ISSN: 1011-727X
e-ISSN: 2667-5420

Zafer Gölen

Keywords: Atatürk, Turkish History, Turkish Historical Society, Turkish History Thesis, Universal History


Atatürk undertook very radical innovation movements just after the Turkish National Struggle for Independence the shape. He wished that the Turkish Nation would take its right position among the World Nations. The foundations of the new-established country were built, and at the same time he made an intensive effort in order to correct the country's prestige and position abroad. At the beginning of twentieth century, the West treated all the East, naturally including the Turks, as the second-class people and expressed this in every chance Mustafa Kemal, who was quite awere of this condition, made the decision that history should be studied intensively in order to oppose the accusitions of Turks (by the West), which sometimes reached the level of insult; to introduce the real identity of the Turkish Nation to the World; to get rid of the current understanding of chronological history and to pass to the understanding of social history. The Turkish History Thesis was suggested as a result of the studies which had been carried out. It was brought to light that the Turkish History was not limited with the İslam History or Ottoman History and before the İslam there had been a Turkish History which was full of at least as many accomplishments as the Post-Islam History. He pointed out that history did not only consist of chronology, and charged the Turkish historicians with thw duty of revealing the contributions of human beings to the history in the direction of a studying plan that aimed at revealing the culture and civilization of the Turkish History. To achieve this goal he founded the Turkish Historical Society in 1931. Attracting attention to both national and universal sides of history, he emphasized that history had to be used for international friendship and peace. His interest in history had never become less till his death in 1938, on the contrary he participated in ali of the historical studies which were carried out in this time or follewed the studies at close range.