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
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.