[QODLink]
General
Father of the Turks
Imran Garda explores Ataturk's extraordinary - and contested - legacy.
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2007 12:48 GMT


The meeting place of East and West, Turkey has an almost entirely Muslim population. And yet for more than 80 years, Turks have been governed by strictly secular principles; principles introduced by the founding father of the republic, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk.

Al Jazeera's Imran Garda explores Ataturk's
extraordinary - and contested - legacy

As Turkey prepares for general elections, amid an increasingly tense standoff between the ruling AKP party - accused of being 'Islamist' by its rivals - and the opposition supported by the military - Al Jazeera's Imran Garda travelled to the country to explore Ataturk's extraordinary - and contested - legacy.

The "Father of the Turks" died in 1938, but his image and his influence still pervades all aspects of national life.

He is celebrated as having created a dynamic and peaceful democracy out of the ashes of a fallen empire, but the secularism for which he is so famous has arguably become a quasi-religion which cannot be publicly challenged.

Al Jazeera examines why he is so revered by so many Turks, and why others claim the state is manipulating his memory for its own oppressive purposes.

Watch Father of the Turks here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Father of the Turks aired from 16 July 2007


To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page

Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.