Patrik Proško

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Privat collection of Temmer Marble

2020

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 1881-1938, founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, anamorphic installation of things, 350x250x200cm, 2021 An anamorphic portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, created from things that touch his life and legacy. At first, I rejected this contract on the grounds that I do not do politics, but, on closer examination, I came to the conclusion that the positives of his personality and triumphs outweigh the negatives, and that the values ​​he established in Turkey as president are above politics. Thanks to his efforts, over 80 million people in Turkey today have a better life. Above all, the values ​​that he instilled as president in the modern Republic of Turkey, are what I, as a European, stand for, including: 1) His creation a secular state, which means that he separated religion from politics, is paramount. In other words, he separated the Qur'an from political life and abolished Sharia law. He believed, as I do, that faith or religion is a purely private and personal matter and should not influence a country's politics or interfere with policy. For me, personally, it is the most fundamental value, because the vast majority of wars and bloodshed arise from religious doctrine and religious differences. Unfortunately, it seems this is still the case today. 2) The second very fundamental value that he introduced was equal rights for women. He passed a new civil law which stipulated that a woman belongs only to herself and is not the property of her husband, as had been the case under the Ottoman Empire. Since then, in Turkey, a woman enjoys the same rights as men. Polygamy was outlawed and only state marriages are recognized. He also abolished the veiling of women and, thanks to Ataturk, women are allowed to vote. Suffrage for women was unheard of at the time in many places in the Islamic world and even outpaced "liberal" democracies like Switzerland and France, illustrating just how progressive his reforms were in his age. 3) He overthrew Sultan Mehmed VI, who had unlimited rule during the Ottoman Empire, and expelled him from the country, then his deputy, Caliph Abdulmecid II, declared the abolition of the Ottoman Empire and created a modern democratic republic, with a parliament and constitution, and a European-style electoral system. Turkey adopted the Gregorian calendar, and the metric system, helping to usher in further modernization. 4) As part of his great reform package, the Turkish language switched to a Latin script. Until then, Ottoman Turkish and fragmented Arabic dialects made it nearly impossible to create a formalized framework across their educational system. This was the main cause of illiteracy in the country. With a uniform Latin script and compulsory schooling, literacy and education rapidly increased, leading to nearly 100% literacy. From my travels and personal experience, most recently in Africa, I see that without standardized education, there is enormous poverty. 5) Atatürk also brought modern fashion to Turkey. He abolished the traditional fezzes and replaced them with hats, dressing in a very distinctly European way in tailcoats, suits, ties, bow ties, and hats. He was, in a way, a punk of his time, because, until then, it was unseen and very brave in a traditional Islamic environment. By all means, his personal style and affectations expressed his affection for Europe and its democratic community and fostered further innovation. For my own personal connection, Atatürk also visited the spa of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, then Czechoslovakia, in 1918, where his memorial plaque is placed on the house and a hotel lounge is named after him. An independent documentary "Atatürk: The father of modern Turkey" was also made about him, co-produced by Czech, German and Austrian television, which I recommend viewing. The installation is conceived as a presidential office, in which all his things have been incorporated into his portrait, which is visible only from one particular point of view. Everything we do depends on our perspective. There are many countries in the world that need their own Ataturk.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
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