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Modern Turkey

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Modern Turkish Period (1923-Present)

1923 Establishment of the Turkish Republic with Ataturk as its first president

1924 Abolition of Caliphate

1925-38 Ataturk's program of reforms to modernize Turkey

1938 Death of Ataturk; Ismet Inonu becomes the Republic's second president

1939-45 Despite the alliance with Britain and France, Turkey remains neutral during World War II

1946 Turkey becomes a charter member of United Nations

1950 Turkey enters Korean War as a part of United Nations force; change from a single-party to a multi-party system

1952 Joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The attempt of the victorious Allies to control the Anatolian territory led to the Turkish War of Independence (1918-23).

Following the occupation of Istanbul in 1920 by the British, Italian and French, a Greek army advanced from Izmir deep into Anatolia.

While the sultan offered no resistance, under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Nationalists overturned the postwar settlement embodied in the Treaty of SÐ"©vres (1920) and established the Republic of Turkey, formally recognized by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

Mustafa Kemal retired his military uniform and inspired the people to an even greater task: Transformation of the country into the democratic, secular Republic of Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

1881 Birth of Mustafa in Salonika

1893 Enters Military Secondary School where he is given the name of Kema

1899 Enters War College in Constantinople

1902 Graduates as lieutenant

1905 Posted to 5th Army in Damascus

1907 Posted to 3rd Army in Salonika

1908 "Young Turk" Revolution in Salonika

1911 Posted to General Staff in Constantinople; goes to Tobruk and Derna with Turkish Forces, promoted to Major

1912 Balkan War; severe defeat, returns home

1913 Appointed Military AttachÐ"© in Sofia

1914 Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel; Turkey signs secret alliance with Germany; Russia, Britain and France declare war on Turkey

1915 Appointed to reorganize 9th Division, in Thrace; unsuccessful allied naval attack on Dardanelles; allied military landing at Ariburnu (Anzac); promoted to colonel; appointed to command 16th Army Corps

1916 Allied evacuation of Gallipoli Peninsula; transferred to Caucasus front; promoted to General and Pasa

1917 Returns to Constantinople

1919 Appointed Inspector-General in Anatolia; lands in Samsun; issues "Declaration of Independence" at Amasya; ordered by Government to return; resigns from the army; Nationalist Congress at Sivas and Erzurum; National Pact; new parliament elected; headquarters at Angora

1920 (April 23) First Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) at Ankara

1921 Consecutive battles against different enemies; given title of Gazi and rank of Marshal by TGNA

1922 Izmir is retaken; proclaims abolition of Sultanate

1923 Treaty of Lausanne; People's Party; Second GNA; Angora (Ankara) becomes capital; proclamation of the Republic; becomes President; marries Latife in Izmir

1925 Divorces Latife

1938 Death of Ataturk; succession of Ismet Inonu as President of the Republic

Thousands of his statues or busts and millions of his photos have been erected or hung all over the country. His name has been given to countless institutions, buildings, streets, parks and suchlike.

Foreigners unaware of his accomplishments might think that the Turks are a bit obsessed with a man now dead for approximately 60 years.

No other nation on earth has loved a leader as much as the Turkish nation loves Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

"Mustafa Kemal Ataturk differed from the dictators of his age in two significant respects; his foreign policy was based not on expansion but on retraction of frontiers; his home policy on the foundation of a political system which could survive his own time. It was in this realistic spirit that he regenerated his country, transforming the old sprawling Ottoman Empire into a compact new Turkish Republic.

....I don't act for public



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