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October 29, 1923, is a fateful date in Turkish history. On that date, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the liberator of his country, proclaimed the Republic of Turkey. The new homogeneous nation state stood in sharp contrast to the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire out of whose ashes it arose. The dynastic and theocratic Ottoman system, with its Sultanate and Caliphate, thus came to an end. Ataturk’s Turkey dedicated itself to the sovereignty of the national will — to the creation of, in the President’s words, “the state of the people.”

Ataturk established basic principles for the young Turkish Republic stressing the republican form of government, secular administration, nationalism, populism, mixed economy with state participation in many vital sectors and modernization. “Ataturkism,” as the sixth principle is widely called, introduced to Turkey the process of parliamentary and participatory democracy together with an evolving and dynamic societal structure. The first Moslem nation to become an independent Republic, Turkey has served since the early 1920s as a model of modernization developing nations. 

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