The literati and the letters: a few words on the Turkish alphabet reform
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Cambridge University Press
11 - 24
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This paper explores the varied reactions of the Turkish literati and intelligentsia to the adoption of the Roman script imposed by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1928. Though alphabet reform had been on the ¨ agenda for almost 75 years, few intellectuals and bureaucrats had been supportive of romanisation in the years preceding the move. However after the implementation of the reform, opponents remained silent or were seemingly converted. This article discusses the reasons behind the silence and conversion of the elites and the strategies of opposition developed by more radical defenders of the Ottoman script. Finally it records the impact of the reform on the literary world and literary historiography.