Sunday, January 14, 2007

The philosophy of Ataturk


NPP Ataturk Portraits
Ataturk's Eyes
Quotes by or about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
2006 161st Police Anniversary
2001 Lutfi Kirdar I.C.E.C.
1999 Ataturk Smiles at The Marmara Taksim
An alternative view of Ataturk

Among the most well known statements attributed to Ataturk is:
YURTTA SULH, CIHANDA SULH
PEACE AT HOME, PEACE IN THE WORLD
This Ottoman phrase was bequeathed to the Republic of Turkey as a standard bearer quote and philosophy for a nation, when Ataturk died in 1938.

Turkey has been negotiating to join the EU since 1963 and as theocratic ideologies jostle with secular constitutions throughout the world, Ataturk and Turkey make for particularly relevant study. It is appropriate to consider the principles of a leader from that bridging point where East meets West; where the Christian world meets the Muslim world; where Asia meets Europe.

Each year on 10 November at 9.05hr, Turks stop; they leave their vehicles, they stand in silence and remembrance. This is the anniversary of the death of Ataturk.

The first of many Ataturk portraits produced by NPP was completed in 1997. At the beginning of 2001, the 3.5m x 2m Ataturk Gulumsuyor-Ataturk Smiles, as shown above, was installed at The Lutfi Kirdar International Conference & Exhibition Centre. It was generally unusual to see portraits of Ataturk smiling.

In 2006 NPP donated an Ataturk portrait to the Istanbul Police Force in the presence of Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler and Istanbul Chief of Police Celalettin Cerrah.

In 2006 NPP were commissioned by ATU to produced Ataturk’s Eyes for Esenboga Airport which serves the nation's capital Ankara. The Eyes image has been produced for posters, T-shirts and to publicly commemorate national days.

Why did an Englishman paint Ataturk? NPP's first portrait of Ataturk was purely a fun challenge in response to so many Ataturk portraits displayed throughout the country which tended to appear rather dour. One of the definitive principles of Ataturk’s reforms was the fundamental right of freedom of conscious. By painting Ataturk, it is hoped to highlight a character and his principles to many who have little or no understanding of what Turkey is today or was yesterday.

Ataturk’s image is a powerful one symbolising a vision of national unity, education, art, science and liberty for both man and womankind alike. He paid keen attention to literature, music, fashion and the arts and fully appreciated the innovations and philosophies inspired by such.

Among my favourite quotes from Ataturk is:
"Freedom consists of man's ability to do what he thinks and desires without any influence or intervention by others. This is the broadest definition of the concept. Mankind has never attained liberty to this extent and never will because as is known, men are creations of nature and nature itself is not absolutely free either; it is subject to universal laws."
Ataturk c.1930

After Atatürk's speech in 1933, 10 years after the 1923 declaration of independence for The Republic of Turkey, he penned only one other sentence:
"When all the things I say become true, there is only one thing I want from you and all the world: (Please) Remember me."

From a blog called Anti Kemalist:
British Newspaper Article On Mustafa Kemal and Sir Percy Lorraine
http://antikemalist.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html

Einstein's letter to Ataturk: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2012/05/22/einsteins-and-ataturk-part-ii-einsteins-letter/