91 years ago, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, pronounced this sentence: “Yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh” (Peace in the country, peace in the world), which had the ambition to become the Turkish motto of domestic and foreign policy, advocating universal peace.
This pacifist sentence was pronounced by Atatürk in his 1931 election manifesto. , he had shouted.
More recently, one can read or hear a “modern” version of this motto: “Yurtta barış, dünyada barış”. Barış (peace) replacing the word of Arabic origin sulh, and dünya (world), also of Arabic origin, replacing cihan**, a word of Persian origin.
A motto included in the Turkish constitution of 1982 :
“Yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh” already appeared in the Preamble of the Turkish constitution of 1961 and was repeated in that of 1982, still in force although amended many times; it thus represents the policy of the Republic of Turkey, becoming almost a rule of law as much as a motto: “Considering that all Turkish citizens have in common their sense of national pride and glory, that they share the joys and national sorrows, the rights and duties towards the national entity, happiness and misfortunes, and that they are associated in all manifestations of national life, and have the right to demand a peaceful life, with absolute respect of their reciprocal rights and freedoms and taking into account the feelings of fraternity and sincere love by which they are mutually animated and of their confident desire for ‘Peace in the country, peace in the world'”.
In 2022, this motto, still often cited as the founder of the Republic of Turkey, seems to sound more like a utopia than an achievable goal.
In the early 2000s, the AKP, newly installed in power, proposed in terms of foreign policy the doctrine “Zero problems with neighbors” (Komşularla Sıfır Sorun Politikası), a doctrine developed by Ahmet Davutoğlu, who would become Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2009. The implementation of this policy will last only a few years.
While visiting the Turkish capital in November 2006, Pope Benedict XVI wrote in the guestbook of the Mausoleum of Atatürk: “On this land, meeting point and crossroads of various religions and cultures, hinge Asia and Europe, I willingly endorse the words of the founder of the Turkish Republic to express this wish: Peace in the fatherland, peace in the world”.