Author(s): Muzaffer DEN?Z

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk erased both the Ottoman Empire from history and its many institutions when he founded the new state. The revolutions and reforms that follow the establishment of the Republic are signs of its practice. The sovereignty of religion, which was 600 years old, was abolished, the alphabet was changed, western law system was taken to be used, innovations from measurements to calendar took place in the new state. The most controversial subjects were the reforms in religion and education of religion. Atatürk started the European reform movements in Turkey in Islamic geography. In this context, classical Islamic schools (medrese) and children schools (s?byan mektepleri) were abolished. Religon courses in schools were gradually removed from the programmes. Imam Hatip Schools and Theology Faculties were closed. Apart from this, caliphate, which is connected with all Islamic World, is dissolved. Koran, call for preyer and sermons turned to be carried out in Turkish. Atatürk imagined to transform Turkey into an European country through religious, social and jural reforms and he managed implement a great put of this while he was alive. Atatürk employed all these reforms gradually with a consideration to social opposition. He also came accross strong resistance. In this, autocratic political structure of the time and his heroism in the war of independence and his being the founder of the new state played an important role.


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