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1923: How did Turkey Become a Republic?

1923: How did Turkey Become a Republic?
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Story Highlights

  • historical event:
  • The first President of the Republic of Turkey was the famous Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. His surname means “Father of the Turks”, and it was officially given to him in 1934.

This day is celebrated as Republic Day in Turkey, because on that day in 1923 Turkey was officially declared a republic. The first President of Turkey was the famous Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. His surname means “Father of the Turks”, and it was officially given to him in 1934. Namely, surnames in Turkey were officially introduced only on that day. Mustafa Kemal was thus given an honorific surname, which no other citizen was allowed to bear, according to a provision enacted by the Turkish parliament.

The Turkish government introduced many reforms in the early years of the Republic, with the goal of secularizing and modernizing the society, mostly according to Western models. The Caliphate was abolished, civil law was introduced, and women were given political rights. Furthermore, new regulations regarding clothing and headgear were also introduced.

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