Turkey celebrates today the 96th anniversary of the establishment of the republic. Ceremonies will be held in every city in schools and municipalities. 29th of October 1923 is a big date in the modern history of the country. So, let’s take a glimpse at this decisive date for Turkish nation.
Born from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the fight for the independence and integrity of the national land, the Turkish republic owes its existence to the willing of a strong leader, Mustafa Kemal surnamed later Ataturk which means in Turkish “The father of the Turks”.
He struggled to make his country a livable and a modern nation. After the Armistice of Mudros[i] on October 30th, 1918 which brought the Ottoman defeat, allies occupied parts from Anatolia, Thrace and Constantinople and the land was divided by the treaty of Sevres signed in 1920.
On 19th May 1919, Mustafa Kemal went to Samsun and started the independence war meant to retrieve the taken land. The victory of this fight results in the abolition of the Sultan in 1922.
In July 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne replacing the one of Sevres allowed Turkey to restore Anatolia and Eastern Thrace. Then on 13th October 1923 Ankara became the new capital city of Turkey and the republic was proclaimed on October 29th, 1923 by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey[ii] who elected Mustafa Kemal as the first president of the republic of Turkey.
Several reforms were then accomplished such as:
- The abolition of Caliphate on 3r March 1924.
- The adoption of civil code in 1926.
- The abolition of polygamy in 1926.
- The declaration of women’s right to vote in 1934.
- The adoption of Latin alphabet in 1934.
- The declaration of the republic’s laicity and the forbid of showing up of religious symbols and illustrations.
These reforms having improved the country’s situation made of Ataturk a hero that Turkish people still respect till today years after his decease. And they all have a common challenge to keep going on the path that Ataturk has drawn.
With this, “Cumhuriyet bayramınız kutlu olsun”…
[i] pact signed at the port of Mudros, on the Aegean island of Lemnos, between the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain (representing the Allied powers) marking the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I (1914–18).
[ii] Established on 23rd of April 1920.