What is Kemalism?

Kemalism (Atatürkcülük) is the main structure of realistic ideas and principles about the state, ideologies, economics and the society’s fundamental institution that assure the Turkish Nation’s full independence, peace and welfare for the present and the future, the state’s being dependent on the nation’s solidarity, and the Turkish culture’s standing over the modern civilization with the guidance of reason and science. The individual and national identification of Kemalism and its defence against the deviative and conservative movements of the present and the future is the guarantee of the Turkish State’s development, strength and gilded future.

KemalismThe main principles of Kemalism are:

  1. Republicanism
  2. Nationalism
  3. Populism
  4. Etatism (State socialism)
  5. Secularism
  6. Revolutionism


Kemalism believes that the Republic is the most appropriate way of government to the Turkish Nations’s character and traditions. This is because the Republic organizes the National sovereignty ideal, the free will and soverignty of the nation, the rights and the responsibilities of the state and the citizen to each other, in the finest way possible. The Republic is dependent on a high level of morality, the Republic is a virtue, the Republic breeds a rewarded and honorable nation.


The populace of Turkey that establish the Turkish republic are called the Turkish Nation. The Turkish Nation is a natural, communal, economical and political single body of citizens that are tied to each other by a unity of language, cultur, and ideals. To defend the Turkish Republic following the principles of Kemalism is the Turkish Nation’s primary duty. Also, the Turkish Nation is an independent and honorable member of the community of the World’s Nations, who is well aware of his responsibilities for all humanity.


Along with the understanding of Kemalist Nationalism, populism defends the country against claims of privileges and fights between classes. The basis of being a populist is being a democrat. A populist shall not accept any class disputes, neither shall he acknowledge any privileges to any individual or community except for the common rights given by the law. Kemalist populism believes that all citizens are equal.

Etatism (State Socialism)

The state in order to reach the dynamique ideal as soon as possible, should support and pay attention to the citizens’ studies and acts, especially those which are in the field of economy, in order with the nations common benefits. Etatism is social, moral and national. The state has to assign himself for the primarily important and vital acts and end with success in all fields of life.


In the common definition, secularism is the seperation of religion and the acts of the state. Kemalist secularism believes that the state should provide and defend the citizens’s free will and religion, the religious acts’ being framed and limited only to the practice of the religion and the earthly institutions and acts’ being lead by scientific and technological methods. Kemalist secularism is against the abuse of religion and believes in approaching religion in a rationalistic way. Although scientific and technological improvements are achieved, the need to religion remains.



The principle of revolutionism is based on terminating the out of date institutions and establishing instead, institutions that will facilitate improvement and progress. A society that cannot progress and modernize will collapse, thus the revolutions in the modern world are of vital essence. The basis and reason of all revolutions is to create a civilized nation.

These principles and their practice in the way they are defined in Kemalism assure that the state, the nation, individual rights and responsibilities, the fundamentals of ideas, education, culture, and economy that are the corner stones of the Turkish Republic are to be defended forever.

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