Kemalist Revolution

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kemalist Revolution

 

the common name for the anti-imperialist, bourgeois nationalist revolution in Turkey.

The Kemalist Revolution broke out after Turkey’s defeat in World War I, when the country was threatened with complete loss of independence. The Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia exerted great influence on the outbreak and course of the Kemalist Revolution. The revolution was centered in Anatolia, where at the end of 1918 and the beginning of 1919 a spontaneous popular movement arose against the occupation of a number of regions by the Entente powers (Great Britain, France, and Italy). After the occupation of Izmir by Greece on May 15,1919, the movement grew into a war of liberation.

The Anatolian peasants created the first armed force of the revolution, partisan detachments called national forces. The small proletariat, concentrated chiefly in the occupied regions, was still weak and as yet lacked its own political party: the Communist Party of Turkey arose in 1920, once the national liberation struggle was under way. The Anatolian national bourgeoisie (mostly merchants), which led the Kemalist Revolution, aimed at preserving the country’s territorial integrity and at creating an independent Turkish national state. The patriotic circles of the petite bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia, and especially army officers played a significant role in the Kemalist Revolution; the leader of the revolution, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Atatürk), was an officer.

In September 1919, the Sivas Congress of National Bourgeois Organizations (the so-called Associations for the Defense of Rights) elected the leading group of the revolution, the Representative Committee, headed by Kemal. After establishing its headquarters in Ankara at the end of 1919, the committee began to function as a provisional government. In March 1920 the imperialist occupation forces disbanded the parliament in Istanbul that had been convened in January at the request of the Kemalists and that had adopted the declaration of independence, known as the National Pact, of January 28. The Representative Committee countered by calling the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on Apr. 23, 1920, which proclaimed itself the sole lawful authority in the country. The sultan’s government in Istanbul had by this time lost much of its influence, and its efforts to suppress the national liberation movement—by organizing reactionary rebellions in Anatolia and by transferring the caliphate army there—were unsuccessful. In June 1920 the imperialist powers, using the Greek Army, initiated open intervention against the Ankara government. Moreover, they began to exert pressure on the sultan’s government and obtained its agreement to the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920.

In early 1921 the regular army created by the Grand National Assembly to replace the partisan detachments halted the advance of the foreign troops, subsequently inflicting a number of defeats on them. By the autumn of 1922 the National Assembly’s army had completely liberated Turkey from foreign occupation forces. The Soviet state’s moral, political, and material support substantially assisted the Turkish people. It was the first state to recognize the government of combatant Turkey and to conclude a treaty of friendship and brotherhood with Turkey (March 1921), giving the Turks arms, matériel, and more than 10 million rubles in gold.

At the Lausanne Conference of 1922–23, the imperialist powers were forced to cancel the Treaty of Sèvres and to recognize Turkey’s independence. The Kemalist Revolution and subsequent reforms, including the abolition of the sultanate in 1922, the proclamation of a republic in 1923, and the abolition of the caliphate in 1924, transformed Turkey into a secular bourgeois republic.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch. 5th ed., vol. 30, p. 247; vol. 37, pp. 118, 167–68; vol. 41, pp. 216, 227; vol. 42, pp. 353–54; vol. 45, pp. 238–40.
Kemal Mustafa. Put’ novoi Turtsii. vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1929–34. (Translated from Turkish.)
Kemal Atatürk, Mustafa. Izbrannye rechi i vystupleniia. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from Turkish.)
Miller, A. F. Ocherki noveishei istorii Turtsii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Miller, A. F. “Formirovanie politicheskikh vzgliadov Kemalia Atatiurka.” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1963, no. 5.
Shamsutdinov, A. M. Natsional’no-osvoboditel’naia bor’ba ν Turtsii 1918–1923 gg. Moscow, 1966. (Bibliography.)
Kheifets, A. N. Sovetskaia diplomatiia i narody Vostoka, 1921–1927. Moscow, 1968.
Selek, S. Anadolu lhtiläli. Istanbul, 1968.
Atatürk ve Devrimleri tarihi bibliografyasi. Ankara, 1968.

A. M. SHAMSUTDINOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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