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A Brief History


The culture of Turkey is diverse and combines elements derived from Ottoman, European and Middle Eastern traditions.


The nation was modernized primarily by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. As he transformed a religion-driven former Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state with strong separation of state and religion, a corresponding increase in the methods of artistic expression arose. During the first years of the republic, the government invested a large amount of resources into fine arts such as paintings, sculpture and architecture.


This was done as both a process of modernisation and of creation a cultural identity. Because of the different historical factors defining the Turkish identity, the culture of Turkey combines clear efforts to be "modern" and Western, with a desire to maintain traditional religious and historical values.


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