper time and that the people in the end would be satisfied.
*) Medressa: clerical school. Tekka: religious order.
There were some people who found that the programme which I had published was inadequate and too short for a political party.
They said that the “People s Party” had no programme
They said that the “People s Party” had no programme.
The pro gramme which is known by the name of “Principles” was actually no book of the kind that these slanderers had seen and were accustomed to, but it was full of substantial and practical matter.
We could also have written a book in which to develop certain impracticable ideas and theoretical subtleties. We have not done so.
In the way of reconstitution and material and moral development of the nation we preferred to make acts precede words and theories.
However, we did not omit in these principles certain formulas, which everybody had to know, such as:
“The Sovereignty belongs to the nation,” and “No authority except the Grand National Assembly of Turkey can decide upon the destiny of the nation,” or “In the composition of the laws for every kind of organisation, for all the details of administration, in public education and in the sphere of economics, we shall proceed according to the principles of national sovereignty,” and “the decision regarding the abolition of the monarchy is irrevocable.”
In addition, some urgent and important needs were taken into consideration, such as the reform of the tribunals, the complete reorganisation of our legal code, in the sense of science and law, the transformation of the tithes, the increase of capital in the national banks, the construction of railways which will be necessary, the im mediate unification of instruction, the reduction of active military service, the development of the country, etc.
As for our point of view on the question of peace, we declared that “we would work for the restoration of peace, on condition that it would be a peace that absolutely secured our financial, economic and administrative independence.” Alluding to the Caliphate, we added that this could be an authority common to all Mohamedans.
The party was in course of time changed to the “Republican People s Party
The “Principles” sufficed for the foundation and activity of the People s Party; as is known to you, the title of the party was in course of time changed to the “Republican People s Party,” by the addition of the word “Republican.”