The Government of the Turkish Grand National Assembly saved the country from being partitioned and occupied with the National War of Independence. A few months following the signing of the Lausanne Treaty, in which the Allied powers and the world recognized the independence and sovereignty of Turkey, the Republican People's Party was established on 9 September 1923 and Mustafa Kemal was elected as its chairman.

The administrative staff of the party was composed of the military staff who directed the national struggle and high-level bureaucrats. The party led by the leader and the hero of the Turkish War of Independence, stood for modernizing and westernizing reforms in the political, judicial and educational fields.

These developments, however, disturbed the conservative elements in the National Assembly. The discussions flared up on such issues as what would happen now that the sultanate was abolished and how the parliament would now act, with which authorities and on whose behalf. The institutions and the office of the Caliphate, meanwhile stood in stark contradiction to the new administration. All these developments made a radical transformation compulsory.

Thus, the Republic was proclaimed on 29 October 1923 in order to give the state a democratic form in the contemporary sense. Mustafa Kemal, the successful and great charismatic leader of the national struggle for independence, was elected unanimously as the first President of the Republic of Turkey. He appointed Ismet Inonu as the first Prime Minister.

Thus, the discussions and doubts about the Presidency were ended. Four months later, the Caliphate, which was incompatible with the principle of republicanism, was abolished and the members of the Ottoman Dynasty were expatriated on 3 March 1924.

Being aware of the fact that the separation of religious and state affairs and the provision of freedom of religion and conscience for individuals were among the prerequisites of forming a modern society, Mustafa Kemal initiated in the framework of the "principle of secularity" the most important changes. After the abolition of the Caliphate, a series of radical reforms were made in the institutions and mentality connected to the Caliphate.

The Ministry of Shariah and Foundations was replaced by the Chairmanship of Religious Affairs and the Directorate of Foundations, both connected to the Prime Ministry. The religious school order was abolished on 3 March 1924 with the Unification of Education Law and all schools and educational matters were united under the Ministry of National Education. The Shariah Courts were replaced by secular courts with the Judicial Organization Law.

The wearing of the turban and fez, that were symbols of the former order, were banned and the "hat" became the official headgear, following the promulgation of the Hat Law on 25 November 1925. Thus, the traditional symbols in attire, indicating differences of class, rank and religious order were removed. The international hour and calendar systems were adopted on 26 November 1925.

The dervish lodges and tombs and the titles of tariqahs (sects) were abolished on 25 November 1925. A Turkish Civil Code was accepted on 17 February 1926 to replace the old civil code and the Shariah Laws which were the foundation stones of Ottoman law. The acceptance of the Turkish Civil Code made it necessary to secularize all legislation and the Code of Obligations, the Criminal Code and the Commercial Code were also rewritten according to contemporary principles.

Important steps were taken concerning women's rights. Polygamy was forbidden and marriages, to be officially recognized, had to be performed in accordance with the civil code, not according to religious ceremonies as in the past. Also, a law was promulgated which made it necessary to get a court decree to get a divorce.

Women obtained the right to vote and be elected in the municipal elections in 1930, in elections held for village councils in 1933 and in 1934, they obtained the right to vote and be elected into the Turkish Grand National Assembly. One of the most important reforms initiated by Ataturk was the preparation of a new Turkish alphabet by a board of linguists and academicians and the law which envisaged the use of Latin letters was adopted by the TGNA on 1 November 1928.

The adoption of this new phonetic alphabet was an important step taken to help increase the literacy rate which had been very low. The old units of measurement and weight were changed in 1931. Commercial and economic transactions were facilitated with the acceptance of the metric system and a standard system of measurement was established throughout Turkey.

The Surname Law was adopted on 21 June 1934. Mustafa Kemal, the founder of the new Turkish State and Republic, was given the surname of "Ataturk" (Father of the Turks) by the TGNA. The efforts to create a modern country based on secular foundations was also reflected in the Constitution.

An amendment made to the Constitution in 1928 removed the clause which had stated that the religion of the state is Islam. A clause was put in the Constitution in 1937 stating that Turkey is a secular state. Along with these developments, Ataturk established the Turkish Historical Society in 1925 and Turkish Linguistic Society in 1932, in order to strengthen the foundations of the new national state and contribute to the development of a national consciousness among the Turkish people.

The struggle for independence the Turks waged against the imperialist states and the radical social, political and economic reforms initiated by Ataturk, constituted an important example and model for the Third World countries.