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Kemalism, also called Ataturkism, is a left-wing, nationalist, secular and culturally rather progressive ideology inhabiting a moderate position in the authoritarian left quadrant. and is the ideology of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It essentially advocates for a progressive, nationalist social democracy and can be seen as a more moderate version of Leftnat.png Left-Wing Nationalism, especially on the economic axis. It has a strong cult of personality in Turkey since its foundation.

The six arrows of Kemalism represent Republicanismpix.png Republicanism, Pop.png Populism, Nation.png Nationalism, Laicism.png Laicism (exclusion of ecclesiastical control and influence), Sec.png Statism and Reform.png Reformism.


Kemalism is the ideology of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the founding ideology of the Republic of Turkey. The ideology was designed to help modernize Turkey and separate it from its Ottoman predecessor, these reforms include democracy, secularism, state support of the sciences and free education.

The early roots of the ideology began during the early 19th-century Tanzimant reforms in the late years of the Ottoman Empire when the Empire was trying to stop its collapse, of course this merely delayed the inevitable. After the Young Ottoman movement ditched Ottoman Nationalism (Ottoman.png Ottomanism) to stop the rising ethnic nationalism within the Empire in favour of Turkish nationalism becoming the Young Turks (no, not the American news tabloid) which sought to establish many things the Young Ottomans wanted established like a democracy however unlike the Young Ottomans, the Young Turks were in favour of secularism. The Young Turks inspired Atatürk greatly with their advocacy of democracy, Turkish nationalism and secularism among other things. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Atatürk implemented these ideas as well as bringing about more economically left reforms to the nation which the nation had never experienced before.


Kemalism is defined by having six principles, which are notably represented in its symbol with the six arrows.

Republicanismpix.png Republicanism

Republicanism or in Turkish "cumhuriyetçilik" is the belief that civic power within society should be held within Dem.png democratically elected representatives, instead of passed down through the generations like in a Monarch.png monarchy of the Ottoman Empire. Though it also banned earlier opposition parties because of "saving the secular state"

The Kemalist republic is a unitary state favoring centralization.

Nation.png Nationalism

Nationalism or in Turkish "Milliyetçilik" in the Kemalist context refers to the belief in a single Turkish nation unified under a Jack.png Rousseauian social contract. This form of Nationalism is very much Civnat.png Civic, believing that to be Turkish one must "Protect and promote the moral, spiritual, cultural and humanistic values of the Turkish Nation.". Kemalist Nationalism also favors a form of Souverainism, rejecting Imp.png imperialism and foreign conquest, although it views the nation as inseparable not allowing for secessionism.

Pop.png Populism

Populism or in Turkish "Halkçılık" is the belief that political power and sovereignty within society should be held by the Turkish people instead of a nobility.

However, the concept of "people" here is not in a left-wing or right-wing "populist" sense. It is ideologized by "solidarist Corptism.png corporatism" (or corporate solidarism) originating from the Third French Republic. Kemalist intellectuals significantly influenced by Émile Durkheim. Kemalism, against the class struggle and supports the cooperation of the professions. However, there were no corporations established in Kemalist Turkey. The Republican Peoples Party program is theoretically divided "people" into professions. The aim here is to create a united nation that does not discriminate "class, race, religion and gender".

Because of this similarity, the Republican People's Party was invited by the Radical Republican Party to the International Understanding of Radical Parties and Similar Democratic Parties (Entente Internationale des Partis Radicaux et des Partis Démocratiques Similaires) in 1926.

Şükrü Kaya, Atatürk's Minister of Interior, stated the following in the official newspaper dated February 13, 1937:

Friends; There are various kinds of organizations called populism on earth. Joint work of leftist ideas in recent timesand called the popular fronts, a number of political we meet the institutions. Our notion of populism has nothing to do with them. The truth of this word is to the party in the first days of the was taken as the name. The populism recipe, which was made in the language of the Great Chef (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), found its perfection in the party program. This qualification protects dormitory is from pretenses of privilige and class fights. It has great importance protecting.

In the 1931 Republican People's Party (CHP) Program, it was written as follows:

It is one of our main principles to accept the people of the Republic of Turkey as a community that is not made up of separate classes, but as a community that is dedicated to various employees in terms of division of labor for individual and social life.

A) Small farmers,

B) Small industrialist and shopkeepers,

C) Workers

D) Self-employed person,

E) Industrialists, large land and business owners, and merchants.

They are the main working groups that constitute the Turkish community. The work of each of them is essential for the life and happiness of the other and the general community. The purpose of our party with this principle is to ensure social order and solidarity instead of class struggle and to establish harmony in interests in a way that does not distort each other. Benefits are proportional to ability and degree of work.

The aim is "to build a cohesive mass without privileges, without classes."

However, a compromise between workers and bosses is stipulated. For this reason, good rights have been provided to the workers and job security to the bosses. Thus, the class struggle was wanted to be prevented. However, Kemalism is not fascism. It does not have a fascist corporatist understanding. His understanding is a solidarist corporatist.

Strikes and lockouts are prohibited. The aim is to create a unified nation. Workers and bosses are required to be "civic nationalists". In the program of the Republican People's Party of 1931, it is stated as follows:

"We will take into account the rights and interests of nationalist Turkish workers. Establishing harmony between labor and capital, and imposing appropriate provisions with a labor law, are among important jobs."

Within the scope of this principle (Kemalist populism), "Spring Day" was celebrated as a national holiday instead of May 1, Labor Day since 1935. May 1 is a holiday. However, instead of a holiday representing the working class, it was declared a national holiday.

Sec.png Statism

Statism or in Turkish "devletçilik" is the belief that the state should actively intervene within the economy and society to solve issues, this principle aligns Kemalist economic policy as leaning towards Socdem.png Social Democracy favouring a large welfare state.

The economic side of the principle was expressed by Atatürk as "dirigisme" and "state socialism". It is a pragmatic principle. Because economic understandings change over time.

In the opening speech of Atatürk's CHP 4th Congress (May 9, 1935) , he said:

Friends you see that; We are dealing with establishing a brand new guided economy (dirigisme, dirigiste) order. Our party's economic understanding; It will show that our program in this direction is the best program that will meet the needs of the country and make it develop in a short time. There is no doubt that with your new advice and directives you will facilitate our re-advancement and promotion measures.

On 1 November 1937, Atatürk said:

Markets are not intervened unless there is a definite obligation; however, no market is idle either.

Celal Bayar, who was the prime minister while Atatürk was alive, said in his speech on 8 November 1937:

If today's world conjuncture changes, or if any country offers us a form that will meet our original purpose, or if the benefits of our national trade allow, we will not hesitate to switch to another form (another economic model). In this way, it seems that we will always preserve the flexibility of adaptation pointed out by the Chief (Atatürk). In summary, our policy is a guided economy (dirigiste, dirigisme) policy that constantly adapts to time and needs. This road will be walked carefully.

Laicism.png Laicism

Laicism, also called secularism and in Turkish "Laiklik" is the belief that religion should be separated from all forms of public life. What separates Kemalist laicism from how secularism is practiced in most western countries is the focus on not only separating the church (or rather mosque) from the state, but also from society in general, seeking to make religion a personal affair. This principle aligns Kemalist social policy as being culturally rather left-wing.

Reform.png Reformism

Reformism, also called Revolutionism and in Turkish "inkılâpçılık" is the belief that the Turkish Society and the Kemalist philosophy should seek to actively reinvent and modernize to fit with the modern times and not to cling on the oppressive institutions of the past. This principle aligns also aligns Kemalist social policy as being culturally rather left-wing


LibKemSmall.png Liberal Kemalism Lib.png

The Free Republican Party (sometimes referred to as the Liberal Republican Party; in Turkish: Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası) was a political party founded by Fethi Okyar upon President Kemal Atatürk's request in the early years of the Turkish Republic.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk requested that Okyar create it as an opposition party to confront the ruling Republican People's Party with the aim of establishing the tradition of multi-party democracy in Turkey.

In addition, this party defended the Liberal Kemalist thought in line with Atatürk's wishes.

However, the party was quickly embraced by the conservatives who saw it as an opportunity to reverse the reforms of Atatürk, particularly regarding secularism, and was personally dissolved in November 1930 by Okyar who himself was an ardent supporter of the reforms.

Soc-h.png Socialist Kemalism

In line with Atatürk's request and permission, the communists on trial in 1927, published a new magazine. The name of the magazine was "Kadro". Atatürk also made a statement to this magazine. Şevket Süreyya Aydemir is the founder of this ideology. However, the publishers of the magazine made a socialist-Kemalist discourse, not being a Marxist due to their ideological orientation. Ultimately, the magazine's lead author was appointed ambassador. For this reason, Kadro magazine dissolved itself. In short, they were "socialist-Kemalist".

Those who publish the magazine are called "Kadroists (Kadrocular)."

Socdem.png Social Democratic Kemalism / Centre-Left Kemalism

The Republican People's Party declared that it was the Left of Center (Turkish: Ortanın Solu) since 1965. After this year, Kemalism and social democracy were commemorated together in Turkey. Before 1965, there was no social democracy in the Republican People's Party.

Bülent Ecevit and İsmet İnönü are the founders of this ideology.

On July 29, 1965, just before the 1965 general elections, Chairman İsmet İnönü spoke for the first time that the CHP's line was "left of center" during an interview with journalist Abdi İpekçi:

- The CHP is a statist party by nature, and as such, of course, it has a left-of-centre understanding.

Bülent Ecevit, on the other hand, says in his book "Left of Center":

- The main factor that separates the center-left from the extreme left, communism, is that it is democratic. (p. 91)

Ecevit later founded the Democratic Left Party. Here he continued to defend his view with names such as "democratic left".

Conservat.png Conservative Kemalism / Centre-right Kemalism

It can be assumed that the Democrat Party, which came to power in 1950, established this ideology. Celal Bayar and Adnan Menderes are the founders of this ideology. During this period, relations with America and NATO are at a high level. Anti-communism is more radical than Atatürk era. Turhan Feyzioğlu, who later opposed the concept of "left of centre", left the Republican People's Party and founded the Republican Reliance Party on the principles of right-Kemalism.

In some forms of conservatism, change is advocated slowly. To give an example, the Republican Reliance Party writes in its program:

“We are reformers, not destructive. We are supporters of reform.”

(Republican Reliance Party Program, 1967, p. 30)

Fash.png Fascist Kemalism

With the influence of the rising Fascism in the world in the 1930's (although not certain), Recep Peker argued that the Republican People's Party should go to a Fascism type organization. Paramilitary units affiliated with the party demanded applications such as strong party anthems and fascist council. However, Peker rejected Fascism Fash.png and Corporatism Corptism.png in his speeches, but it is known that he had a kind of Fascist-Kemalist mentality. His ideas were rejected by Atatürk.

How to Draw

Flag of Kemalism

Kemalism's design is based of the "Six Arrows" symbol, which represents the six principles of the ideology. The symbol is used by the Government of Turkey and the Republican People's Party of Turkey.

  1. Draw a ball with eyes.
  2. Fill it with red.
  3. Draw 6 white arrows coming from the bottom left corner.

And you're done!

Color Name HEX RGB
Red #E30A17 227, 10, 23
White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255



  • Long.png Longism - A bit too religious but he's cool otherwise.
  • Socdem.png Social Democracy - Best economic system.
  • Leftnat.png Left-Wing Nationalism - Turkey stronk.
  • Civnat.png Civic Nationalism - Together against ethnats and racenats.
  • 3princ.png Tridemism 3princ-col.png - Fellow Modernist.
  • Socauth.png Social Authoritarianism - The state must secure the well-being of the people!
  • Laicism.png Laicism - Religion and state MUST be separate!
  • Republicanismpix.png Republicanism - Long live the republic!
  • Reform.png Reformism - I shall transform Turkey towards a modern state.
  • Radlib.png Radicalism - I like your French version and your "laicist, civic nationalist, republicanist, democratic, progressive" ideas. But i can't enter "Entente Internationale des Partis Radicaux et des Partis Démocratiques Similaires." Sorry brother.
  • Protect.png Protectionism - The best way to form the Turkish "national bourgeoisie".
  • Cameralism.png Cameralism - Thank you for presenting Friedrich List's economic theories to me. "National economy" is really important.
  • Unitary.png Unitarism - My best friend in the fight against federalism.


  • Patcon.png Paternalistic Conservatism - Good economics and nationalism, bad social policies.
  • Islamofeminism.png Islamic Feminism - Women's rights are very important, but what do you mean you actually want to wear a veil voluntarily ?!
  • Orthlen.png Leninism - Thanks for helping me in the Turkish war of independence. Although Communism isn't great.
  • Panc.png Pancasila - He is pretty close to me and 3princ.pngTridemism. But I don't like how religious he is.
  • WelfChauvin.png Welfare Chauvinism - I like your economic policies, but Ultranat.png Ultranationalism is stupid. Civnat.png Civic Nationalism is the best type of Nationalism!
  • Venizelos.png Venizelism - I know you're annoyed about the whole Izmir incident, but we're cool now, right?
  • Metaxi.png Metaxism - Right?
  • Corptism.png Corporatism - It's nice to maintain social justice and be against class conflict. I also classified my people according to their professions. But corporations and trade unions are not good.
  • Islamic Democracy.pngIslamic Democracy - ......have you realized how much a tool you are?
  • Ittihad.png İttihadism - I remember the days when we were friends. Good days. But why did you have to become so... well... fascist after 1913?
  • Lib.png Liberalism - I had Fethi Okyar establish the Liberal Republican Party, but I need statism.


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