History Optional Paper- 2 Solution – 1996: Q.8

Q.8  Turkish renaissance guided by Kemal Pasha revolutionized the Turkish life at many levels. Amplify.


Kemal Pasha is called “Ataturk” or “Father of the Turk”. He was founder of modern Turkey. He undertook a series of reforms to raise Turkey to a level of modern nation. His reforms were so extensive and deep that it revolutionized the Turkish life at many level. His major reforms were the following:

(1) Political Reforms

The Khaliphate was abolished and Turkey was declared a Republic and democratic nation.
The state was secularised by disestablishment of Islam as a state religion.

(2) Social Reforms

The reform included the abolition of polygamy, civil marriage, introduction of European dress, emancipation of women,
equal rights of men and women.

(3) Legal Reforms

The legal and judicial system of Turkey was based upon old traditions. Kemal Pasha was of the opinion that Turkey must rid herself of her old legal system in order to make her an advanced country of the world.
The civil, penal and commercial codes were elaborated on the basis of western countries. The religious courts were abolished.

(4) Reforms in education

Kemal Pasha was much eager to promote and change the system of education in Turkey according to the western pattern.
He encouraged education both in primary and secondary and set up a public school in every sizable town. Adult education was promoted. Islamic school (Madarsas) were abolished. New universities were opened.
The new Turkish alphabet based on the Latin script (replacing Arabic script) was adopted. It simplified Turkish language and helped in removing illiteracy. He purified Turkish language by eliminating foreign words.
International numeric system and international hours and measurements was introduced. The solar calendar was adopted and the official day of rest of the week from Friday (the Muslim holy day) to Sunday.

(5) Economic Reforms

He subsidized agriculture by free grants of cattle and ploughs to needy. Agricultural collleges were set up. Model farms were set up where latest technology in agriculture was used.

In 1929, a twelve year public works plan was launched to provide railway extension, construction of ports and harbours, irrigation projects.
In 1934, a five year plan was adopted for promoting large scale industrialisation. It provided for establishment of factories both state and private owned, development of hydeo-electric power and working of mines. Though foreign capital and expert advise was taken, Turkish political and economic independence was maintained.
The economic condition of Turkey was improved rapidly.


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