History Optional Paper- 2 Solution – 1992: Q.5 (d)
Q.5 (d) “Nominally the new Turkey was republican and democratic.” Comment.
Mustafa Kemal Pasa, “Ataturk” or “Father of the Turks” was founder of modern Turkey. He led the foundation of the democratic, secular Republic of Turkey.
In 1923, Turkish Republic was formally proclaimed and Ataturk was unanimously elected as its first President. The new Turkey was in form republican and democratic. There was a written constitution vesting the supreme authority in a National Assembly to be elected every four years by universal suffrage. This Assembly was to elect the President every fourth year.
But in practice the government of Turkey was conducted by Kamal Pasa as a national dictator. There was only one well organised political party, the People’s Party, and Kamal was its leader. As such he controlled the Assembly and ensured his election to the Presidentship. As Commander-in-Chief he controlled the army and ensured obedience to the authority of his government.
Hence, the new Turkey was republican and democratic nominally not practically.