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Modern Turkish Language
Where'd it come from, where is it now, where's it going?
Picture this... It's 1792, and the fledgling United States of America is struggling to find her own way in the new world order. George Washington, its first President and hero of the War of Independence, ponders the future of the young country, and
"Intolerable!" he says. "I didn't break my back these last 15 years to give it all back to the British bully, without a fight. I've got to devise a way to cut this country off from its self-inflicted dependence on the old country. How can I do it quickly and effectively, and still maintain the enthusiastic support of the majority of Americans?"
"Well, suppose I abolish the current English language -- and make it illegal to use in public. Suppose I establish a brand new American Language. Now... that would change our relationship radically with old Britain and go a long way toward breaking those binding ties. And it would appeal to the majority of American citizens because they're still basking in the glory of our famous victory, and are in a once-in-a-lifetime mood for drastic nationalistic reform. And I can do it -- since I'm the country's Founding Father and most famous Independence War hero!"
So he sets out to do just that. And his first steps in the process are to mandate the creation of an All-American Alphabet based on Arabic characters, to ban old English script in public, and to obsolete portions of old English vocabulary (replacing it with unfamiliar, in some cases never before heard, "pure-American" words).
And to implement the changes, he pulls together a team of educators and language experts and, in caravan, they travel round the furthest reaches of the country giving lessons in the new language. And who's the celebrity professor and star of the show? The one who really draws in the crowds? Why none other than old George himself!
And the people love it and accept their instant illiteracy in the Modern American Language with pleasure and courage and the ties to the old country (and old ways) are broken effectively, forever.
Celebrity-professor Atatürk bans Arabic in Turkey --
shown here teaching
new 'English like' Turkish alphabet to villagers in 1932...
Left click for image enlargement
Impossible, you say...It could never have happened. And, you say, it's a good thing that George didn't try it, because it would have been thrown the new country into chaos. Besides, you say...even if he had set out to do it, it would have taken decades to make any headway and George only had seven more years of life in which to spearhead the effort.
Impossible, huh? Well, in essence, that's what Mustafa Kemal, Atatürk (modern Turkey's Founding-Father and War of Independence hero) did successfully -- including the part about being the celebrity professor! And he did it in less than a year in a newly independent nation whose population was almost 10 times the size of the original USA!
Atatürk's Dil Devrimi (Language Revolution) began officially in May 1928 (with the introduction of the English-style alphabet for the Turkish language) and was complete on January 1, 1929 -- the day it became illegal in the new Turkish Republic to use the centuries-old-standard Arabo Persian calligraphic-style alphabet. And on that day, the link with Turkey's Ottoman-Arabic-Asian-Islamic past was altered drastically and irrevocably, forever.
In Turkey - Türkiye'de
Tüm bilgisayar kitabı fırsatları için tıklayın !
The budding of modern Turkish
Ottoman Empire Encyclopedia - Index
Books on Ottoman and Turkish History
Book Review -- Harem : The World Behind the Veil
The Ladies Turkish Bath...
Turkish Food Traditions
Türk Sanat Müzik (Turkish Art Music) -- Zeki Müren
About the Rule of Turkish Vowel Harmony
Turkish Pronunciation Guide
Turkish Language Variations -- Devrik Cümle
All about numbers in Turkish
Turkish Acronyms/Abbreviations and Abbreviations
Turkish Idioms in Plain English
Turkish Personal Names
How to translate Turkish -- Part One
How to translate Turkish -- Part Two
General Turkish Word Dictionary -- Online
Turkish Learning -- Geopolitical Dictionary
Turkish Who's Who -- Gossipy
Turkish Learning Downloads
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