Ataturk With Carpets

After successfully leading the Turkish war of independence, Mustafa Kemal enacted several reforms, including the assigning of surnames for every citizen in the country. While his subjects were choosing last names for themselves from the self-evident (“Born”) to the nature-inspired (“Sun”) to the painfully prosaic (“Son of the Yogurt Maker,”) the nation’s first president assigned himself the name of Ataturk: “Father of the Turks.” If the attitudes of current Turks are any indication, he was justified. Ataturk’s image can be seen in nearly every classroom and workplace across the nation, including this rug shop where two Ataturk pictures formed part of a street display in Ankara.

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