Istanbul(1922-23)/Ataturk Reform-Change of Capital

Istanbul(1922-23)/Ataturk Reform-Change of Capital
“The Sheep of Ankara, shows its hand last” ©1922 , Sedat Simavi
“The Sheep of Ankara, shows its hand last” ©1922 , Sedat Simavi
“The Sheep of Ankara, shows its hand last” ©1922 , Sedat Simavi

 

This is a cartoon post in the Istanbul magazine , Güleryüz,  on October 1922,  drawn by a political cartoonist called Sedat Simavi.

In 1922, it is the year where the Turkish War of Independence gain victory and the Republic of Turkey started to form. Ataturk was the founder of the republic of turkey and he has implemented a series of reform called the’ Ataturk Reform’. And in the reform regarding public administration, Ataturk suggest to change the capital from Constantinople ( now Istanbul) to Ankara. The reason for moving the capital is because of the perceived decadence and corruption in the old capital of Constantinople during the Ottoman empire period. Ataturk believe they should leave back behind the Ottoman heritage and build a new capital. Ankara is chosen because it is geographically more centered in Turkey. The country new capital was set in Ankara on 13 October 1923.

Therefore in this cartoon the portrait is the face of Ataturk, the background city is Ankara and the foreground city is Istanbul, showing Ataturk leading the change of capital of Istanbul to Ankara.

Nowadays, Ankara not only acting as the center of the Turkish government , but also the center of the industrial and commercial city. Because it is located at the center of the railway and highway network in Turkey, it also marks an important trading center and marketing area for surrounding agricultural area.

In my opinion, I believe Ataturk has made the right decision in moving the capital from Istanbul to Ankara, because in that case the old Ottoman heritage can still be preserved in Istanbul, while the geographical advantage of Ankara not only give government a better control of the whole country, but also rise the economy in Ankara by acting as a trading center.

1 Comment on “Istanbul(1922-23)/Ataturk Reform-Change of Capital

  1. I agree that Ataturk made a correct decision in leaving Istanbul and build a more centralised capital in Turkey. Not only he could preserve the old Istanbul with the Ottoman heritages, he also favours the government’s running through easier transport and closer distance with elsewhere. This situation reminds me of Beijing’s new city planning after 1949 when the Communist Party settled down in Beijing. Only if Mao was thinking like Ataturk we would have the Qing imperial city well preserved and let the Old Beijing be the one complete medieval city to demonstrate all the traditional Chinese architecture, culture and lives.

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