EUST Blog Assignment #3

The top three images all deal with reforms introduced by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as part of his plan to modernize Turkey after the establishment of the Republic. Ataturk reformed nearly every aspect of the Turkish government and society in order to bring it up to the standards of a 20th century western nation. Perhaps his most important reforms were educational. The quote in the top right image shows how Ataturk believed that teachers held a crucial role in implementing his reforms. Without teachers, future generations would not be educated, and Turkey would fall further and further behind other countries. Ataturk’s educational reforms included the introduction of compulsory secular education with an emphasis on science. Ataturk also reformed madrassas, which became significantly less important in Turkey. Perhaps the most important educational reform implemented by Ataturk was the Turkish language’s switch from Arabic to Latin script. The textbook pages in the middle left show how this change was executed. The Turkish state desperately wanted to increase its literacy rates, so it paid for books and classes for all citizens (not just schoolchildren) to learn the new writing system. In just a few years, Turkey’s literacy rate rose from 10% to 70%.

Ataturk reformed other parts of Turkish society, not just the education system. He adamantly believed in the importance of secularism in society, much like the French tenet of laicite. Part of implementing secularism in Turkey included changing the style of dress. Traditionally, Turkish dress included standard Muslim garb, like the turban and hijab, along with the very Ottoman fez. Ataturk banned all of these and encouraged Turks to wear modern western clothes. In the top left image, you can see Ataturk and other Turks wearing three-piece suits and western-style hats. In order to become a modern country, Turkey had to look the part.

The bottom right image shows the invasion plan for Gallipoli. The Allies invaded the Gallipoli peninsula in an attempt to take control of the Dardanelles during World War I. However, poor planning and disease made the campaign drag on from April 1915 all the way until January 1916. Both the Allies and the Turks suffered massive casualties totaling around 250,000 for the British and French and 220,000 for the Turks. Gallipoli ended up being very important in Turkish history because the successful Turkish defense was organized by none other than Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This helped bring him national prominence and admiration, which later helped him become the leader of the new Turkish Republic.

The bottom left image shows a map of Turkish territory established by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). The Treaty ended the conflict between Turkey and the Allied powers of WWI. It guaranteed Turkish sovereignty and recognition. The Treaty caused Turkey to lose some Ottoman territories, including Cyprus, Egypt, Sudan, Thrace, the Dodecanese Islands, and Sudan. Essentially, the Treaty of Lausanne created the borders of modern Turkey. There was also an exchange of Greek and Turkish populations; 1.5 million Christians left Turkey for Greece and 500,000 Muslims left Greece for Turkey.

All the bairns o' Adam

As rules as always – due next Sunday (March 15th) at midnight..

EUST Blog #3

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