Was Mustafa Kemal Atatuerk an atheist


Bekim Agai

To person

M. A., Dr. phil., born 1974; Studied Islamic studies, history and psychology in Bonn and Cairo; since 2003 research assistant at the Oriental Seminary at the University of Bonn.
Address: Oriental Seminar of the University of Bonn, Regina-Pacis-Weg 7, 53113 Bonn.
Email: [email protected]

Publications including: Private Education in Turkey - Die Dersanes', in: Körber Foundation (Ed.), Chance Bildung, Hamburg 2002; Between network and discourse: The educational network around Fethullah Gülen, Hamburg 2004 (i.E.).

Both Kemalism and politically motivated Islam are subject to change over time. What are the opportunities for a possible candidate country like Turkey?


At the end of 2004 it will be decided whether Turkey will be given a date for the start of EU accession negotiations. Regardless of the respective position, no observer can avoid noting that Turkey has recently implemented numerous reforms aimed at aligning the law with the EU. The AK party (Justice and Development Party - Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi), which has ruled since November 2002 and has been dubbed "Islamic", initiated many reforms, the acceptance of which represents a conditio sine qua non for the EU, but at the same time a radical one Break with Kemalist traditions. Criticism of the reforms often came from groups in the military and bureaucracy who see themselves as the guardians and guardians of the principles of the state founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the so-called Kemalists, who have always advocated a western orientation of Turkey. The following remarks are intended to investigate the question of how to deal with the legacy of the secularism propagated by Kemalism in Kemalist and Islamic-oriented circles today, what state and social ideals the corresponding positions are based on and what this means for rapprochement with Europe.