The republican regime is a form of government with democracy. We establish the Republic, all the necessities of democracy must be applied on the 10th year of the Republic. 1933 (Afet İnan, Atatürk Hakkında B.H, s.251)
The Republic supports freedom of thought. We respect all opinions provided that they are sincere and legal. All convictions are respectable for us. But those opposing us must be equitable to us. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D 3, s.71)
A Republic is a government that is built on moral virtue. Republic is virtue. 1925 (Atatürk’s S.D 2, s.231)
The most appropriate government, most suitable to the Turkish nation’s nature and traditions, is the Republic. 1924 (Atatürk’s S.D 3, s.74)
The Republic with its new and sound principles, as much as it opens the path for an intact and safe way of future life to Turkish nation, also creates soundness in opinions and spirits and by doing this, it becomes the herald of a new life. 1936 (Atatürk’s S.D 1, s.372)
Today’s government and state organization are formed by our nation itself and its name is Republic. From now on, the separation between the government and nation cannot be mentioned as in the past. The Nation is the government and the government is the nation. As a result, government and its members have fully understood the fact that they are not apart from the nation and that the latter is the master of the country. 1925 (Atatürk’s S.D 2, s.230)
In the last years, the capability, talent and understanding shown by our nation, proved that those who have bad opinions about our nation were imperceptive and in grave error. Our nation with its capability, characteristics and in addition with a new name of its government will be successful in showing itself in the civilized world. The Turkish Republic will prove its right to occupy its place by its achievements.
The Turkish Republic will be happy, successful and victorious. October 29 1923 (The Speech 2, s.814-815)
Those who think that the Republic established in the mind and consciousness of our army that consists of the great Turkish Nation and its heroic children, and that our principles which are inspired by the spirit of our nation, will be rootened by a removal of a body, are very unfortunate and ill-minded. Those unfortunate people will meet with the treatment that they deserve at the hands of Republic’s justice and mighty claw. This will be their share. One day, my humble body will certainly turn into earth, but the Turkish Republic will survive forever. And the Turkish nation will surely go on marching on the path of civilization with the principles which are guarantors of security and happiness. 1926 (Atatürk’s S.D 3, s.80)
Our Republic is not weak as it was thought to be. The Republic was not gained without any price. In order to achieve it, we shed our red blood everywhere. If it is necessary, we are ready to defend our institutions. 1923 (Attar’s S.D 3, s.71)
Do not ever think that coming generations will be surprised by seeing the so-called republicans among those who mercilessly attacked the Republic on its proclamation day. On the contrary, Turkey’s intellectual and republican youth won’t hesitate in analyzing and determining so-called republicans’ real ideas.
They will easily understand that: if one exists whose title is caliph, and governs the rotten dynasty and never minds to get away from the administration, then it does not matter whether the Republic is proclaimed or not, because it is impossible continue its survival in such a situation.
National Sovereignty (National Government)
Sovereignty can never accept partnership in terms of any form, meaning party color or emblem. 1922 (The Speech II, page 700)
The formation and protection of sustainable freedom, equality and justice in society depends totally on the exact sense of establishment of national sovereignty. Therefore, the basis of freedom, equality and justice is national sovereignty. Freedom in our society and in our state is limitless. Its borders are present and defined by the protection of the principle that makes it limitless.
An individual may willingly want to dispose of his freedom, but if this attempt will harm the life and freedom of a nation, if the life of a nation full of greatness and honor will fade because of this and if the children and grandchildren of that nation will disappear because of this, such attempts can never be reasonable and acceptable. Furthermore, such an action can never be tolerated in the name of freedom.
There is no doubt that we will protect and defend our national sovereignty in our most jealous and alert mood and with all our might for the sake of the eternal life of our state, the strengthening of our country, the comfort and happiness of our nation as well as for the sake of our lives, pride, honor and future as well as all our sacred concepts and finally all we possess. 1923 (Atatürk’ s S.D.I, page 298)
National will and national determination do not only consist of the ideas of an individual but is a combination of the will of all the individuals of the nation. 1923 (Atatürk ’s S.D.I, page 95)
Sovereignty belongs to the nation unconditionally.1923 (Atatürk’s S.D.II, page 58)
Power is undivided and belongs to the nation. 1937 (Atatürk’s K.A.N, page 41)
National sovereignty is such a light that chains melt, crowns and thrones burn and disappear against it. Institutions established on the slavery of nations are bound to be demolished everywhere. 1929 (Atatürk’s B.N., page 82-83)
A nation cannot avoid being the toy of others unless it becomes involved with its present and its rights with all its intellectual and material power. Our national life, our history and our recent administrative style are excellent proof of this. This is why the national power and the national determination has been accepted as dominant in administration. Today, all the nations of the world recognize only one sovereignty: The National Sovereignty. 1920 (The Speech III, page 1185)
The great ideologies of important nations in the world that have achieved sovereignty to avoid slavery have always been fierce enemies of those who depend on outdated institutions and those seeking solutions in rotten administrations. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D.I, page 309)
Friends! There is no-one expecting a crown and there is no dictator in the Turkish state and among the people of Turkey that have established the Turkish state. There is no one after the crown and there will never be. Because it is not possible.
All the world should clearly know that there is no power or authority over this state and nation. There is only one power. That is national sovereignty. There is only one authority. That is the presence, conscience and the heart of the nation. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D.I, page 300)
The nation that knows and appreciates the value of direct sovereignty will crush any possible threat against this sacred sovereignty. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D.II, page 135)
To die for national sovereignty is a matter of conscience and honor for me. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D.II, page 76)
Those involved in the destiny of a nation should never forget the fact that they are to use the power and dignity of that nation only to obtain the real and sustainable benefits of the nation itself. These men should always remember that it is not enough to invade and restrain a country to be dominant over the owners of that country. It is not possible to be dominant over a nation unless the spirit of that nation is bound and its determination and will are broken. No force can resist the national spirit nurtured throughout centuries.
There is no tyranny left on earth that is capable of keeping a nation under control if that nation resists subjugation. 1924 (Atatürk’s B.N. page 81)
The Great National Assembly is the summary and the symbol of the Turkish Nation’s understanding of self rule and the its search that took centuries.
The Turkish nation has been able to disperse the darkness and look at the future with hope after it has handed its destiny over to the capable and patriotic hands of the Great National Assembly.
The core of the new Turkish government is national sovereignty. It is the unconditional sovereignty of the nation. (1923)
In all phases of struggle in my military and political life, my motive has always been to achieve the goals of the nation and the country depending on national consciousness. (1920)
People should always aspire to high, pure and sacred goals. Only thus is it possible to satisfy the conscience, the mind and the whole human being for those who call themselves humans. Those who walk in this path will achieve higher ranks to the degree they are devoted; and this way of life will be definitely apparent.
Because only thus the societies, who are administered by individuals who have nothing to hide, who are open-minded and who have a conscience, can be able to keep track of the actions. Those who hide their ideas, feelings and attempts, those who try to apply secret means may only be those people who are acting in a way unfit to the framework of intellect and logic and which entails embarrassment and shame. Those who are engaged in such actions will have to face a bitter end at the last. 1926 (Ataturk’s S.D.III.P. 80-815)
Our conscience has always been clear and it will always stay clear and pure. Those with an ugly face, have a defiled conscience and are those who attempt to call our patriotic, honorable and conscientious deeds ugly. 1927 ( The Speech II, p.882)
An oath is a solemn agreement. An honorable person never breakes his oath. 1919 (Ataturk’s S.D.III, p.7-8)
Bear always in mind: Be it today or be it tomorrow, our main strength will be constituted by an honorable, transparent policy and by keeping our words. (Hasan Rıza Soyak, Yakınlarından Hatıralar, p.18)
The burden of responsibility is even heavier than death. (1915)
Never be afraid of speaking the truth. (1918)
We must always be ready to give an account of our deeds before history and before the world. 1930 (Büyük Tarih Trabzon’da, p. 16)
If we do not perform the deeds for which we have the opportunity, history will criticize us. 1928 (Hakkı Tarık Us, Ayın Tarhi, Ataturk’ün Vefatları, N:60, 1938,p.150)
The main principle, accepted by civilized states that are ruled according to the principles of national sovereignty and that is still valid is the principle that the political group, which represents the general demands of the majority and which is capable of taking necessary steps to fulfill the requirements of those demands within its power and capacity, is charged with the administration of the state and gives this esteemed responsibility to its supreme leader.
As a matter of fact, a government that doesn’t fulfill these requirements is not able to rule in any way. To form a government out of powerful, but nevertheless second grade group members and attempt to run it by way of the directives and advice of the first grade leaders of the party is certainly not correct. The tragic results of such a practice could be witnessed especially in the last days of the Ottoman State. Are there not too many harmful effects to count, which the nation had to endure because of the sadrazams (grand vizier) and their governments, who were mere puppets in the hands of Union and Progress leaders?
It can never be the case that a party, which is in the leading position in the Assembly leaves its right to form a government to the opponent party that is in a minority state.
According to rule and principles, only the party which represents the majority of the nation and which has openly stated its intentions can take over the responsibility to form a government and apply its purposes and principles in the country. 1927 (The Speech I, p.221-222)
According to our considerations, political power, will power and sovereignty belong to the common characteristics of a nation as a whole. It is indivisible, inseparable and cannot be transferred to other individuals. 1930 (Afetinan, M.B and M.K. Atatatürk’ün El Yazıları, p. 418)
Begging for pity and mercy is neither the way to run public works or administer the state, nor the way to ensure honor or independence of the nation and state.
There is no principle such as begging for pity and mercy. This, the Turkish nation, the future generation of Turkey shall never forget. 1927 (The Speech I, p. 355)
Is it a good or a bad government? In order to know whether a government is good or bad, we have to answer the question “What is the purpose of a government?” A government has two aims. The first aim is the protection of the nation, the second aim on the other hand, the welfare of the nation. If a government fulfills both duties it is a good, if not, it is a bad government. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D. II, p. 121)
Essentially, it is the nation that counts. It is the society. The general willpower of the nation becomes visible in the assembly; this is the case all over the world. But there are also individuals. The Assembly carries out public and administrative works with the help of individuals. In each country the individuals and persons in charge of these public services are well known. There is no need to deny the truth by meaningless opinions. 1922 (The Speech II, p. 659)
What I want is to have home affairs discussed in the Grand National Assembly. There is no affair that could not be discussed at the Grand National Assembly before the eyes of the Turkish nation. 1930 (Asım Us, G.D.D., p. 132)
The nation has no master. What is essential, is to give service. He, who serves the nation, becomes its master. 1921 (Atatürk’s S.D. I. P. 195)
It is not our principle to pursue day-to-day politics by time wasting and benumbing speeches on promises we are not in the state to realize. 1931 (Atatürk’s T.T.B IV, p. 552)
Considering home affairs, public issues and essential issues, there is no place for feelings, considerations and friendship relations. 1922 (Atatürk’s S.D I, p. 213)
The country is in need of a unity based on solidarity. To dismember the nation by ordinary policies is high treason. 1925 (Atatürk’s S.D. II, p. 224)
Our principle of governing is to obey the common and general ideas and inclinations of the nation. In order to render these ideas and inclinations as essential and serious, they have to reflect the material and moral needs of the nation. 1925 (Sadi Borak, Bilinmeyen Yönleriyle Atatürk, p.88)
We are not striving for temporary praise by deceiving the people with promises, we have not the capacity and power to realize. We hate to make false promises like vulgar politicians. 1925 (Sadi Borak, Bilinmeyen Yönleriyle Atatürk, p.87)
The obligation of those who have been chosen by the people, in order to administer the state in the name of the nation, is to be ready, if necessary, to give account and is incompatible with careless and despotic behavior. 1930 (Afetinan, M.B. and Atatürk’ün El Yazmaları, p. 415)
I’m a man, who wants to see his thoughts embedded in the demands, needs and will power of his nation. This is indispensable to me; only if I have realized this, I feel the responsibility to implement my ideas.
Those who want to work in this country, those who want to rule the country, should enter the country and live under the same conditions of the nation. Only then they will be able to feel seriously what has to be done. (1923)
In any case; if those who serve the nation are expecting great retributions, then they are acting wrongly. We should not expect much from the nation. Those who have served this nation have not done anything else than fulfilling an honorable duty. (1923)
We share the opinion that criticism and ideas articulated by sincere citizens, who are not members of the party and working within another program, despite being republicans and nationalists, will have strengthening affect on our national goals. 1935 (Atatürk’s T.T.B. IV, p.570)
The system, which enables the discussion of public affairs at the Grand National Assembly and before the nation, so that individuals of good will and parties may deliver their private opinions and thus cherish the esteemed interests of the nation, is a system, which I adore and adhere to. With pleasure I see that we are joined under the principle of a secular republic. And this again is a fundament I have searched for all the time and I will be searching for constantly as an adherent within political life. It is for this reason that I consider the establishment of a new party within the Grand National Assembly, based on the same fundament and thus the free discussion of public affairs as the main principle of the republic. (1930)
Today at last, the idea of democracy resembles a constantly rising ocean. The twentieth century has witnessed many despotic governments drowning in this ocean. (1930)
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey
It should address and find a reply to the world of hostility and great evil opposing us. Only the nation can be the most authorised representative of that nation. If the Assembly is opened, it is impossible but even if we must abandon Ankara because of absolute necessities, we can address to our nation with the greater authority and strength than before from any part of Turkey. We will defend our nation’s will and independence, even if we are on the last piece of rock of our country and certainly we will be successful. (March 1920, Y. N. )
The Government of The Grand National Assembly of Turkey is national; wholly material and realistic. This is a government which, among ideals thought to exist, not in order to reach those ideals, but to make them be reached will abstain from a murder which is striking the nation to rocks, sinking it into swamps and last by sacrificing it for daydreams. There are two basic principles of all the Grand National Assembly’s programmes and principles: complete independence, unhindered and unconditional national sovereignty! ( January 1921, S. D. II )
Certainly the nation should control the government. Because if the government’s measures are negative and the nation does not object to the measures and does not remove government from power, it means that also the nation joined those faults and offences. ( December 1920, S. D. II )
The nation chose us. But we are not gathered here to represent this nation’s administration and sovereignty here and during all our lives as if we have inherited a fortune. ( December 1921, S. D. I )
Sir, our government is not a democratic government, it is not a socialist government and indeed, as for the governments in the books, from the point of view of the Islamic characteristic, it does not resemble any of those. Still, this is the government that emphasises national sovereignty and national will. If it is necessary to characterise our government in view of the social sciences, we say: the government of the people. Sir, we have been gathered to protect and observe our rights and to guarantee our independence. We accept the war as entirely legal and being against imperialism that wants to destroy us and capitalism that wants to get rid of us. In other words we can understand that the base that our government founded on is social science. And we are not interested in whether it resembles the democratic one or the socialist one! Sir, we must be proud of with being unique. Because we resemble ourselves! ( December 1921, S. D. II )
Friends, is a government good or miserable? To determine whether a government is good or miserable, it is necessary to consider the purpose of the concept of government? The concept of the government has two objectives. One, to protect and preserve the nation and another, is to provide for the nation’s prosperity. If the government provides these two conditions it is good, but if not, it is miserable. ( March 1923, S. D. II )
To be able to pass from the sultanate era to the republic era we have lived a transition period, as you all know. In this period two ideas and visions struggled with each other. One of those ideas is the continuation of the sultanate era. The supporters of this idea were clear. The other idea is to bring sultanate administration to an end and to set up the republican administration. The second one was our idea. We saw objections to declaring our opinion clearly. We had to overcome the ideas of the supporters of sultanate administration before we declared our ideas, to find the right time to realise our aim. As the new laws were realised, especially when the constitution was realised the sultanate partisans insisted the indication of rights and authorities of the caliph. We agreed that it was not the appropriate time for this.
We intended to shape the government administration in the context of national sovereignty as a basis, without mentioning the republic.
We insisted that there is no higher authority than The Grand National Assembly. And we were trying to prove it is possible to administrate the country without the sultanate and caliph positions.
We did not say a word about the duties of president and the president of the Assembly carried out the duties de facto. Actually the president of the Assembly was the second president. There was a government. But it was born by “The Grand National Assembly” . we avoided to pass to the cabinet system. Because the sultanate partisans immediately would have suggested to use the sultan’s authority.
Well, in these stages of struggle during the transition period, we had to persuade them of the governing system of The Grand National Assembly. Our opponents objected to us because they found this system incomplete and tried providing the clear definition of constitutional monarchy. They were asking what is the definition of this government model that you try to implement? We had to silence them by giving replies that were required then. 1927 ( The Speech ( address) II, p. g. 838 – 839 )
Also could have written a book by attracting attentions to needless points of the ideas which were not able to be carried out. But we did not. We chose implementing policies on the path to national improvement instead of talking. On the other hand, the Assembly adopted principles such as “ Sovereignty belongs to The Nation.”, “Except for The Grand National Assembly no authority may dominate the national will. ”, “ In all legislation, in all organisation, in all implementations of administration, in general education, in economic affairs national the foundation of sovereignty basis be kept in mind. ”, “The resolution on the annulment of the sultanate is an absolute resolution and can not be changed.” 1927 ( The Speech II, p. g. 719 )
Sovereignty and sultanate could not be given by anyone to anyone with talk or with dispute because it was the implementation. Sovereignty and sultanate was taken with power, capacity and force. Osmanoğulları had kept with force the Turkish nation’s sovereignty and sultanate and they had continued this for six centuries. And now, the Turkish nation has declared clearly her sovereignty and sultanate by rebelling. This was immediately done. What is discussed, is it not whether we will leave the sultanate and sovereignty to the nation herself? The discussion is essentially real. But how can we declare this reality? It will certainly be. If those gathered here, The Assembly and everybody sees the issue as normal, I think that this is the time. Otherwise again the realities will be declared as necessary. But the probability is, some heads may be cut off. 1922 (The Speech II, p. g. 691 )
We are stronger than before. We have bigger capability and are fitter to live in comparison with the past. What brought about this superiority? The real reasons lie hidden in the foundation on two principles. One of these principles is Misakı Milli ( National Oath ), the second one is our constitution that our nation holds in her hands unhindered and unconditionally. The Grand National Assembly has gathered under difficult conditions. And The Assembly determined the state’s and the nation’s condition and characteristic, verified its absolute resolutions with constitution and laid the foundation of the Republic of Turkey by accepting the 1st November 1922 resolution.
The importance and value of the 1st November resolution is equal to our war of independence in importance and value. Although Misakı Milli is the rule that fixes the place and situation of our country against external enemies, the resolution of 1st November 1922 is the weapon against ignorance, confusion, poverty, bad luck and it brought the sultanate, that was a lasting enemy of our nation, to an end. They had the temerity to deliver our country to the foe, because they had that temerity in that administration’s shape and body. 1922 ( Atatürk’s S. D. I, p. g. 297 )