Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sigma (letter)

Sigma (letter)[EXTRACT]

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Greek alphabet
Α α Alpha Β β Beta
Γ γ Gamma Δ δ Delta
Ε ε Epsilon Ζ ζ Zeta
Η η Eta Θ θ Theta
Ι ι Iota Κ κ Kappa
Λ λ Lambda Μ μ Mu
Ν ν Nu Ξ ξ Xi
Ο ο Omicron Π π Pi
Ρ ρ Rho Σ σ ς Sigma
Τ τ Tau Υ υ Upsilon
Φ φ Phi Χ χ Chi
Ψ ψ Psi Ω ω Omega
obsolete letters
Digamma San
Qoppa Sampi

Sigma (upper case Σ, lower case σ, lowercase in word-final position ς) is the 18th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 200. When used at the end of a word, and the word is not upper case, the final form (ς) is used.

The letter is ultimately derived from Phoenician Sin . However, its name derives from Samekh.

In Eastern forms of Greek writing (used in the European Greek colonies) and in the Middle Ages, the lunate sigma (upper case C, lower case ϲ) — which resembles like the Latin letter C — was often used. Lunate sigma was frequently used for writing Medieval Greek, and it can still sometimes be seen in inscriptions in Greek Orthodox churches, for example, where, for example, the whole of God's creation may be denoted by the word ΚΟCΜΟC ("cosmos"), which in the modern form of writing Greek would be ΚΟΣΜΟΣ.


Upper case Σ is used as a symbol for ...

Lower case σ is used for ...

Popular culture

In a practice similar to faux Cyrillic, capital sigmas are sometimes used in place of Roman Es to give a Greek flavour to titles or text (for example, the film My Big Fat GRΣΣK Wedding).

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros.[EXTRACT]

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For other uses of the term "Super Mario Bros.", see Super Mario Bros. (disambiguation).
Super Mario Bros.
Box art of Super Mario Bros.
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Latest version
Release date(s) Japan September 13, 1985 United States of America October 1, 1985 Europe 1987
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (2004 NES Classics re-release)
Platform(s) Famicom/NES
Media 320-kilobit cartridge
System requirements

Super Mario Bros. is a video game produced by Nintendo in 1985. Universally considered a classic of the medium, Super Mario Bros. was one of the first side-scrolling platform games of its kind, introducing players to huge, bright, expansive worlds that changed the way video games were created.

Super Mario Bros. is considered by The Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling video game of all time[1], and was largely responsible for the initial success of the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System. It has inspired countless imitators (eventually founding an entire genre) and was one of Shigeru Miyamoto's most influential early successes. The game gave Mario (known as Jumpman in the classic arcade game Donkey Kong), a starring role. Mario, who became Nintendo's mascot, was at one time more recognizable among American children than Mickey Mouse.




Mario jumps on a Goomba in World 8-1.
Mario jumps on a Goomba in World 8-1.

Shigeru Miyamoto described his initial idea for Super Mario Bros. as "a character that bounces around. And the background should be a clear, blue sky."[2]

The player takes the role of Mario, or in the case of a second player, Mario's brother Luigi. The ultimate object is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, evade or eliminate King Koopa/King Bowser's forces, and save the Princess Peach/Princess Toadstool.

Mario's primary attack is simply jumping on top of his enemies, which kills the mushroom traitors, known as Kuribou/Goombas, and sends the turtle soldiers known as Nokonoko/Koopa Troopas into their shells. Mario can then kick these shells into other enemies, which will conveniently dispatch them; but conversely, kicked shells can bounce back off of walls or other vertical obstructions and hit him. Jumping on enough enemies in succession, or kicking a shell into enough enemies in succession (combos), results in double points earned with each enemy killed, eventually earning Mario a 1-up, an extra life and another chance to pass the level.

Aiding him in his quest are several power-ups, including the Super Mushroom, which turns Mario into Super Mario, doubling his size; the Fire Flower, which turns Super Mario into Fiery Mario, allowing him to throw fireballs; Starman, which gives him temporary invincibility; and the 1-up Mushroom.

Mario can be hurt if he touches an enemy. If he takes a hit from an enemy as Super Mario or Fiery Mario, he simply reverts back to regular Mario and the game continues. However, if he takes a hit as regular Mario, falls down a pit (regardless of status), or if the time clock runs out, he loses a life, and starts again. The point where Mario continues depends on how far he ran through the level before dying; either from the very beginning, or at an invisible "checkpoint" halfway through the level. There are no checkpoints in castles (#-4) or in world 8 (8-#).

Mario taking on Bowser at the end of the game.
Mario taking on Bowser at the end of the game.

The game consists of eight worlds with four levels in each. Though each world is substantially different, there are basic similarities: typically the first sub-world is a generic above-ground (overworld) level, the second is in an underground dungeon or underwater (or in the overworld with a unique challenge), the third is a series of platforms suspended high in the sky, and the fourth is a fortress or castle. At the end of each castle level, Mario fights "Bowser" (who, until the final level, is actually a lesser enemy disguised as Bowser) across a bridge over a pool of lava. In the later worlds, Bowser throws hammers as well as occasional fire breaths. Bowser may be defeated in one of two ways; either by touching the axe at the edge of the bridge (thereby dropping Bowser into the lava), or, as Fiery Mario, throwing fireballs at him to defeat him directly.

The third and sixth worlds take place at night, and all other worlds take place during the day.

After beating the game, the player is given the option to start the game again in "'Hard' Mode," where all Goombas are replaced by Buzzy Beetles (Koopa Troopa-like enemies who cannot be killed by fireballs), and all enemies walk faster. In addition, some of the elevator-style lifts are about 60% their original size.


The title screen of Super Mario Bros. has gone down in video game history.
The title screen of Super Mario Bros. has gone down in video game history.

The game sold approximately 40 million copies worldwide, which still stands as a Guinness World Record. It has been estimated that this game, next to Tetris, is the bestselling game of all time.[3] Although the game was popular enough on its own, mass distribution is attributable to the popularity of the NES itself. Super Mario Bros. was most often packaged with the console (usually in a dual cartridge with the shooting game Duck Hunt), just as Tetris was packaged with the Game Boy. Super Mario Bros. 3 is often cited as the best selling non-packaged game of all time.

Super Mario Bros. is often cited as the inspiration for many game designers; an example is the inspiration for the designers at id Software when they developed Commander Keen. (Indeed, Commander Keen began life as a PC port of Super Mario Bros.) It has also been critically acclaimed in retrospect; IGN named it #1 on their top 100 video games list twice (both in 2003 [4] and 2005 [5]), and it is one of only two games (along with Elite) to receive a 10/10 score in their "retro reviews" retrospective series.

In February 2006, Electronic Gaming Monthly named Super Mario Bros. number one on its list of the 200 Greatest Games of Their Time.

Sequels and spin-offs

The success of Super Mario Bros. led Nintendo to choose Mario to be its mascot and eventually resulted in several TV series and a movie. Mario himself became more recognizable among American children than Mickey Mouse[6].

The game's popularity eventually led to dozens of sequels and spinoffs. There are three direct sequels to this game on the NES platform:


The soundtrack, composed by long-time Nintendo composer Koji Kondo, is often sampled. While many bands have sampled the Super Mario Bros. soundtrack or otherwise recorded songs inspired by the game and its soundtrack, a Super Mario Bros.-inspired single by Japanese band The Tongari Kids, titled "B-Dash", reached as high as sixth place on the Japanese music charts.[7]

Alternate versions

As one of Nintendo's most popular games, Super Mario Bros. has been rereleased and remade numerous times, ranging from an arcade version released at approximately the same time as the original NES release, to its inclusion as an unlockable game in in the GameCube game Animal Crossing.

Vs. Super Mario Bros.

The title screen of Vs. Super Mario Bros.
The title screen of Vs. Super Mario Bros.

The first of these alternate versions, Vs. Super Mario Bros., is nearly a separate game in its own right. This game, one of several games made for Nintendo's NES-based arcade cabinet, the Nintendo Vs. Unisystem (and its variant, the Nintendo Vs. Dualsystem), is based loosely on Super Mario Bros., and has identical gameplay. The stages are different, however; the first stages are subtly different, with small differences like the omission of 1-up mushrooms or other hidden items, but later stages are changed entirely. (Many of these later, changed stages later appeared in the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2.) These changes have a net effect of making Vs. Super Mario Bros. much more difficult than the original Super Mario Bros.

As with many older arcade games, it isn't clear exactly when this game was released; while the arcade boards themselves are stamped "1985,"[8] the Killer List of Video Games and the MAME game listing list the game as having been released in 1986.[9][10]

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.

The cover of All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.
The cover of All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. is a version of Super Mario Bros. with graphics based upon a radio show, called 'All Night Nippon', that was very popular in Japan in 1986. It was released for the Famicom Disk System.

The game, which was only released in Japan, was a special promotional version that was given away by the Japanese radio station 'All Night Nippon' in raffles in 1986. The game borrows levels from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japanese version), and Vs. Super Mario Bros. The enemies and the mushroom retainers at the end of Bowser's forts are replaced with Japanese music idols, famous recording artists, and DJs, as well as other people related to 'All Night Nippon.' It was published by Fuji TV, the same company that published Doki Doki Panic (which was later remade into Super Mario USA, a.k.a. Super Mario Bros. 2).

Multicart versions

While Super Mario Bros. is the best-selling video game of all time, one of the most common versions of the game is actually an alternate version, a multicart including both Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. This version, first released in North America in November 1988, was only available packed in with the "NES Action Set," a bundle including the NES, two controllers, the Zapper lightgun, and the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt double cartridge.

Later, in December of that year, Nintendo also released a three-game multicart, including Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet. This three-game multicart was only included in the "NES Power Set," a bundle including everything in the "Action Set" above, but with the Power Pad and the triple-game cartridge in place of the double-game cartridge.

Super Mario All-Stars

Title screen of SMB in All-Stars
Title screen of SMB in All-Stars
Main article: Super Mario All-Stars

In 1993, Nintendo released an enhanced SNES compilation, titled Super Mario All-Stars, of all of the Super Mario games released for the NES and Famicom. The version of Super Mario Bros. included in the compilation had improved graphics, redrawn to match the SNES's greater graphical capabilities and a save game feature. Several glitches from the original NES release were also fixed.

This compilation also includes later Super Mario games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, the North American/European Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario USA in Japan), and the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in North America and Europe). A later version of this compilation, sold only as a bundle with the SNES, also includes Super Mario World.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe

Main article: Super Mario Bros. Deluxe

In 1999, Super Mario Bros. was released on the Game Boy Color, under the title Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. It featured simultaneous multiplayer, a Challenge mode and also included the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (which was released on Super Mario All-Stars as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) as an unlockable. It also was compatible with the Game Boy Printer. However, the game did not feature any upgraded visuals.

Classic NES rerelease

The NES version of Super Mario Bros. was re-released in 2004 on the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series.
The NES version of Super Mario Bros. was re-released in 2004 on the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series.
Main article: Classic NES Series

In early 2004, Nintendo rereleased the game on the Game Boy Advance in Japan as part of their Famicom Minis collection and in the U.S. as part of the Classic NES Series. Unlike previous re-releases, these versions contain no graphical updates; indeed, they are running in emulation. Super Mario Bros. was one of the best-selling of these rereleases; according to the NPD Group (which tracks game sales in North America), this rereleased version of Super Mario Bros. was the best-selling Game Boy Advance game in June 2004, and sixth-best-selling game overall.[11]

Differences between this and the original are that the screen images appear a bit squashed, due to the smaller GBA screen, and the high score is saved to the cartridge. In 2005, Nintendo released this game again for the GBA as part of its 20th Anniversary with a special edition, selling approximately 876,000 units.[12]

Other versions

Super Mario Bros. is one of the NES games featured in the Gamecube game Animal Crossing. Nintendo released an official way of unlocking it in 2004. Currently the only known way to unlock the game is either by use of a game modification ("cheating") device, such as an Action Replay, or by the use of a special Super Mario Bros. Animal Crossing-e card and the e-reader device. Players could connect the e-reader to a Game Boy Advance, connect this to a Gamecube with a Game Boy Advance to Nintendo Gamecube Cable, go to the E-reader machine at the post office, and swipe the card, allowing the player to recieve the coveted NES game item in the mail. However, the card's rarity has made using an Action Replay or other device much easier to obtain this item, causing a large jump in the popularity of such devices.

Minus World

Main article: Minus world
World -1
World -1

Minus World is an infinite water level (with a layout similar to that of Levels 2-2 and 7-2). Most likely the result of a glitch rather than intentionally created, this level is sometimes claimed to be a myth. It does exist, although it can be difficult to reach. It is only accessible by performing a certain jumping trick in Level 1-2 at the pipe that leads to the end of the level. This trick allows Mario to move through the wall to where the level's warp zone is located. There, the first pipe leads to the Minus World, but only if the game doesn't scroll to show all the pipes; in which case, the pipes revert to their default locations. (Incidently, the second pipe leads to World 5 if reached in time.)

Once Minus World is reached, it is impossible to escape, and Mario is destined to die by running out of time (assuming he survives the standard water-level obstacles as well). The reason for this is because the pipe at the end of the level leads to the very beginning, instead of dry land, and therefore, the level loops, or repeats itself. The name was created by a glitch, and since it is not a normal level, the name is literally (nothing)-1, creating the effect of -1. Technically speaking, the Minus World is world 36.

World 36 in the Japanese Famicom Disk System version of the game is considerably different and has three levels, after which the player is returned to the title screen as though he or she completed the game. This glitch has been fixed in the Super Mario All-Stars remake as well as in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe.

Cheat Code

A very simple and well-known secret code in Super Mario Bros. is often recognized as one of the very first "cheat codes", or "easter eggs", in videogames. If a player advanced to a higher world, but then received a Game Over, the player could hold A when pressing Start to select the "1 Player Game" option at the main menu, which would allow for them to return to whatever world they left off at instead of starting the game on the very first level.

Current world record

The current world record time for this game has been set by Trevor Seguin, Andrew Gardikis, and Carlos Krueger with times of 5 minutes and 9 seconds. These claims have been confirmed by Twin Galaxies, and a video is available at the Speed Demos Archive [13]. These are both only a few seconds slower than the fastest known tool-assisted speedrun, which currently measures at just under 5 minutes.

Further reading: Speedrun



  1. ^  - O'Connell, Patricia. "Meet Mario's Papa", BusinessWeek online, November 7, 2005, retrieved November 26, 2005.
  2. ^  - Best-Selling Video Games, Guinness World Records, 1999, retrieved November 21, 2005.
  3. ^  - IGN's Top 100 Games,, May 9, 2003, retrieved November 26, 2005.
  4. ^  - IGN's Top 100 Games,, retrieved November 26, 2005.
  5. ^  - Sheff, David. Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children, Random House, 1991.
  6. ^  - Nllzumi, Hirohiko. "Mario music bounces up the charts," Gamespot, June 7, 2005, retrieved November 26, 2005.
  7. ^  - passport. Vs. Super Mario Bros., Everything2, December 29, 2001, retrieved November 21, 2005.
  8. ^  - Vs. Super Mario Bros., Killer List of Video Games, retrieved November 22, 2005.
  9. ^  - Screenshots V, Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator website, retrieved November 22, 2005.
  10. ^  - Thorsen, Tor. "ChartSpot: June 2004", Gamespot, August 2, 2004, retrieved November 26, 2005.
  11. ^  - Jenkins, David. "Japanese Sales Charts, Week Ending October 2", Gamasutra, October 7, 2005, retrieved November 22, 2005.

See also

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External links

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Kemal Atatürk

Kemal Atatürk[EXTRACT]

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Nationality Turk
Term of office October 29, 1923November 10, 1938
Deputy Prime Minister
Successor İsmet İnönü, Celal Bayar (President) Fevzi Çakmak, Rauf Orbay (Prime Minister)
Born 1881 Thessaloníki (Selânik)
Died November 10, 1938 Istanbul
Political party

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (188110 November 1938), until 1934 Mustafa Kemal, Turkish army officer and revolutionist statesman, was the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. Kemal promptly established himself as a successful military commander as a division commander in the the Battle of Gallipoli. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the hands of the Allies, and the subsequent plans for its partition, Kemal led the Turkish national movement in what would become the Turkish War of Independence. His successful campaigns led to the liberation of the country and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. As the Republic's first president, Kemal introduced a range of far reaching reforms which sought to create a modern and democratic state. According to the Law on Family Names, the Turkish Grand Assembly presented Kemal with the name "Atatürk" (meaning Father of the Turks) on 24 November 1934.



Early Life

Atatürk on the front of TIME magazine
Atatürk on the front of TIME magazine

Atatürk was born in 1881, in Thessaloníki Greece, the son of a minor official who became a timber merchant. Where his birthplace is commemorated by a museum at the present day Turkish Consulate. In accordance with the then prevalent Turkish custom, he was given the single name Mustafa. His father, Ali Rıza, was a customs officer who died when Mustafa was seven. As such, it was left to his mother Zübeyde Hanım to bring the young Mustafa up.

When Atatürk was 12 years old, he went to military schools in Salonica and Monastir, centres of anti-Turkish Greek nationalism. Mustafa studied at the military secondary school in Selânik, where the additional name Kemal ("perfection") was bestowed on him by his mathematics teacher in recognition of his academic brilliance. Mustafa Kemal entered the military academy at Manastır (now Bitola) in 1895. He graduated as a lieutenant in 1905 and was posted to Damascus. In Damascus, he soon joined a small secret revolutionary society of reform-minded officers called Vatan ve Hürriyet (Motherland and Liberty), and became an active opponent of the Ottoman regime. In 1907 he was posted to Selânik and joined the Committee of Union and Progress commonly known as the Young Turks.

The Young Turks seized power from the Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1908, and Mustafa Kemal became a senior military figure. In 1911, he went to the province of Libya to take part in the defence against the Italian invasion. During the first part of the Balkan Wars Mustafa Kemal was stranded in Libya and unable to take part, but in July 1913 he returned to Istanbul and was appointed commander of the Ottoman defences of the Gallipoli area on the coast of Thrace. In 1914 he was appointed military attaché in Sofia, partly to remove him from the capital and its political intrigues.

Military Career

When the Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of Germany, Mustafa Kemal was posted to Tekirdağ (on the Sea of Marmara).

Gelibolu (Gallipoli)

He was later promoted to the rank of colonel and assigned the command of a division in the Gallipoli (Turkish: "Gelibolu") area. He played a critical role in the battle against the allied British, French and ANZAC forces during the Battle of Gallipoli in April 1915, where he held off allied forces at Conkbayırı and on the Anafarta hills. For this success, he was later promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, thus acquiring the title of pasha and gained increasingly greater degrees of influence on the war effort.

Kemal gained much respect from his former enemies for his chivalry in victory, the Kemal Atatürk Memorial has an honoured place on ANZAC Parade in Canberra. It includes his words:

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours... You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now living in our lands and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

Final WWI years

During 1917 and 1918 Mustafa Kemal was sent to the Caucasus (Kafkaslar) front to fight against Russian forces, against which he had some success. He was later assigned to the Hejaz (Hicaz), to suppress the Arab Revolt (which was supported by Great Britain) against Ottoman rule. After resigning his commission, he eventually returned to serve in the unsuccessful defense of Palestine. In October 1918 the Ottomans capitulated to the Allies, and Mustafa Kemal became one of the leaders of the party in favour of defending the area roughly occupied by present day Turkey, while agreeing to withdraw from all the non-Turkish territories.

Turkish Emancipation

For more details on this topic, see Turkish War of Independence.

As the Allies started to occupy Ottoman Empire, the Turkish Revolutionaries begin to show resistance. Among many "Kuva-i Milliye" (en:"National Force") movements, what will be called as Turkish War of Independence, was organized by the Mustafa Kemal.

Mustafa Kemal's leadership began with the arrangement of being sent to Samsun, with extraordinary powers, as an Inspector of the XIXth Army, which this title did not last too long. Once in Anatolia, interpreting his extraordinary powers liberally, he contacted and started issuing orders to provincial governors and military commanders and called everyone to resist occupation. In June 1919, he and his close friends issued a declaration, later to be called Declaration of Amasya, claiming Istanbul government held no legitimate authority. Other political moves coordinated by him promoted the idea of government-in-exile should be established in Anatolia. Ottoman goverment reacted severly and ordered him to be killed. However, his ability to mobilize people ended with a new Parliament, the Grand National Assembly, which was formed in Ankara, in April 1920, offering Kemal Pasha the title 'President of the National Assembly'. This body repudiated the Sultan's government in Istanbul and refused to recognize the Treaty of Sèvres.

For more details on this topic, see Jurisdictional Conflict

On the military front, the conflict between nationalist movement and Triple Entente powers went on three fronts. Which one of them with the Greece (west front), where Turkish forces fell back in good order to the Sakarya river, eighty kilometres from Grand National Assembly. Atatürk took personal command and decisively defeated the Greeks in the twenty day Battle of Sakarya in August-September 1921. Final victory over the Greeks came in the Battle of Dumlupinar in August 1922.

For more details on this topic, see Theatres of the War

On the political front, Kemal Pasha signed the Treaty of Kars (October 23, 1921) with the Soviet Union, a treaty of friendship in which Turkey ceded the city of Batumi, in present-day Georgia, to Lenin's Bolsheviks in return for sovereignty over the cities of Kars and Ardahan, which were lost to Tsarist Russia in Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878.

For more details on this topic, see Stage for Peace

Kemal Pasha's victory in the Turkish War of Independence assured Turkey's sovereignty. He ushered the Treaty of Lausanne, through which Turkey finally entered a period of peace after a disastrous decade of warfare, despite irredentist opposition in the National Assembly and elsewhere.

Post war life and reforms

Political consolidation

Kemal Pasha spent the next several years consolidating his control over Turkey and instituting a variety of wide-ranging political, economic and social reforms. These reforms caused some opposition in the Republican People's Party ("Cumhuriyet Halk Fırkası" in Turkish) which was founded by Mustafa Kemal in September 9th 1923. Then Mustafa Kemal directed General Kazım Karabekir to establish the Progressive Republican Party ("Terakkiperver Cumhuriyet Fırkası" in Turkish) for opposition in Turkish National Assembly. This party opposed state socialism of the Republican People's Party and suggested liberalism. But after some time, the new party was taken over by people Ataturk considered fundamentalists. In 1925, partly in response to the provocations of Sheikh Said, the Maintenance of Order Law was passed, giving Ataturk the authority to shut down subversive groups. The Republican People's Party was quickly disestablished under the new law, an act seen by some as necessary for preserving the Turkish state, but seen by others as the act of a dictator.

On August 11th, 1930 Mustafa Kemal decided to try a democratic movement once again. He charged Ali Fethi Okyar with establishing a new party. In Mustafa Kemal's letter to Ali Fethi Okyar, laicism was insisted on. At first, the brand new Liberal Republican Party succeeded all around the country. But once again the opposition party became too strong in its opposition to Atatürk's reforms, particularly in regard to the role of religion in public life. Finally Ali Fethi Okyar abolished his own party and Mustafa Kemal never succeeded in democratising the parliamentary system.

Cultural reform

Introduction of the Latin alphabet for Turkish
Introduction of the Latin alphabet for Turkish

Mustafa Kemal regarded the fez (which Sultan Mahmud II had originally introduced to the Ottoman Empire's dress code in 1826) as a symbol of feudalism and banned it, encouraging Turkish men to wear European attire. The hijab (scarf which covers the head) for women, while never formally banned, was strongly discouraged; and women were encouraged to wear western apparel and enter the country's workforce. From 1926, the Islamic calendar was replaced with the Gregorian calendar. In 1928 the government decreed that the Arabic script be replaced by a modified Latin alphabet, and citizens between the ages of six and forty were required to attend school and learn the new alphabet. The conservative clergy fiercely opposed these reforms, trying in vain to maintain its traditionally strong influence. As a result of the reforms literacy increased dramatically. The reforms also included extensive removal of Arabic and Persian words from the Turkish language. Mustafa Kemal opened new schools, where, as part of the curriculum, fine arts were taught to boys as well as girls. Girls had traditionally been excluded entirely from education, compulsory primary education was introduced for children of both sexes.

Notwithstanding the strong Islamic proscription against alcoholic beverages, he encouraged domestic production and established a state-owned spirits industry. Mustafa Kemal had an appreciation for the national liquor, rakı, and consumed vast quantities of it.

He was briefly married to Latife Uşaklıgil between 1923 and 1925.
He was briefly married to Latife Uşaklıgil between 1923 and 1925.

In 1934 he promulgated a law requiring all Turks to adopt surnames. The Grand National Assembly gave him the deferential name Atatürk, meaning "Father of Turks," and assumption of that name by other men is still forbidden by law.

Seeking to limit the influence of Islam on Turkish political and cultural institutions, which he regarded as one of the principal causes impeding Turkish development, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk abolished the 1300-year-old Islamic caliphate on 3 March 1924 and established a western-style separation of church and state ("mosque" and state) in Turkey. While promoting a secular Turkish state, Atatürk maintained the traditional Ottoman tolerance of religious diversity and freedoms, but viewed these freedoms in the western Enlightenment sense of freedom of conscience.

Atatürk praying at the opening of the TBMM
Atatürk praying at the opening of the TBMM

Atatürk himself was Muslim. In the book Kemalizm, Laiklik ve Demokrasi (Kemalism, Laicism and Democracy), Ahmet Taner Kışlalı quotes from a speech of Atatürk that may reveal some of the reasoning behind his support of the separation of Religion and state:

"Religion is an important institution. A nation without religion cannot survive. Yet it is also very important to note that religion is a link between Allah and the individual believer. The brokerage of the pious cannot be permitted. Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight. Know that whatever conforms to reason, logic, and the advantages and needs of our people conforms equally to Islam. If our religion did not conform to reason and logic, it would not be the perfect religion, the ultimate religion" (31).

Such thoughts would seem to buttress the statement of Atatürk's biographer, Patrick Kinross, concerning how Atatürk — who prized science and rationalism as the basis of morality and philosophy — considered himself a rational believer of Islam in that Islam could complement science and rational thinking. The quote also shows how strongly Atatürk was opposed to fanaticism ("the pious"). Another speech quoted by Kışlalı relates Atatürk's thoughts on how Islam came to be in such a degenerate state:

"The foundation of our religion is very strong. The material is strong as well, but the building itself was neglected for hundreds of years. As the plaster dropped down, none thought to replace it and none felt the need to reinforce the building. Quite the contrary: many foreign elements and interpretations, as well as empty beliefs, came along and damaged it still more" (ibid.).

Women's rights

With abiding faith in the vital importance of women in society, Atatürk launched many reforms to give Turkish women equal rights and opportunities. The new Civil Code, adopted in 1927, abolished polygamy and recognized the equal rights of women in divorce, custody, and inheritance. The entire educational system from the grade school to the university became coeducational. Atatürk greatly admired the support that the national liberation struggle received from women and praised their many contributions: "In Turkish society, women have not lagged behind men in science, scholarship, and culture. Perhaps they have even gone further ahead." He gave women the same opportunities as men, including full political rights. In the mid-1930s, 18 women, among them a villager, were elected to the national parliament. Later, Turkey had the world's first female Supreme Court justice.

Culture and the Arts

Atatürk once stated: "Culture is the foundation of the Turkish Republic." His view of culture included both his own nation's creative legacy and what he saw as the more admirable values of world civilization, and he put an emphasis on humanism above all. He once described modern Turkey's ideological thrust as "a creation of patriotism blended with a lofty humanist ideal."

So as to assist in the creation of such a synthesis, Atatürk stressed the need to utilize the elements of the national heritage of the Turks and of Anatolia—including its ancient indigenous cultures—as well as the arts and techniques of other world civilizations, both past and present. He emphasized the study of earlier Anatolian civilizations, such as the Hittites, Phrygians, and Lydians. The pre-Islamic culture of the Turks became the subject of extensive research, and particular emphasis was laid upon the fact that—long before the Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations—the Turks had had a rich culture. Atatürk also stressed the folk arts of the countryside as a wellspring of Turkish creativity.

The visual and the plastic arts—whose development had on occasion been arrested by some Ottoman officials claiming that the depiction of the human form was idolatry—flourished during the presidency of Atatürk. Many museums were opened; architecture began to follow more modern trends; and classical Western music, opera, and ballet, as well as the theatre, also took greater hold. Several hundred "People's Houses" and "People's Rooms" across the country allowed greater access to a wide variety of artistic activities, sports, and other cultural events. Book and magazine publications increased as well, and the film industry began to grow.


Anitkabir, Kemal Ataturk's mausoleum at Ankara
Anitkabir, Kemal Ataturk's mausoleum at Ankara

Atatürk died in 1938 of cirrhosis. His lifestyle had always been strenuous. Alcohol consumption, smoking and very long hours hard at work were part of his way of life.

His successor, İsmet İnönü, fostered a posthumous Atatürk personality cult which has survived to this day, even after Atatürk's own Republican People's Party lost power following democratic elections in 1950. Atatürk's face and name are seen and heard everywhere in Turkey: his portrait can be seen in all public buildings,in schools , in all kind of school books, on all Turkish banknotes, and even in the homes of many Turkish families - who often seem to consider him a secular sort of saint.

He is commemorated by many memorials all over Turkey, like the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, the Atatürk Bridge over the Golden Horn (Haliç), Atatürk Dam (4. biggest dam of world) as well as the Ataturk Stadium. Giant Atatürk statues loom over Istanbul and other Turkish cities, and practically any larger settlement has its own memorial to him. In 1951, the Turkish Parliament issued a law (5816) outlawing insults to his legacy or attacks to objects representing him. This law is sometimes criticised as it applies solely to Atatürk, thus resembling leader-protecting laws of dictatorial regimes.

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Preceded by: - President of Turkey 1923–1938 Succeeded by: İsmet İnönü
Preceded by: - Prime Minister of Turkey 1920–1921 Succeeded by: Fevzi Çakmak