In the decade or so following his election as president of the first Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal, true to his word, used the considerable power he had acquired to force through a wide-ranging series of reforms, designed to transform Turkey into a modern, westernised, secular nation state. In March 1924, determined to strike at the heart of the old order, he had the Caliphate and the office of the Sheikh-ill-Islam abolished, and the Ministries of Serial (Religious Law) and Evkaf (Pious Foundations) replaced by a Directorate of Religious Affairs, under the direct control of the prime minister. At the same time, in a move designed to secure public control of the medreses (religious schools), he had a Law for the Unification of Public Instruction enacted, which placed all educational institutions under the control of the Ministry of Education. In April he had the Serial courts abolished, and he had a new constitution promulgated, which in confirming the new order, based on the principle of the sovereignty of the nation, effectively secularised all legal processes. In September 1925, following a revolt among the Kurdish tribes, inspired in part by supporters of the Caliphate, he had the numerous dervish orders, brotherhoods and sects operating in Turkey dissolved, and the wearing of religious vestments or insignia by a person not holding a recognised religious office banned. In November he had the famous Hat Law enacted, forbidding the wearing of the fez, the primary outward manifestation of religious affiliation; and in December he had the Gregorian calendar officially adopted. In 1926-30 he had new codes of law, based for

the most part on the Swiss civil code, the Italian penal code and the German commercial code, enacted; and in 1928 he had the Arabic script replaced by a suitably adapted version of the Latin script. In 1934 he had a law enacted obliging every Turkish citizen to adopt a surname - it was at this time that Mustafa Kemal was given the name Atatiirk (Father of the Turks) by the Grand National Assembly - and another abolishing all non-military titles. Finally, in 1935 he had the day of rest transferred from Friday to Sunday, in order that it might coincide with the day adopted in the west. 1

Opinions differ on whether Mustafa Kemal had elaborated a master-plan for the series of reforms he carried out in the decade or so following the foundation of the republic. Kinross (1964, pp.378-9) suggests that he had, while Dumont (in Landau J. M. 1984, p. 25), Akural (in Landau J. M. 1984, p. 126) and Yapp (1991, p. 155) conclude that his approach was largely pragmatic, dictated by the pressure of events. One way or another, there is no doubt regarding the motivation that inspired the changes he introduced - a desire to secure the complete secularisation of the Turkish state. Only thus, he believed, would it be possible for the Turkish people to free themselves from the deleterious influence exercised by the religious classes, the hocas, imams and khatibs, who had for centuries encouraged them to sacrifice themselves in the pursuit of the unattainable ideal of a universal Islamic state; and only thus would it be possible for them to construct a 'state of society entirely modern and completely civilised in spirit and form'.2 Not that Mustafa Kemal was necessarily irreligious. On the contrary, he frequently asserted his belief in the validity of the fundamental principles of the Islamic faith, which he believed to be both rational and natural; and in the Faculty of Divinity, which he established in 1924, he made courses available in the history of Islam, Muslim philosophy, world religions, the psychology of religion and the sociology of religion; but he harboured a profound contempt for the great tribe of sheikhs, dedes, seyyids, ~elebis, babas and emirs, the play-actors of religion, who had for centuries, as he once put it, led the people by the nose. 3

Conservatives and reactionaries frequently argued that modernisation did not necessarily imply westernisation, that Islamic civilisation was capable of generating its own version of an advanced society; but for Mustafa Kemal no doubt

existed, for, as he once remarked in the course of a speech delivered at the opening of a faculty of law in Ankara in 1925, only by means of westernisation was the nation likely to secure its survival:

The Turkish Revolution signifies a transformation far broader than the word revolution suggests ... It means replacing an age-old political unity based on religion with one based on another tie, that of nationality. This nation has now accepted the principle that the only means of survival for nations in the international struggle for existence lies in the acceptance of the contemporary Western civilization.4