Kemal Ataturk

(Mustafa Kemal Atatürk)

Kemal Ataturk
Kemal Ataturk
  • Born:
  • Died: November 10, 1938
  • Nationality:
  • Profession:









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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish field marshal (Mareşal), revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism.

Quote Topics Cited
[Turkish women] had lived free of the veil for 5,000 years, and had been covered only in the last 600 years. Minorities & Women
A nation must be strong in spirit, knowledge, science and morals. Military strength comes last…Today it is not enough to have arms in hand in order to take one’s place in the world. Military & Veterans
A nation which does not make pictures, a nation which does not make statues, a nation which does not practice science, such a nation, one must admit, has no place on the highroad of civilization. But our nation with its true qualities deserves to become and will become civilized and progressive. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers ;Capitalism
After all our experience we are sure that America is the only country able to help us. Foreign Aid ;States. Nations & Nationhood
Although we are very strong, we are pursuing a very calculating and moderate policy. We prefer a political solution and are managing the situation accordingly. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
As far as I’m concerned, the senior commanders of the Ottoman empire are useless. For me, the command structure of the army stops at majors. Tomorrow’s great commanders will come from their ranks. I’ll keep officers up to the rank of major on the army roll. The rest I’ll get rid of. Miscellaneous
Bloody revolutions are solid; bloodless ones are not permanent. But we have shed sufficient blood to come to this revolution. It has been shed not only on battlefields, but within the country…There have been many risings, all of which have been suppressed. Let us hope that there will be no more bloodshed. The first duty of our educated people is to enlighten and guide the opponents of our happy revolution. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Can one name a single nation that has not turned to the West in its quest for civilization? Development & Growth ;Capitalism
Communism is nonsense. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Every adult is free to choose his own religion, but fanaticism has to be fought lest freedom perish. Religion & God
Following the military triumph we accomplished by bayonets, weapons and blood, we shall strive to win victories in such fields as culture, scholarship, science, and economics, … the enduring benefits of victories depend only on the existence of an army of education. States. Nations & Nationhood
For five hundred years these rules and theories of an Arab sheik and the interpretations of generations of lazy, good-for-nothing priests have decided the civil and the criminal law of Turkey. They had decided the form of the constitution, the details of the lives of each Turk, his food, his hours of rising and sleeping, the shape of his clothes, the routine of the midwife who produced his children, what he learnt in his schools, his customs, his thoughts, even his most intimate habits … Possibly it might have suited tribes of nomads in the desert. It was no good for a modern progressive State. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Hypocrites and frauds of old used to drink a thousand times more, secretly in hovels as they indulged in all sorts of nastiness. I am not a fraud. I drink in my nation’s honor. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
I am not ordering you to fight for your country. I am ordering you to die for your country! War & Peace
I am Turkey. To destroy me is to destroy Turkey. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I could not bear the obvious mistakes made during the maneuver, and afterwards I criticized the pasha bitterly in the presence of all his officers, even though in doing so I exceeded my authority and my rank. The pasha looked hurt, but did not bear me malice…My behavior may have been contrary to discipline. But if a person trained in Germany does not work at the art of command, what can we expect of those who have not had this advantage? Perhaps when they see that they are criticized by their juniors, our commanders will learn to do better. Military & Veterans
I do not want to be recorded in history as the man who bequeathed a tyranny. Political Parties & Machines ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow-men. Religion & God
I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men Religion & God
I stand for the nation's dreams, and my life's work is to make them come true. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I swear in front of my mother’s grave and in the presence of God, that I shall not hesitate to join her if this be necessary for the defense of the sovereignty which the nation has won at the cost of so much blood. I deem it a debt of conscience and honor to give my life for the sake of national sovereignty. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
In order to justify the sympathy and trust extended to me by people of all classes, even to the furthest corners of the world of Islam, I intend to form a People’s Party…after the establishment of peace, in order to devote my life to the good of my country as a humble individual. Political Parties & Machines
In the face of knowledge, science, and of the whole extent of radiant civilization, I cannot accept the presence in Turkey’s civilized community of people primitive enough to seek material and spiritual benefits in the guidance of sheikhs. The Turkish republic cannot be a country of sheikhs, dervishes and disciples. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
It is a disgrace for a civilized society to appeal for help to the dead. Religion & God
It is claimed that religious unity is also a factor in the formation of nations. Whereas, we see the contrary in the Turkish nation. Turks were a great nation even before they adopted Islam. This religion did not help the Arabs, Iranians, Egyptians and others to unite with Turks to form a nation. Conversely, it weakened the Turks’ national relations; it numbed Turkish national feelings and enthusiasm. This was natural, because Mohammedanism was based on Arab nationalism above all nationalities. States. Nations & Nationhood
It is the peasant, the true producer, who is also the true owner and master of Turkey. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It was necessary to abolish the fez, which sat on the heads of our nation as an emblem of ignorance, negligence, fanaticism, and hatred of progress and civilization … Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Lasting peace is sought, it is essential to adopt international measures to improve the lot of the masses. War & Peace
Let us realize the state we are in. Let us learn what needs to be learnt. Religion and God demand it. Religion & God
Mankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body. We must never say 'What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?' If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness. States. Nations & Nationhood
Mankind is a single body and each nation is a part of that body. We must never say "What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?" If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Members of the rising new generation! The future is yours. The republic has been founded by us. It is up to you to guard and exalt it. States. Nations & Nationhood ;Capitalism
National sovereignty should be supported by financial independence. The only power that will propel us to this goal is the economy. No matter how mighty they are, political and military victories cannot endure unless they are crowned by economic triumphs. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
One day we might find ourselves making an alliance with the Greeks. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Our women have minds too. Let them show their faces to the world, and see it with their eyes…Don’t be afraid. Change is essential, so much so that, if need be, we are prepared to sacrifice lives for its sake. Minorities & Women
Peace at home. Peace in the world. War & Peace
Peace is the most effective way for nations to attain prosperity and happiness States. Nations & Nationhood
Peace is the most effective way for nations to attain prosperity and happiness. Development & Growth
Poor Wilson did not understand that a frontier which is not defended with bayonets, force and honor cannot be secured by any other principle. Defense & National Security
Poverty, and material and moral misery, are everywhere. There is little to cheer us. Unfortunately, this is the true state of the country. It’s not our fault: unthinking rulers, ignorant of the way of the world, have run this country for years, not to say centuries, and reduced a paradise to this sorry state. Most of our officials are inexperienced and at a loss. Our poor people have ability, but they have fallen under the influence of superstitions which have been presented as sacred dogma. Poverty
Religious thinkers have done their best to twist science and philosophy to back up their law. Religion & God
Revolutionary leadership requires resistance to corruption. Corruption
Skullcaps, fezes, turbans – it all costs money which goes to foreigners. We will become civilized…We will march forward…Civilization is a fearful fire which consumes those who ignore it. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Sovereignty and kingship are never decided by academic debate. They are seized by force. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people. Defense & National Security
The change to the Latin alphabet will be done in three months or not at all. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The civilized world is far ahead of us. We have no choice but to catch up. Development & Growth ;Capitalism
The cornerstone of education is an easy system of reading and writing. The hey to this is the new Turkish alphabet based on the Latin script. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The economy is everything. It is the totality of what we need to live, to be happy Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The evils which sapped the nation’s strength had all been wrought in the name of religion. Religion & God
The future is in the skies. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The future is in the sky. Transportation
The government's most creative and significant duty is education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The major challenge facing us is to elevate our national life to the highest level of civilization and prosperity. States. Nations & Nationhood
The nation has placed its faith in the precept that all laws should be inspired by actual needs here on earth as a basic fact of national life. States. Nations & Nationhood
The new Turkish State is a state of the people and a state by the people. States. Nations & Nationhood
The people of the Turkish republic, who claim to be civilized must prove that they are civilized by the way they appear. And that, means boots and shoes, trousers, shirt, and tie, jacket and vest. And to complete these, a cover with a brim on our heads. I want to make this clear. This head covering is called a hat Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The precondition of all happiness…and particularly of economic and commercial development is tranquility, security and order beyond the reach of any violation. Development & Growth ;Capitalism
The press should form a fortress of steel round the republic. The republic has a right to demand this from journalists. The struggle is not over; the press has a duty to convey this truth to the nation and safeguard its unity. Media, Journalism & The Press
The safety of the fatherland and the happiness of the nation require above all that the world should be shown that our army is still the army that had planted its lance in the walls of Vienna. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
The strength of a nation should be expended to defend its own existence. It is totally wrong to forget that and to use one’s forces for the purposes of foreigners. Those who led the war, forgot our own existence and became prisoners of the Germans… Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The Turkish army will have done its duty when it defends the country from foreign aggression and frees the nation from fanaticism and intellectual slavery. The Turkish nation has fallen far behind the West. The main aim should be to lead it to modern civilization. Development & Growth
The Turkish state has neither a crowned head nor a dictator. Management & Managing Government ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
The Turks were a great nation even before they adopted the Muslim religion…The religion founded by Muhammad was based on a policy of setting Arab nationalism above all other nationalisms. States. Nations & Nationhood
The veil deprives women of the possibility of earning their livelihood, the custom is well known to be unsanitary, and it tends to hinder the work of the police by enabling criminals to conceal their identity. After ten days any women wearing a veil will be arrested Minorities & Women
There can be no friends more benevolent than the British. States. Nations & Nationhood
There is no nation in the world greater, older or more honorable than the Turkish nation, nor has one been seen in the history of humanity. Public Relations & Image
There is no such thing as a line of defense. Only an area to defend. That area consists of the entire Motherland. Not one inch of our country can be abandoned unless drenched with the blood of its people. War & Peace
There is not a bird that flies by without our knowledge. Military & Veterans
There may be malevolent people at home and abroad who will wish to deprive you of this treasure [the Republic]. If some day you are compelled to defend your independence and your Republic, you must not tarry to weigh the possibilities and circumstances of the situation before taking up your duty … those who hold power within the country may be in error, misguided and may even be traitors. Furthermore, they may identify their personal interests with the political designs of the invaders. The country may be impoverished, ruined and exhausted. Even in such circumstances it is your duty to save the Turkish Independence and Republic. The strength you need is already imbedded in your noble blood. Citizenship & Patriotism
This nation has never lived without independence. We cannot and shall not live without it. Either independence or death. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
This palace belongs no longer to the Shadows of Allah on Earth, but to the nation, which is a fact and not a shadow, and I am happy to be here as an individual member of the nation, as a guest. Religion & God
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... You, the mothers, who sent your sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well. Memorials, Monuments, Medals, Statues & Buildings
Those who are inclined to compromise can never make a revolution. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Time and events bring out the truth, but they also deal a mortal blow. Slogans & Mottoes
Today the Soviet Union is a friend and an ally. We need this friendship. However, no one can know what will happen tomorrow. Just like the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, it may tear itself apart or shrink in size. Those peoples that it holds so tightly in its grip may one day slip away. The world may see a new balance of power. States. Nations & Nationhood ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Today the Turkish nation is called on to defend its capacity for civilization, its right to life and independence – its entire future. States. Nations & Nationhood
We are a nation without classes or special privileges. States. Nations & Nationhood
We believe that the remedy to any harm resulting from press freedom lies in press freedom itself. Media, Journalism & The Press
We derive our inspiration, not from heaven, or from an unseen world, but directly from life.. Leaders & Leadership
We did not win the war with prayers, but with the blood of our soldiers.. War & Peace
We do not consider our principles as dogmas contained in books that are said to come from heaven. We derive our inspiration, not from heaven, or from an unseen world, but directly from life. Democracies & Republics
We must know our limitations and expend our lives only in the cause of our independence. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
We must liberate our concepts of justice, our laws and legal institutions from the bonds which hold a tight grip on us although they are incompatible with the needs of our century. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
We will acquire knowledge and science wherever they are to be found and we will stuff them into the head of every individual in the country. No limits, no conditions can be attached to knowledge and science. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
While one has to work from the roots upwards to build a solid organization, at the start one has no choice but to work from the top downwards, since until individuals had learnt to think for themselves, masses could be manipulated. Management & Managing Government
With a view to assuring our national and economic development, and giving the country a more regular and more modern administration, the signatories of the present pact consider the possession of complete independence and liberty as the sine qua non of our national existence. In consequence, we oppose all juridical or financial restrictions of any nature which would arrest our national development. The conditions of settlement of our proved debts shall likewise not be contrary to these principles. Development & Growth