If the political and military victories are not supported by the economical victories, they cannot be permanent and evaporate within a short time.
The real master of Turkey is the actual producer, the villager. Therefore, the villager deserved more prosperity, welfare and happiness than the others. Therefore the Economical Policy of the Turkish Grand National Assembly addresses this main purpose. (1 March 1922)
We are absolutely in compelled to ascribe the first and foremost importance to the economy to enhance our new Turkey properly. Our age is entirely an economic epoch, nothing else. (February 1923)
Beside the personal endeavors and activities as the essential, one of our principals is to render the state active in the enterprises that are to the general benefit of the nation, especially in the economic field, in order to achieve a prosperous and well-cultivated country.
History has found and listed many military and social causes when seeking the reasons for the enhancement and degradation of nations. Doubtlessly, all these reasons have an effect on social developments. But the economy of the nation is directly concerned and related with the enhancement and degradation of the nation. This reality, which has been clearly proven by history and experience has clearly made itself felt in our national life and national history. As a matter of fact, if Turkish history were investigated it could be clearly understood that the reasons of all enhancement and degradation are the matter of economy and nothing else. (1923)
The strong character and desire, the fiery nationalism of our nation and the abundance of new economic successes will encompass the Turkish Nation. Friends, the garments my people are now wearing are neither national nor international. Therefore friends, is there a nation without clothes? Friends do you agree to describe our nation such as? Is there any sense in showing the world a valuable jewel covered with mud? It is necessary and natural to get rid of the mud to show the jewel. If there is a need for a cover to protect the jewel will it not be necessary to make it of gold or platinum? Is indecision correct before this clear reality? If anybody is to make us indecisive, shall we still hesitate to decide they are idiots and thickheaded?
Friends, there is no need to investigate and revive the old Turkish clothes. The civilized and the international clothes are suitable for us and for our nation. We shall wear them. We shall wear shoes, boots to our feet, trousers on our legs, and waistcoats, shirts, tie, collar, jacket and headgear to complete. I want to say clearly that this headgear is called a hat. Like redingote, bonjour tuxedo, this is our hat!
There are some who say that this is not convenient. Let me tell them that they are very unaware, very ignorant and I want to ask them:
Why is convenient to wear the Greek headgear of fez and why is not convenient to wear a hat? And again I want to remind them and also our nation when and why and what for did they wear the special robes (with full sleeves and long skirts) of the Greek vicars and Jewish rabbis? (1925)
During my visits, I saw that the women friends covered their faces and eyes intensively and carefully, especially in the cities and towns but not in the villages. Male friends, that is because of our egoism. It is necessary to be chaste and careful. But respected Sirs, our women are human beings who are able to think and comprehend like us. If we inspire them with the holy concepts and extipulate our national and moral values, there will be no need to be selfish. Let them show their faces to the world. And let them look at the world carefully. There is nothing to be afraid of. 1925(Atatürk’s G.S., Page 91)
I see the women in some places hide their faces by covering with the cloths like loincloths and turn their back to the men passing near by them or squat down when they see a man. What is the meaning of this? Sirs, does a mother or a daughter of a civilized nation behave wildly like this? This situation is a ridiculous appearance for our nation. This must be corrected promptly. 1925 (Atatürk’s G.S. Page 95)
The most important factor concerning directly the vitality, enhancement or poverty of a nation is the economical situation of the nation. (1930)
All the successes, victories, defeats, and disasters comprising our history were all concerned and related with the economic conditions of their times. We are obliged to definitely ascribe top priority to our economy to exalt our new Turkey, because our age is an economy epoch, nothing else.
The economic development is the fundamental part of the ideal of a Turkey that is free, independent, more powerful and prosperous. (1937)
Our people experienced many sufferings, defeats, disasters. But we still live on this land and there is one main reason for that: Because Turkish farmers, while fighting with their swords in one hand, kept on plowing their land which they never left with the other. If the majority of our nation wasn’t farmers, we wouldn’t exist in this world today. 1923 ( Atatürk’s S. D. II, p. 117 )
The real owner and master of Türkiye are the farmers who are the real producers. So, it is the farmers who deserve and have a right to more prosperity, welfare and wealth than anyone else.
Gentlemen! Our people consists of farmers. We must take economic measures to increase the efforts in the farming sector to the limit. Increasing the output of the farming sector to the limit for the farmer’s own benefit is the cornerstone of our economic policy. 1922 ( Atatürk’s S. D. II, p. 219 )
The country and the nation can not develop unless we promote the farmers to the rank of “ Masters” . ( Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, Memoirs From His Close Acquaintances p. 94 )
An arm that fights with a sword gets tired and as soon as it puts the sword back in its sheath, it is most probably doomed to get rusty and moldy. But an arm that uses a plow gets stronger each day and with more strength it gets more land. ( 1923 )
The foundation of the national economy is agriculture. For that reason we consider it most important to progress in agriculture. Planned training and applied studies that spread down to the small villages will help us reach this goal.
But to reach the goal in this vital matter, first we must designate an agriculture policy based on comprehensive research for which we must create an agriculture regime that every single farmer and citizen can easily comprehend and willingly apply. Main points of such a policy and regime could be as follows:
First of all, there shouldn’t be any farmer left without land in the country. The size of large land farmers and large farm owners are allowed to run must be limited on basis of the population density and the level of soil fertility in the area. ( 1937 )
If the majority of our nation wasn’t farmers, we wouldn’t exist in this world today. ( March 1928 )
Our people consists of farmers. We must take economic measures to increase the efforts in the farming sector to the limit. Increasing the output of the farming sector to the limit for farmer’s own benefit is the cornerstone of our economic policy.
Since this is the case, we must make every effort to use and produce machinery and scientific instruments that will increase the output and productivity of farmers, and to take economic measures to assure maximum benefit from it. ( 1922 )
Transportation and Development
Everywhere, farmers and citizens have reminded me of the work program with these two words:
Roads – schools. Since they said: “ Roads are the wings of farmers “, it is obvious that they consider roads more important than anything. Indeed, all economy is in the first, and everything is in the second word. 1934(Atatürk’ün S.D. II, S. 193 – 194)
The vigor and dynamism of the economic life is in proportion with the quality and quantity of the transportation means, roads, trains, seaports. 1922 ( Atatürk’s S. D. I, p. 221 )
We must form a network of railways and well designed roads on which cars run in our country. Because cars and trains are the vehicles the west and the world use and it is simply impossible to compete with them riding donkeys on natural trails. 1923 ( Atatürk’s S. D. II, p. 111 )
Railways are sacred torches that brighten a country with the light of civilization and prosperity. 1937 ( Atatürk’s K. A. N., p. 20 )
The main elements of economic development, in other words roads, railways, seaports, land and sea transportation vessels, are the physical and political blood veins of the nation’s presence. 1930 ( Afet İnan, About Atatürk H. B., p. 266 )