REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

National Education

ATATÜRK DECLARES!

National Education

Our most important and promising responsibilities lie in the task of national education. It is a prerequisite to be successful in the task of national education. The real salvation of a nation can only be achieved in this way. 1922

The center of scientific and technical initiative is the school. It is therefore a necessity. We should always remember the name of the school in deep respect. School teaches the young brains to respect humanity, to love the nation and the country and it teaches honor and freedom. It teaches the best ways to preserve freedom whenever there are threats at large. Those who endeavor to save their countries must be honored experts in their professions and hard working scientists. School provides these. Only with the help of schooling will all attempts achieve logical solutions. 1922

In the intellectual discipline as well as in the political and social life our guide will be science and technology of our nation. The Turkish nation, its art, its economy, its poetry and literature will develop only with science and technology obtained from the school. (1922)

We need two armies to take our society to the final end of happiness. The first one is the military army that saves the life of the country, the second one is the cultural army that kneads the future of the nation. Both these armies are respectful, productive and of great value. Which of these two armies is more valuable, which should dominate? No such choice can be made, both these armies are of vital importance.

In order to express the value and sacredness of their army, I must refer to the members of the cultural army and say that it is they who teach the soldiers of the first army who kill and die the cause for doing so. 1923 (M.E.I.S.D, page 17)

If a nation does not have a cultural army, no matter how glamorous victories its armies achieve on the battlefield, sustainable results of these victories depend solely on the presence of the cultural army. The productive results of the first a army will disappear if the second army does not exist. (M.E.I.S.D.I, page 17)

The only ones who save nations are teachers. A nation without teachers and tutors does not deserve the title of a nation. It might be called an ordinary crowd, not a nation. It is a must for a population to have teachers and tutors in order to become a nation. 1925 (M.E.I.S.D.I, page 25)

It is necessary to evaluate the country in terms of science, culture, economy and public enterprises and it is a must to develop the skills of our nation in many fields in order to give a strong, constant and positive character to forthcoming generations. Teachers stand foremost front among the forces that fight for these sacred aims.1923 (Atatürk’s T.T.B. IV, page 487)

In order to hand over the education in schools to trustworthy and skilled staff, in order to educate the children of the nation decently, teachers should be given a high social status like all other professions so that the esteemed and respected teachers will take teaching both as a profession and as an ideal. All around the world, teachers are the most devoted and respected components of societies. 1923 (Atatürk’s S.D.I, page 289)

The new generation will take their most important lesson in being a republican from the teachers that will be trained by this group of teachers. 1924 Great History At Trabzon, page 11)

Teachers! The devoted teachers and tutors of the republic, you will be teaching the new generation. And the new generation will be your masterpiece. The value of this masterpiece will be related to your skills and devotion. The republic requires protectors of high character with strong scientific, technological and physical skills! It is totally up to you to train the new generation in such required skills. 1924 (M.E.I.S.D. page 19)

Primary and secondary level education should provide the students with the scientific and technological knowledge that humanity and civilization require. But these must be given in a practical manner so that the child may be sure that he will not starve after graduation. (1931)

It is education that either deserts a nation to slavery and poverty or enables the nation to live in freedom and independence as an esteemed society. (1925)

No matter what the premises of the education that we will give to our children, we have to teach them to fight the enemies of: 1- Their nation, 2- The Turkish State, 3- The Great National Assembly of Turkey. The nations whose individuals are not equipped with these required facilities have no right to survive. It is a must to fight in this respect. 1922 (M.E.I.S.D.I, page 9)

I would suggest to the children of this country preparing themselves for the future to work with patience and endurance and I would suggest to the parents of these children at education stage to devote themselves to the education of their children.

History approves the determination of the awakening nations against great threats. Our nation has to fight with its weapon and its brains. I have no doubt that our nation will prove its power in the latter as it has proved its power with the first. 1921 (Atatürk’s M.A.D, page 4-5)

In bringing up our children and youth we should equip them with an understanding of a strong and devoted defense against all kinds of adverse ideas of foreign components referring to the presence, rights and the unity of our nation. It is important to inject this characteristic and skill to the spiritual power of the new generation. The philosophy of the nation's existence that appears as a continuous and great war require these characteristics desperately for every nation that desires to remain free and happy. (1921)