Democracy and Freedom according to Atatürk

One of the great contemporary and modern democratic politicians, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey, wrote:

Democracy and Freedom

It must never be forgotten that there are ignorant and inattentive people who want the nation to be dominated by one person or certain people in order to gain advantage over them. (January 1923)

According to the world, our greatest power and strength is our new nature and formation. (1922)

Government cannot be built on fear.
A government built on unlawfulness can never be permanent.
That kind of domination and dictatorship may be necessary during a time of revolution. (March 1930)

Every person has the right and freedom of thought, belief, possessing a political opinion, the choice to fulfil or not to fulfil the requirements of his chosen religion.
Nobody can dominate other opinions and consciences.

The freedom of conscience must be considered as one of the most important natural rights of a person and may not be infringed upon.

Freedom is absolutely doing what is wished and wanted.

This definition is the widest meaning of freedom.
In this sense of freedom, people have never enjoyed such a freedom and will never do so.
As known, Man is a creature of nature. Even nature itself is not absolutely free but depends on universal laws. Therefore, in nature, Man firstly depends on nature’s laws, conditions, reasons and factors.
For example, to be born or not has never been up to humans and is not so.
After the human was born, even at the first moment, he is indigent to nature and its creatures.
He needs to be protected, to be fed, to be taken care of and to be brought up. (1930)

Freedom and independence are my characteristics.

There are death and decay in a country lacking freedom.
The mother of development and liberation is freedom. (1906)

No matter how urgent the crises, those emerged from freedom are safer than under the fake security that the strong oppression provides. (1930)

In contemporary democracies, the individual freedoms have special value and importance.
From now on, these individual freedoms may be subject neither to the state nor to personal intervention.
However, such valuable individual freedom cannot be taken to be absolute in a civilized and democratic nation.
What is meant by freedom is social and civilized human freedom.
Therefore, while thinking of individual freedom, every individual’s and the entire nation’s common interests and the existence of the state must be taken into consideration.

The rights and freedoms of others and the nation’s common interests limit individual freedom.

Unconditional, unrestricted sovereignty belongs to the people.

— Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first presi...

Portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first president of the Republic of Turkey and a great leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



It is really a shame to see that so much of this important leader his good works are destroyed over the last few years.

He was one of the courageous men who did think more of the people around him than about himself. He was one of those exceptions in history who embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms, seeking to transform the former region  (the Ottoman Empire) into a modern, secular, and democratic nation-state. He understood that the future of a country lies in the education and therefore should the state bring free primary education. Also the foundation of a free society would be the primal condition, having its citizens with equal rights and the allowance to be religious like they prefer or to be non-religious. But with nobody charging the other to think or worship this or an other way.

It is a pity to notice that the sacrosanct fundamental pillars of the Atatürkish or Kemalist  ideology are now in danger.

  • What’s the point of a national curriculum? (
    It seems to me that there are many kinds of oppression but only two kinds of freedom; individual and collective. Individual freedom is effectively about the free market; you are free to choose the option that you prefer, provided that you can afford the cost. Collective freedom operates through the workings of democracy in a free society; a debate forms, all parties are free to express their opinions on the issues at hand without prejudice, and a decision is made by a democratic body that is binding on all concerned.
  • What kind of idea of freedom do we need for the working of a multicultural society? (
    excellence is proposed as an alternative to “freedom of indifference”, the nominalist understanding of freedom which is operant today. Freedom for excellence is the freedom that serves as a means to happiness and human flourishing.
  • Take a stand against government control of our lives (
    In a discussion a few days ago a gentleman asked me, “what is Individual Freedom, or Liberty?” It really caused me pause for a moment, for I, like most Americans, have always taken it for granted. Since being born and raised in America, I have never personally experienced government oppression, as have so many billions of people all over this world throughout history. So I began a search to answer for myself the real meaning of Individual Freedom, and also Is America an exceptional country because of it? Barack Obama said publicly he does not believe it is. Hearing a president of the United States make that statement struck me like a bolt of lightning.
  • Freedom and democracy: Two sides of the same coin (
    The public debate which is currently being waged inside the Guardian and between that newspaper and the Express, is a fascinating mix of issues and personalities.

    Much heat is evident, generated to a large degree by individual vanities, personal and corporate, but there is an insufficiency of light mainly because the discussion is being conducted at cross-purposes. The protagonists are screaming at each other but in a language which is not common to both of them. The Guardian trumpets its position as a “guardian of democracy”; the Express beats the “drum of freedom”.

    Democracy and freedom are distinct through related concepts. Meaningful, popular, representative and participatory democracy is inconceivable without individual liberty or freedom. But “democracy” and “freedom” respectively asks and answers fundamentally different questions…
    Democracy provides the basis for orderliness; the absence of it inevitably leads to anarchy and disorder. Freedom cannot thrive in disorder, anarchy, or anomie (normlessness).  On the other hand, the  Express appears to be extolling the value or virtue of individual liberty/freedom to such an extent that it is prepared to open the door of freedom of expression (freedom of the press) to irresponsibility. Its caveat in this regard, however, suggests that “this freedom to be irresponsible” ought to be avoided or contained but does not offer any signposts as to the extent to which this “irresponsibility” ought to be permitted.


  • National Security (
    Where a serious problem arises is when the need for security is seen greater than the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. The argument being founders could have never foreseen the technological advances of today. Maybe not but what they did see was a need to preserve the very principals that the country was founded on. The God given rights of a person to be free. With that, they built in many “firewalls” some of which have already been breached.
  • Intresting Subject (
    Individual freedom means freedom from the controls and the powers to govern.

    Self-Reliance means people should take care of themselves and solve their own problems.
    1787, when they (the British settlers) wrote the Constitution for their new nation, they separated church and state so that there would never be a goverment supported church. Also, they expressly forbade titles of nobility to ensure that an aristocratic would not develop.
    Self-Reliance that is a price is paid for individual freedom. People can’t depend on the government to fix their lives. They have to take responsibility for life choices. We have to “stand on their own teo feet”. When people are dependent, they risk losing freedom and they may also lose the respect of their peers.


  • McCormick Freedom Project (
    The McCormick Freedom Project in Chicago, formerly the McCormick Freedom Museum, promotes an informed participation in democracy by showing the importance of the First Amendment. The project demonstrates the role of the amendment in the struggle to defend and define freedom. Through widespread outreach initiatives, the audiences enhance their comprehension of the First Amendment as well as its importance to democracy, participate in civic dialogue, and prepare for their function as citizens. The McCormick Freedom Project falls under the McCormick Foundation. Initiated in 2006, the project aims to spread awareness via their mobile museum, their website, Discovery Trunks, and lesson plans.
  • Individual Freedom and Self Reliance (
    If Individual Freedom and Self-reliance do not exist in US, everything will break. Individual Freedom means people can do what they want, and people choose their lives. The government can’t tell them what to do. Individual Freedom is the number one values in the US.
  • Values substituting order (
    In a society controlled by natural principles values of freedom and equality are not discussed much; and these expressions are used like other terms for of descrition of a status quo. It is clear that freedom may not be perceived in a family where obvious mutual commitment and interdependence are present. In a democratic mechanism it is natural that there must be freedom of speech. In a market economy, freedom of creation and advertising is essential. Once, however, there is an unnatural state of oppression, dictatorship, or undeserved inequalities, these concepts become meaningful. Also, these values represent order in a society which lost it, and which overcame these natural mechanisms.
English: Human Rights logo: "FREE AS A MA...

Human Rights logo: « Free as a man ». Русский: Свободен как человек, победитель в международном конкурсе логотипа, символзириюущего Прав человека, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
This entry was posted in B4Peace, History, News and Politics, Religion, Thoughts of others and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Democracy and Freedom according to Atatürk

  1. Pingback: The Myth of Democracy « Vindicius

  2. Pingback: Censorship possible by a person and his organisation | Marcus' s Space

  3. Pingback: Re-Post — The Myth of Democracy | Vindicius

Feel free to react - Voel vrij om te reageren

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.