Kemal Ataturk Quotes

The change to the Latin alphabet will be done in three months or not at all.

 
Context
Ataturk wanted to change the Turkish alphabet from Arabic to Latin characters. Experts estimated that it would take at least 15 years. Ataturk allowed no parallel usage, made it illegal for any documents or signs to be written in Arabic, and it was done in 3 months. The benefit was that Arabic took much longer to learn. Relatively few people could read or write. Arabic had been imposed on the Turkish language. Printing with movable type was much more difficult in Arabic and Atatuk wanted many more books published and read. Soon Turkey had the highest literacy rate in the Islamic world, and rivaled that of most Western nations. Making the sudden change not only had the advantage of fixating the entire society on the change, but did not allow opponents of the change (of which there were many) —especially the Islamic clergy many of whom felt that the Koran was the only book that people should be allowed to read.
Kemal Ataturk
Kemal Ataturk
  • Born:
  • Died: November 10, 1938
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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.

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