Mustafa Kemal Ataturk quotes and sayings
Kemal Atatürk, (Turkish: “Kemal, Father of Turks”) original name Mustafa Kemal, also called Mustafa Kemal Paşa, (born 1881, Salonika [now Thessaloníki], Greece—died November 10, 1938, Istanbul, Turkey), soldier, statesman, and reformer who was the founder and first president (1923–38) of the Republic of Turkey. He modernized the country’s legal and educational systems and encouraged the adoption of a European way of life, with Turkish written in the Latin alphabet and with citizens adopting European-style names.
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A healthy mind in a healthy body.
A nation deprived of art and artist will never live life to it’s fullest. Such a nation would be crippled, one-armed, disabled and diseased. A nation without art will have one of it’s vital veins ruptured. Art is the expression of aesthetics… When you express it with words, it is called a poem, when you use melodies we call it music, when it’s through embellishment it’s painting, through carving it’s sculpturing and when you use structures it’s architecture
A nation devoid of art and artists cannot have a full existence.
A nation which makes the final sacrifice for life and freedom does not get beaten.
A society striving for civilisation, progress and sophistication needs to construct sculptures and raise sculptors.
Armies, your first goal is the Mediterranean. Forward !
Artists are the first to feel the sun on their forehead after strenuous efforts and long struggles in a society.
As they have come, so they will go.
Authority, without any condition and reservation, belongs to the nation..
Being successful in fine arts is the main indicator of success of our revolution. It’s a pity for those nations who haven’t accomplished this. Despite their achievements, such a nation will be bereft of high standards of humanity and civilisation.
By advancing in sculpting, which is one of the main indicators of progress, our intellectual and faithful nation will declare the memories of our ancestors and future generations to the whole world with beautiful sculptures in every corner of country.
Civilization is none other than culture itself.
Culture is the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
Do not be afraid of telling the truth.
Every nation as the right to demand proper treatment and no country should violate the territory of any other country.
Everyone can be a congressman, a minister, even a president; but not everyone can be an artist. The interest and efforts that the parliament will show in every branch of art, would be effectual at improving our nation’s civilised and humane well-being as well as the efficiency of it’s vigour.
Everything we see in the world is the creative work of women.
Following the military triumph we accomplished by bayonets, weapons and blood, we shall strive to win victories in such fields as culture, scholarship, science and economics.
For the Turk, freedom is his life.
Freedom consists of man’s ability to do what he thinks and desires, without any influence or intervention by others. This is the widest definition of the concept. Mankind has ever attained liberty to this extent and never will. Because as is known, men are creations of Nature and the Nature itself is not absolutely free either; it is subject to universal laws.
Full pleasure and happiness in life can be found only in working for the honor and happiness of future generations.
Hands of an artist are to be kissed; those who are artists shall not kiss hands!
Happy is he who says, “I am a Turk”.
Humankind is made up of two sexes, women and men. Is it possible for humankind to grow by the improvement of only one part while the other part is ignored? Is it possible that if half of a mass is tied to earth with chains that the other half can soar into skies?
Humans have delicate, high and noble emotions and it’s with these emotions a person truly lives. The one who is most sensitive to these delicate, deep, high, noble emotions and who can portray them for other people to feel, is a poet.
I am not ordering you to attack, I am ordering you to die.
I forgive them, because I have a heart. They do not forgive me because they have none.
I have always sided with one thing: I am for the Republic and for intellectual and social reforms.
I have been able to teach many things to this nation, but I haven’t been able to teach how to be lackeys.
I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap.
I will lead my people by the hand along the road until their feet are sure and they know the way. Then they may choose for themselves and rule themselves. Then my work will be done.
In all branches of fine arts, I know how you think about the progress of our nation’s youth. Steps towards this, is already taken. But the priority has to be Turkish music in this progress. Understanding reformation in music is of foremost importance in the reformation of a nation.
Justice is the infrastructure of proprietorship.
Let them worship as they will, every man can follow his own conscience provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow men.
Let us admit it: A nation which cares not for painting, a nation which builds no statues, a nation which does not meet the exigencies of science and technology deserves no place on the path towards development.
Let’s love these kids who devoted their lives to a great form of art.
Liberty and independence are my character.
Life does not need music. Because life is music. Beings that have no connection with music are not human beings. When we speak of life, in the form of human life, music will be in existence. Without music, life would not exist. Music is the joy, soul, happiness and the entirety of life.
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.
My people are going to learn the principles of democracy the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go.
Now Turkey is far from being the scene of religious or shariah schemes. If there are any who desire such schemes they would be well advised to seek other stages for themselves.
One day my mortal body will turn to dust, but the Turkish Republic will stand forever.
One of the historic aspects of an elevated society such as the Turkish nation, is the love for fine arts and to ascend with it. Because of this, it should be our social ideal to apply and develop our nation’s high character, steadfast vigour, intelligence, devotion to science, love for fine arts and sense of national unity perpetually with every resource and all the precautions we can take.
Only the Teachers and educators are the saviors of nations. A nation wanting of these cannot yet be called a nation. It may be called an ordinary mass but not a nation.
Our great ideal is to raise our nation to the highest standard of civilization and prosperity.
Our nation has succeeded owing to the unshakable unity it has shown in its actions and endeavors.
Our true mentor in life is science.
Peace at home, peace in the world.
Sophistication has specific needs. Imagine a nation that can’t paint, can’t sculpt, a nation which does not full fill the necessities of technology; one must confess that such a nation has no chance in progression.
Sovereignty is not given, it is taken.
Teachers are the one and only people who save nations..
Teachers: the new generation will be your devotion.
The Caliphate is nothing but a myth of the past having no place in modern times.
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.
The French Revolution which spread the idea of liberty to the entire World still constitutes the principal source thereof. However, since then humanity has progressed much. The Turkish democracy has, while following in the footsteps of the French Revolution, nevertheless developed in line with its own qualities and characteristics. Because each nation realizes its own reforms in due consideration of conditions resulting from the pressures and the needs of its own social environment, and of the time when such revolution reforms do take place.
The future is in the skies.
The modern Turkish society, with its women and men being equal in every right, is a creation of recent years.
The People of Turkey which formed the Republic of Turkey are called The Turkish Nation.
The Turkish Nation consists of the valiant descendants of a people that has lived independently and has considered independence the sole condition of existence. This nation has never lived without freedom, cannot and never will.
The Turkish Republic will be happy, prosperous and victorious.
The Turkish State is secular. Every individual reaching maturity is free in choosing his or her religion.
There are two Mustafa Kemal’s. One is the flesh-and-bone Mustafa Kemal who now stands before you and who will pass away. The other is you, all of you here who will go to the far corners of our land to spread the idealswhich must be defended with your lives if necessary. I stand for the nation’s dreams, and my life’s work is to make them come true.
There will be no bolshevism in Turkey. Because the foremost objective of the Turkish Government is to assure the liberty and the happiness of its people.
This nation has not lived without her independence. She will not and cannot live without it. Liberty or death!
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives (at Gallipoli battles).. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.. You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now living in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight.
To see me does not necessarily mean to see my face. To understand my thoughts is to have seen me.
Turkey’s true master is the peasant.
Unless a nation’s life faces peril, war is murder.
Unlimited liberties are inconceivable. Even the right to live, the greatest of rights, is not absolute.
Victory is for those who can say “Victory is mine”. Success is for those who can begin saying “I will succeed” and say “I have succeeded” in the end.
We do not accept a religion which ignores fine arts.
We Turks are a people who, throughout our history, have been the very embodiment of freedom and independence.
You will see my children, in the future everything will be done from the sky. All wars and civilizations will be in the skies above. That’s why we must give great importance to the air force. The future is in the sky.
Ataturk’s Address to Turkish Youth
Turkish Youth, Your first duty is to preserve and to defend Turkish Independence and the Turkish Republic forever. This is the very foundation of your existence and your future. This foundation is your most precious treasure. In the future, too, there may be malevolent people at home and abroad, who will wish to deprive you of this treasure. If some day you are compelled to defend your independence and your Republic, you must not hesitate to weigh the possibilities and circumstances of the situation before doing your duty. These possibilities and circumstances may turn out to be extremely unfavorable. The enemies conspiring against your independence and your Republic may have behind them a victory unprecedented in the annals of the world.
It may be that, by violence and trickery, all the fortresses of your beloved fatherland may be captured, all its shipyards occupied, all its armies dispersed and every corner of the country invaded. And sadder and graver than all these circumstances, those who hold power within the country may be in error, misguided and may even be traitors. Furthermore, they may identify personal interests with the political designs of the invaders. The country may be impoverished, ruined and exhausted. Youth of Turkey’s future, even in such circumstances it is your duty to save Turkish Independence and the Republic. You will find the strength you need in your noble blood.
Ankara, 20th October 1927