Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

August 6, 2015

Ataturk as defined by Machiavelli’s “The Prince”

When WWI started, the disintegrating Ottoman Empire sided with the German-Austrian-Hungarian triad. This did not please Britain, who signed a secret pact with France and Italy to wipe out the Ottoman Empire.

The Sultan, knowing he was in big trouble, invited Britain to take over rule of the entire country.

In addition, he discharged four-hundred thousand solders, in the hopes of reducing his army’s power against the British. In return, Britain and Russia promised the Armenians their own country which was to be carved out of eastern Turkey.

With this news, the Armenians began an armed revolt against the Turks, decimating many cities and villages in the hopes of reducing the Turkish population.

Ataturk, who had just become a colonel after he defeated the British army at Gelibolu, was sent to inspect the northern coastline, the conditions of the people there, and quiet the growing uprising of the Turks.

Ataturk, however, did the opposite of what he sent to do. He started helping people to uprise against all the enemies of Turkey. This essay is an exploration of how Ataturk won the hearts and minds of his people and rose to power, using Machiavelli's principalities of "The Prince."

Machiavelli listed ten principals or virtues to be used as a model to come to power. In his example, Alexander’s son Duke failed using these principals, but in start contrast, Ataturk won by using these exact principals.

Due to pressure on the sultan by British commanders, Ataturk was relieved of his duties and resigned from the military. He began holding meetings throughout Anatolia. 

Upon his return to Ankara, Ataturk was received by thousands of welcoming Turks. Time magazine reported, "Turks uprising is a childish fantasy against world." 

At this time the Turks were fighting on five fronts - Russians in the Northeast, French and Italians on two fronts in the South, the Greek army to the West, bolstered and equipped by the British backing of three and half million pounds, and the remaining of the country occupied by the British. 

To combat this, Ataturk encouraged every able-bodied woman, teenager, and old man to become his army. Because of his intelligent strategies, he fought the Greek army and won battles. 

His army won both the northeastern front and the southern fronts. The British, French, and Italian armies withdrew from Istanbul. Turkey’s borders were drawn. 

During these wars, the country had no money because the sultan robbed the treasury and escaped to England and the French owned the banking system. Ataturk threatened the French bankers to lend him money to purchase arms from Russia or else he would order the banks to close. 

Ataturk escaped from three British assassination attempts and his domestic enemies were just as vigilant. At the age of thirty-five, he was awarded the highest military rank, and the military he formed ultimately freed Turkey.

After winning these wars, Ataturk resigned from the army that he had created and became a civilian, in order to have the power to rule the country. 

He assembled five-hundred parliamentary deputies to represent the entire country and in a short time he changed the form of government from sultan's rule to a parliamentary system, he and his friends wrote a new constitution, he changed the alphabet from Arabic to Latin, and changed the attire from turban to European style. 

He founded the People's Republican Party and was elected president.

Once he was president, he changed the judicial system, but his problems in running the country were not over. His enemies (Beyler meaning Barons - those close to the sultan) were constantly fighting him. He did make unpleasant decisions like killing all his enemies. 

One of his  biggest problems were the self-proclaimed clerics who took advantage of poor people. His solution was to gather all the dervishes and hang them. He insisted on separating religion from politics and gave that duty to the armed forces to make sure the politicians did not hinder secularism.

A European scholar one asked who was the highest ranking leader of Europe. It was answered, "The highest ranking leader is not European but Ataturk."

He was a statesman, military genius, and a leader. His statues have been erected in seventy-two countries including the US.

"PEACE AT HOME PEACE IN THE WORLD" was his mantra.  Watch the following fascinating biography of Ataturk on video.