Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Atatürkist Thought System
Atatürkism is a contemporary thought system that aims to ensure the Turkish nation attains the level of contemporary civilization as soon as possible as an advanced society under the guidance of reason and science and leads a happy life as an independent, equal and honorable member of the family of nations within the framework of democratic and secular rules. Its principles originate from the needs and demands of the Turkish society. This thought system is given various names including Atatürkism, Kemalism, Atatürk's Path, Atatürk's Ideology and Kemalist ideology. However, no matter which of these terms is used, the emphasis is on the system of thought formed by Atatürk's principles and revolutions as a whole.
Atatürkism requires us to make continuous progress and attain a continuous development on the path towards modernization. The medium that will prepare us for such development and progress is the secular state and the secular social order. That is why any progress in a developing and progressing Turkey will take place in the light of Atatürkist thought and within the secular and democratic social order based on Atatürk's principles and reforms. That is the way to civilization. That is where the way to civilization crosses.
The importance and value of the Atatürkist Thought System for the Turkish nation: As the Atatürkist Thought System responds to the requirements of tomorrow as well as today in the light of reason and logic and symbolizes a modern vision that always renews itself, it will eternally retain its value in time as the inevitable life philosophy and indispensable lifestyle of each generation. It is the aim of Atatürkism to comply with the requirements of time and remain contemporary in all ages. The importance and value of the Atatürkist thought system for the Turkish nation concentrates on this point.
The Source of the Atatürkist Thought System: The Atatürkist thought stems from the realities of the country, the needs and demands of the Turkish nation and ultimately from the pages of Turkish history. In this respect, it is not an individual thought but a thought that emanates from the national conscience and symbolizes the common aspirations and tendencies of our nation. Accepting that science is the most genuine guide in life, Atatürkism will remain valid as it is today on the way to modernization thanks to the value it attaches to reason and science. Unless reason, science and technique are adopted as the sole guide and unless their respective rules and methods are adopted, no progress is possible in any area. It is thus the Great Leader points out to the path we should follow in his following statement: "The torch the Turkish nation holds in hand and in mind on the way to progress and civilization it has set out is positive science."
Features of the Atatürkist Thought System: The most distinctive feature of the Atatürkist thought system is that it openly points the way to development in the light of reason and science. This is the focus of its aspect that prevents Atatürk's principles from dogmatization and keeps them clear from dogmatization. According to the Atatürkist thought system, “Science is the most genuine guide in life. Seeking guidance except for science is negligence, ignorance and deviation from the right path." Indeed, the following statement by Atatürk manifestly emphasizes this feature of the thought system he established. “I leave no doctrine, no dogma, no fixed stereotype or rule behind as my moral heritage. My moral heritage is science and reason. Those who want to adopt my ideas after I cease to exist will become my spiritual heirs if they accept the guidance of reason and knowledge on this basic axis." These are the eternal statements forming the essence of the Atatürkist though system of the great savior.
Science and the Truth
when we refer to the ignorant, we do not mean those who have not studied at schools. What we mean is not knowing science and the truth. Otherwise, it is possible for the well-educated to emerge as the greatest ignorant individuals or the illiterate individuals to emerge as real intellectuals who have discovered the truth.
Teachers! It is you, the devoted teachers and educators of the Republic, that will raise the new generation. And the new generation will be your masterpiece. The value of the masterpiece will be directly proportional to the extent of your dexterity and self-sacrifice.
It is only and exclusively teachers who save the nation. A nation that lacks teachers and educators has not yet attained the aptitude to be called a nation.