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AtatürkAn Intellectual Biography$
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M. Sükrü Hanioglu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175829

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175829.001.0001

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(p.226) Conclusion

M. Şükrü Hanioğlu

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter demonstrates that while Mustafa Kemal Atatürk played a momentous role in the transition from the Ottoman order to modern Turkey, his work cannot be considered that of a sagelike dispenser of wisdom who came to the scene with novel ideas and an original program. He was a down-to-earth leader who strove to realize a vision not by depending on any one ideology but by utilizing a range of sources—some with dubious intellectual pedigrees—without paying much attention to contradictions among them. He was the individual who transformed an intellectual utopia envisaged by a marginal group into a political program and then proceeded to implement it vigorously as head of state. Consequently, despite the radical changes that it brought about, the Turkish transformation led by Atatürk was not a rupture with the Late Ottoman past but, in important respects, its continuation.

Keywords:   Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Ottoman order, modern Turkey, ideology, Turkish transformation, Late Ottoman, intellectual utopia

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