Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey
Gathered round their teacher, Turkish schoolchildren wave books and portraits of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the centenary of whose birth is being celebrated this year throughout the country. There is not a village which does not cherish the memory of the great reformer who created modern Turkey.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, father of modern Turkey, was born one hundred years ago. To mark the centenary, the Turkish permanent delegation to Unesco organized a series of cultural events in Paris earlier this year, including exhibitions, concerts and dancing displays. It was through the educational and cultural reforms brought about by Atatürk that the Turkish people, especially young people and women, were introduced to the twentieth century world.
Turkey's unremitting struggle to pursue its development in the last half century constitutes a particularly notable chapter in the history of the modern world. The reason for this lies in the circumstances of Turkish history. The Ottoman empire is the first and only case of an Islamic empire which, having survived until the early part of the twentieth century, was transformed into a modern secular republic.