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Art and Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938)

Art is the expression of beauty. If this expression is verbal, it is poetry, if it is with a tune, it is music, if it is with painting, it is painting, if it is with carving, it is sculpture, if it is with building, it is architecture.

(Ahmet Cevat Emre, Muhit Mec.,Year: 1, No: 2, 1928, p. 84)

Printed by Ataturk:

I think the Turks rightly considered the term fine arts to be composed of 1-Music, 2-Painting, 3-Sculpture, 4-Literature, 5-Architecture, 6-Rakstan. This branch is of the utmost importance in determining the high quality of human societies. This high value, high delicacy, dexterity, fine ability and being able to do all of these are the combined expression of artistry. It is necessary for us and our children to focus on this issue fundamentally.

1936 (Cevat Abbas Gürer, Rep.Hurriyet newspaper, 10.11.1941)

People need certain things to mature. A nation that does not paint, a nation that does not sculpt, a nation that does not do what science requires; It must be admitted that that nation has no place in the path of progress. However, our nation is and will be worthy of being civilized and advanced with its real characteristics.

1923 (Atatürk’s SDII, p. 67)

During a conversation, the artist told Çallı İbrahim:

It is a beautiful thing for the children of the same nation to be together, to know each other, to love each other and to follow the high feelings that will emerge from this love of unity. If you determine this as a follower of fine arts, you will serve the whole nation and all humanity.

(Hasan Cemil Çambel, Dünya newspaper, 30. 8. 1952)

Ideas and revolutions spread through art.

(BH from Atatürk, p. 84)

For every branch of fine arts, the interest and effort that Kamutay will show is very effective for the human and civil life of the nation and for increasing the productivity of hard work.

1936 (Atatürk’s SDI, p. 373)

Printed by Ataturk:

Success in fine arts is the surest proof of the success of all reforms. What a pity for the nations that are not successful in this! Despite all their achievements, they will always be deprived of being recognized as a high human being in the field of civilization.

1936 (Cevat Abbas Gürer, Rep.Hurriyet newspaper, 10. 11. 1941)

He told the actors:

Gentlemen… You can all be deputies, deputies; you can even become president; but you cannot be an artist. Let’s love these children who dedicate their lives to a great art…

1930 (İ. Galip Arcan Tells, from Ses magazine quote, Sümerbank magazine, volume: 3, issue:29, 1963)

He told theater artists who wanted to kiss his hand:

– The craftsman does not kiss hands; the hand of the artist is kissed!

1930 (Vasfi Rıza Zobu, O Günden Bugüne, p. 323)

Here’s what your theater artists who represented in Bursa said:

I appreciate you very much. You also have important services in our revolution. I especially recommend that you persevere by making your art a profession and get along with your friends sincerely. Your greatest service to the country will be to travel all over Anatolia and tell our people what art is.

1926 (Atatürk’s SDV, p. 44)

What he said during the conversation with the painters at the Ankara Community Center:

Friends, I have come to talk to you painters and to give a simple description of the artist. Although it would be strange to describe the artist and to tell you about you in this field where your professional activity and specialization is located, but.. You know the words of many artists who describe the artist; However, I would like to tell you about art and artist with a completely different, or rather military, description: I am a company commander, my rank is captain. I took orders from my superior; I will seize the opposite hill from the enemy before sunrise. Upon this order, I told my company that we would occupy the opposite hill before sunrise, after all the soldiers were equipped and prepared for war. The offensive has begun. However, there is a wide valley in front of the hill;Although I have estimated and calculated how long it will take to cross this valley, we were wrong in this estimate and calculation. We have met with stronger preparation and stubborn defense of the enemy than we had hoped, and the day is about to rise. According to the order we received, we were to occupy the hill before sunrise. Should we give up the occupation of this hill by saying “the sun is about to rise”? No, there is no harm, even if it is late, even if the day comes, we will reach our goal. The offensive continues with all its strength and violence. The invasion of the hill by the lion soldiers, who approached the fight with great courage, to the foot of the hill, is now a matter of time. The sun rises slowly, but when it is in a half-course, it shines the top of this hill. But a few menHe runs with all his might to plant the Turkish flag in his hands on the shining peak of the hill and feels the first light of the day hit his sweaty forehead as he raises the glorious Turkish flag on the top of the hill.

Here, the artist is the first person to feel the light on his forehead after long studies and efforts in society.

(İbrahim Ceyhan, Artist according to Atatürk, Memories of Atatürk, A. Hidayet Reel, p. 159 -160)

In an oil painting portrait by a foreign artist, some of his friends said that they found fault in resemblance:

– It’s possible! But would you believe, this portrait looked very similar to me for a while; But the master didn’t know how to stop! Craftsmen should know how to stand like commanders; otherwise, the descent starts from the level of success they have reached.

(BH from Atatürk, p. 39)

When it comes to literature, this is understood: The art of saying and writing words and meanings, that is, all kinds of information and the greatest feelings of human character, in a way that will make those who listen or read them very relevant. For this reason, literature, whether in prose or in verse, is considered one of the fine arts, just like painting, sculpture, and especially music.

In order to encounter life and blood based on the most positive science and the finest technical principles in humanity, even a highly idealistic profession such as military service, which is written for them, in order to explain itself to the society in which it is located and to prepare this great journey of humanity and heroism, arousing, targeting, executive and Finally, he finds the altruistic and heroic means in literature. In this respect, it is easily understood that literature is one of the most essential means of education for every human society and for every organization that protects and will protect the state and future of this society.

For this reason, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey should attach particular importance and value to the following points in literature teaching:

  1. a) To form the head of a Turkish child according to the care and attention in his natural disposition. This is a duty that is directed to the proxy, which is related to the sanitary order of the Republic.
  2. b) To open, spread and expand the well-preserved Turkish minds and intelligences. This is especially the task of the Ministry of Culture. However, to place the notions of positive science and material technique in the minds of talented Turkish children, not only theoretically, but also by practical means.
  3. c) On the one hand, to accustom them to express their abilities in Turkish minds, their solidity in Turkish character, their height and breadth in Turkish feelings, in a natural way and as they are, without forcing themselves.

When these are done, the result will be as follows: While the Turkish child is speaking, his expression and narration style, while the Turkish child is writing, his style of expression can lead those who listen to him to the path he follows. , will be able to deliver. Thanks to this literary conception, such a literature teaching, it is possible to reach the goal that is understood from the meaning of literature.

1937 (Afetinan, Ataturk About HB, p. 272-273)

There are some subtle, high and clean emotions in people that people live with. It is the poet who can hear those subtle, high, deep and clean feelings the most and make other people hear them.

(Ahmet Cevat Emre, Muhit Mec., Year : 1, No. 2, 1928, p. 65)

On the evening of August 29, 1928, at a table composed mostly of poets and writers in Dolmabahçe Palace, he had the poet Halit Fahri Ozansoy write:

You will definitely prove that you were a poet in the brilliant Turkish era you were involved in. Your poems will sing the joy, joy, activity, feelings and movements of the cheerful, active Turkish nation. You will miss its existence! As the child of a race whose roots are great and whose branches will be greater than it, you will write poems worthy of the nation you belong to. If you do this, no one can object and I accept that then you will say that you have succeeded.

1928 (Halit Fahri Ozansoy, Edebiyatçılar Çevremde, 1970, p. 263)

I love literature and poetry.

1915 (İbrahim Alaettin Gövsa, Acılar, p. 9)

In order to speak well, it is necessary to be free and to reinforce the meanings of words with appropriate gestures.

1932 (Lütfi Aksoy, Atatürk’s Unknown Memories, Yeni Mecmua, No: 19, 8. 9. 1939)

Is music necessary in life? Music is not necessary in life; because life is music. Creatures that have nothing to do with music are not human. If life is human life, then there must be music. Life without music cannot exist anyway. Music is the joy, spirit, joy and everything of life. Only the genre of music is worth thinking about.

1925 (Atatürk’s SD II, pp. 231-232)

I know how you want the youth of the nation to be promoted in all the fine arts. This is done. However, it is Turkish music that must be brought to the fore the quickest. The measure of a nation’s new change is its ability to perceive and comprehend the change in music.

The music that is attempted to be played today is far from being of a value to be disgraced. We should know this clearly. It is necessary to collect high sayings and phrases expressing national, subtle feelings and thoughts, and to process them the day before, according to the general final music rules. Only at this level can Turkish national music rise and take its place in universal music.

1934 (Date of the Month, Issue 12, 1934. p. 23)

From a note written by Atatürk:

A nation can make revolutions in many things and can succeed in all of them; However, the music revolution is a sign of the nation’s high development.

1936 (Cumhuriyet newspaper, 5.9.1936)

He told the musicians in Çankaya:

– Ottoman music is not strong enough to sing the great revolutions in the Republic of Turkey. We need a new music and it will be a polyphonic music that takes its essence from folk music. As for what you call obedience, do Anatolian peasants listen to your Ottoman music? Did he listen? He does not have the obedience of that music.

1934 (A. Adnan Saygun, Atatürk and Music, pp. 48-49)

There is no revolution without music.

(Falih Rıfkı Atay, Çankaya 1969, p. 410)

Those who try to make old music superior to western music seem not to notice a small truth. If it is necessary to express this fact briefly, we can say that the musical pieces handled in this whole enactment work are tunes that are used by Turks to play at any ceremony or festival by using all their material and emotional abilities at a high level. There is no mistake in considering the music from this chapter as today’s dance pieces. However, when today’s Turkish mind thinks about music, he is not looking for music that will only be useful for simple plays and that will give people a simple and temporary excitement. When we say music, we want a music that finds the expression of our high emotions, life and memories. Today’s Turks expect from music the service expected by other high and sensitive societies.In this respect, those who try to revive classical Ottoman music should be very careful.

When we listen to a Turkish composition, we want to hear from it the story of the past that must awaken like arrows into our hearts. Whether it’s bitter or sweet, when we listen to a composition and unconsciously we want to hear that our senses are thinning. Apart from all these, there is no doubt that what we expect from music is the reinforcement of material, intellectual and emotional alertness and agility. This is what we want and seek from our new poets, writers, music scholars and especially sound artists.

1938 (Kemal Unal, Ulus newspaper. 10. 11. 1939)

Our real music can be heard among the Anatolian people.

1930 (Date of the Month, Issue: 73, 1930)

By chance, I listened to the two most distinguished musical ensembles of your song here tonight. However, my observation on Turkish feelings is that this music, this simple music, cannot be enough to satisfy the very open soul and feeling of the Turk. Now, the music of the civilized world was also heard. The people, who had seemed lifeless in the face of chanting called oriental music until this moment, immediately took action and action. They’re all playing. This is very natural. Indeed, the Turk is naturally cheerful and cheerful. If this good nature of hers has not been noticed for a while, it is not her fault. Flawed actions have painful, disastrous consequences. Not realizing this is a mistake. That’s why the Turkish nation lamented. However, now the nation has corrected their mistakes with their blood; now his heart is at ease, now the Turk is happy, just as he was in his creation. You are now Turkish,because he does not want to prove again that it is dangerous to hook up with him, he is of the opinion. This opinion is also hopeful.

1928 (MEI.SDI, p. 32-33)

We are used to Turkish music; however, new generations should get used to European music.

(Kazim Özalp, Özalp Atatürk’ü Anlatıyor Milliyet newspaper, 27. 11. 1969)

The music of your children and future generations is the music of western civilization.

(Falih Rıfkı Atay, Çankaya, 1969, p.410)

We often do not find the full dignity of this music. This is the real Turkish music we are listening to, and it is undoubtedly the music of a high civilization. This music should be understood by the whole world. However, in order to explain it to the whole world, we as a nation need to rise to the level of today’s civilized world.

(Mesut Cemil Anlatıyor: Nükte, Fıkra ve Çizgilerle Atatürk  II, 1954, Der : NA Banoğlu, p. 52)

Just as we listen to the music of the West with reverence, our music should be in a state to be listened to with respect all over the world.

(Osman Ergin, quoted by Hafız Yaşar Okur, History of Turkish Education, Vol: 5, 1943, p. 1534-1535)

This game is the men’s game, the hero game of our nation; need to know!

1935 (Fahrettin Altay, 10 Years War and After, 1970, p. 398)

What Selim Sırrı (Tarcan) said after watching the zeybek play with a female student:

Selim Sırrı Bey gave it a civilized shape while developing the zeybek dance. The work of this master craftsman has been accepted by all of us, and has taken an aesthetic form that has matured enough to occupy a place in our national and social life. Now to the Europeans; We can say, “We also have an excellent dance” and we can play this game in our halls, in our shows. Zeybek dance can and should be performed with women in every social hall.

1925 (Atatürk’s SDV, p. 38)

Any nation in the world that wants to be civilized, advanced and mature will definitely sculpt and train sculptors. Those who claim that erecting monuments here and there as historical memories is against religion are those who have not properly researched and examined the provisions of religion.

1923 (Atatürk’s SD II, p. 66)

Our enlightened and religious nation will advance sculpture, which is one of the means of progress, to the utmost, and every corner of our country will announce the memories of our ancestors and our future children to the world with beautiful sculptures.

1923 (Atatürk’s SD II, p. 66)

A monument should be erected in Istanbul, where the works of Mimar Koca Sinan are most concentrated, and in Edirne, where his last masterpiece was built. However, it is necessary to erect statues and monuments of all Turkish elders in Ankara, the capital of our Republic, in order to set an example for future generations.

1935 (Afetinan, Mimar Koca Sinan, p. 67)

Ancient nations created their own unique architectural styles as a result of great work. At the end of the art studies and thoughts of the last century, a modern architecture was born. However, this modern architecture also has a different appearance and meaning with the differences in thought and character of each nation. There are many differences between an Italian modern architecture and a German modern architecture. These modern architectures, with all their appearances, tell which nation they belong to. We also need a modern architecture that will respond to all the thoughts and needs of the century and caress our souls. However, this modern architecture should not be an imitation of other nations, but an architecture unique to our country and Turkish. I see some buildings being built; they are exact replicas of a European modern architecture. We need an original modern Turkish architecture. I’m sure that,young Turkish architects, who are growing up, will reach a positive creativity in this rightful request.

(Mimar Hikmet Koyunoğlu, Kültür ve Sanat, t, issue : 5, 1977, p. 151)

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