Atatürk was a military genius, a charismatic leader, also a comprehensive reformer. It was important at the time for the Republic of Turkey to be modernised in order to progress towards the level of contemporary civilizations and to be an active member of the culturally developed communities. Mustafa Kemal modernised the life of his country. Atatürk introduced reforms which he considered of vital importance for the salvation and survival of his people between 1924- 1938. These reforms were enthusiastical ly welcomed by the Turkish people.
The Reform of the Alphabet
One of the most important reforms of Atatürk was the abolition of the use of the Arabic alphabet and the adoption of the Latin alphabet. On the 3rd of November 1928, the new Turkish Alphabet was adopted.
The Clothing Reform
With the clothing reform, women stopped wearing veils; they started to wear modern womens clothing. Men started to wear hats rather than the fez.
The Secularisation of the Legal System
The new Turkish State founded in 1920 required a new legal system. Atatürk adopted the Swiss Civil Code as a substitute for Canonical Law (Şeriat Kanunu) and instead of the penal code then in force, introduced the Italian Penal Code of that time. The Tur kish Legal System was modernised in accordance with contemporary requirements.
The Secularisation of Education
Until the beginning of the 19th century, several educational systems were used in the Ottoman Empire. Atatürk observed that the systems used in Muslim seminaries school did not meet the needs of the new society. It was essential to establish a new educa tional system similar to the western models. Thus, the existing system was changed. In 1933 a university reform was introduced.
Civil Rights for Women
With the reforms of Atatürk, Turkish women, who for centuries had been neglected, were given new rights. Thus with the civil code passed, Turkish women would now have the same rights as men, could be appointed to official posts, would have the right t o vote and to be elected to Parliament. The monogamy principle and equal rights for women changed the spirit of Turkish society.
Atatürk's Works on Turkish History
Following the reform of the script, which was meant to be a kind of nationalism in the cultural field, Atatürk concentrated his attention on history. He established the Turkish Historical Society in 1931. Here, Turkey's history was thoroughly examined and evaluated. The New Calendar, Weights and Measures, Holidays and Surname Laws and many other reforms were achieved as well. An example of this is the Weekend Act of 1924, the International Time and Calendar System of 1925, the Obligation Law and Commercial Law of 1926, the System of Measures 1933 and the Surname Act, 1934. According to the law passed by the Grand National Assembly in 1932 Turks took surnames and the Nations leader was given the surname of Atatürk, "Father of the Turks".