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The cult of Atatürk

As Turkey drifts away from its "Kemalist" roots, there are just two things on which almost all Turks can agree: the necessity of EU membership and the still unifying cult of Atatürk

By Jonny Dymond   December 2004

“An erect, manly figure, of unmistakable dignity, impeccably dressed; clear-cut features, penetrating ice- blue eyes, bristling eyebrows, some harsh lines on his face, usually a grave and rather stern countenance; intense vitality showed in every glance, in every gesture and even in immobility. His mind and his body seemed like springs, coiled and ready for action.”

There are few Turks who would be unable to name the man described by Percy Loraine, British ambassador to Turkey from 1934 to 1939. Loraine was giving a BBC radio talk in 1948, on the tenth anniversary of the death of Mustapha Kemal Atatürk.…

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