The Radical Changes Atatürk Brought Under The Garb Of Secularism

The Radical Changes Atatürk Brought Under The Garb Of Secularism

  1. An old Turkish word used for pagan Turkic deities, replaced the customary Allah. Turkish call to prayer replaced the traditional Arabic summons. The press referred to Islam as an “Arab religion.”
  2. Atatürk banned the use of Arabo-Persian Ottoman script and replaced it with a Latin one. In place of the Majalla— the hybrid Ottoman legal code produced in the nineteenth century, he imported the Swiss Civil Code banishing Islamic law from every aspect of social life.
  3. Atatürk decried Islamic precepts and conventions such as almsgiving and hospitality as “rules and regulations made in the desert 1300 years ago” that were no longer practical in the present.
  4. Followers of Atatürk even attacked the fundamental Muslim ritual of worship (namaz) on the grounds that a modern person could not waste his precious time performing a religious rite five times a day.
  5. In 1913, a leading Westernist, Kılıçzâde Hakkı, whom Atatürk later made a parliamentary deputy, issued a blueprint of a future society in which the madrasahs were abolished, hat took the place of fez, dervish lodges were closed down and state took control of religion.
  6. In promoting European attire (including the compulsory hat introduced for Turkish bureaucrats in 1925), it was instructed that “he who says he is civilized should demonstrate it in his way of dressing.” To oppose Western dress was to choose to “live with superstitions and ideas of the middle ages, instead of embracing the civilization that could dig holes in mountains, fly in the skies, and observe things ranging from molecules, which could not be seen with the naked eye, to stars.”

Religion was replaced with nationalism, and religious sentiment with ethnic identification.

Mustafa Kemal acclaimed the treatise:

“Din Yok Milliyet Var: Benim Dinim, Benim Türklü ümdür”

(There Is No Religion, Just Nationality: My Turkishness Is My Religion)


Reference: “Ataturk: An Intellectual Biography” by M. Şükrü Hanioğlu

Research by Fidato


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