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Friday, November 10, 2006

Atatürk in Quotes

Part One: Quotes From Atatürk

On religion and secularism
"Religion is an issue of conscience. Everyone is free to conform to the commands of their conscience. We show respect for religion. We are not against a way of thinking or thoughts. We are only trying not to mix religious affairs with the affairs of the nation and the state."

"I am not leaving a spiritual legacy of dogmas, unchangeable petrified directives. My spiritual legacy is science and reason. ... What I wanted to do and what I tried to achieve for the Turkish nation is quite evident. If those people who wish to follow me after I am gone take the reason and science as their guides they will be my true spiritual heirs."

"Our true mentor in life is science."

On the rights of women
"I am convinced that the exercise of social and political rights by women is necessary for mankind's happiness and pride. You can rest assured that Turkish women together with the world`s women will work towards world peace and security." (22 April 1935)

"Everything we see in the world is the creative work of women."

"We shall emphasize putting our women's secondary and higher education on an equal footing with men." (1922)

On youth and education
"The student, at whatever age, should be looked at from the point of view of the adults of the future and they should be treated as such."

"The governments most creative and significant duty is education."

"The cornerstone of education is an easy system of reading and writing. The key to this is the new Turkish alphabet based on the Latin script."

On general social reform
"The major challenge facing us is to elevate our national life to the highest level of civilization and prosperity."

"Following the military triumph we accomplished by bayonets, weapons and blood, (in creating a Turkish Republic) 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."

On freedom and Turkish sovereignty
"This nation has never lived without independence. We cannot and shall not live without it. Either liberty or death."

"Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people."

"A nation which makes the final sacrifice for life and freedom does not get beaten."

On warfare
"You will see ... in the future everything will be done from the skies above. All wars and civilizations will be in the skies above. That's why we must give great importance to the air force."

On peace
"If war were to break out, nations would rush to join their armed forces and national resources. The swiftest and most effective measure is to establish an international organization which would prove to the aggressor that its aggression cannot pay."

"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."

"To let people slaughter each other allegedly with the object of making mankind happy is both inhuman and deplorable in the extreme."

"Unless the life of the nation faces peril, war is a crime."

"Peace at home, peace in the world."

On himself
"To me, the dictator is one who makes others succumb to his will. I would like to rule not by breaking hearts but rather by winning them."

"My people may bury me wherever the wish, as long as they do not forget me."

End of part one | Part two

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Main Index | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3

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