Culture

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)

The foundation of The Republic of Turkey is culture. I don’t need to explain this expression here once more. This has been determined as the work done in the schools of the Turkish Republic in each case.

Culture means to read, to comprehend, to be able to see, and to make sense of what you see, to think and to educate the mind.

The Children of Republic of Turkey are the bearers of culture. So they have their own culture and they have been convinced of the need to disseminate their culture to the Turkish nation. 1936 (Afet İNAN, About Atatürk H.B., Page 261-62)

We shall endeavor to exalt the Turkish culture as a main desire of Republic of Turkey in every epoch. 1932 (Atatürk’s S.D. I, Page 358)

We mean a Culture compatible with our national characteristics and history when we are talking about National Education Erogram. (July, 1924)

I believe the education program followed up to now contains the main elements of our nation’s regression. Therefore when I speak of a national training program I mean a culture compatible with our national character and history free of foreign ideas. These ideas are not connected with our nature. They are constituted of the superstitions of the past.

Our culture must also be completely removed from the influences from west and east. Our national development can be achieved with this kind of culture. An ordinary foreign culture can be the cause of the repetition of the results of the culture which has been persuade till now. Culture is susceptible to environment. This environment is formed by the characteristics of the nation. (July 15, 1921)

Most importantly, we are under the obligation to take the first place in the world with our culture and virtue. (3 August 1932)

If a nation possessing no art can be conceived of, one of its vital vessels is cut off.

The great current ideas of the world that provided the independence of the world’s principal nations are opposed to individuals who try to find administrative solutions within rotten systems. (1923)

We don’t mean the uneducated by ignorant. We mean to know reality with the help of science. We know that the most ignorant persons can appear among the educated as well as that the wisest, able to recognize reality may be found among the uneducated. (22 March 1923)

The work that we succeeded in since the last general assembly has drawn up the national aspect of the Republic of Turkey with definite lines. The civilized Turkish society is the work of these last years with their new alphabet, national history, native language, art, science, and music and with technical institutions and with equal rights for both men and women.

The high capacity and virtue of the Turkish Nation will be known internationally after the definition of its existence with strong and deep roots in culture. Each of these reforms ensure that the natural aspect to the Turkish Nation can be taken in to consideration as great feats of which we may be throughout history. (1935)

We mean, in a summary, the work of a society in cultural life, economical life and state life is civilization nothing else. (1929)

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