ATATÜRK AND FOUNDATIONS
Quoted from Inaugural Speech of Turkish Grand National Assembly Made by Atatürk on March 1, 1922
"As for the issues related to the foundations, it is known that foundations constitute an important asset of our country. I hope that all members of Council of Ministers together with the Ministry Of Religious Affairs and even the Supreme Assembly examine this issue with great care and that this great institution is protected from devastation and made useful for our country in order to ensure that our country can benefit from this asset as necessary.
When the reason of existence the foundations are taken into consideration, it is seen that the foundations aim to give service together with religious institutions and to provide the social solidarity in the society.
The fact that the foundations are comprised of almshouses, old Turkish hospitals, hospitals, libraries, caravanserais, baths, fountains, mosques, madrasahs and other knowledge institutions indicate the essential principles to be observed in the settlement of the issues of the foundations".
Speech made by K. ATATÜRK in the opening of 4th meeting year of Turkish Grand National Assembly on March 1, 1339 (1923)
During the past years, the Ministry of Foundations showed a quite important activity in the repairing and construction of religious and charitable structures. Repair activities carried out in various regions of the country have reached in total 126 mosques and small mosques, 31 madrasahs and schools, 22 waterways and fountains, 175 real properties and 26 Turkish baths.
The repair of the bents that belonged to Istanbul in 339 and that were neglected due to the lack of organization until now has seriously been considered and a draft law on this subject has been prepared and presented to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. If the law mentioned above is accepted by the Supreme Assembly, the water need of the people and religious buildings exposed to the danger of thirst in Istanbul will be minimized.
Spending of the expenditures of foundations, which have reached a significant sum, without being subject to any inspections are not suitable, also since the immediate inspection of the complaints made by the public are not possible, the reorganization of the Inspection Board has been put on budget.
The salaries of 487 religious officials, who have been carrying out their services over a minimum fee such as twenty-five and fifty kurus on a monthly basis, have been increased up to TL 13006 and also it has been decided to raise their wages up to similar figure at this year.
Last year I offered you this subject. I am obliged to repeat this year that matter of foundations is important for me. It must be investigated in terms of the true interest of the country and the nation and solved in accordance with the requirements of the day".
To Prime Minister and Excellency Ismet Pasha
On my last investigation trips, I have also revived the museums and the works of ancient art and civilization in various places.
1. I visited the museums in Bursa, Izmir, Antalya, Adana and Konya other than Istanbul. Some works that were found up to now are preserved in these places and partly classified with the help of foreign experts. However, it is extremely necessary to establish the museum directorates in order to scientifically protect and classify the works belonging to the ancient civilizations, which take place as unprecedented treasure in almost every part of our country, and in order to preserve the monuments, which have been dreadfully ruined due to continuous neglect of past centuries, and also it is extremely necessary to assign archaeologists to be used in excavation work. Therefore, I believe that it will be appropriate to devote for this subject some of the students to be sent abroad by the Ministry of Education to receive education.
2. There are some buildings that will be considered as the true architectural masterpieces of the Turkish civilization of the last eight centuries, although they expose to great destructions due to negligence continuing for centuries in Konya. In particular, Karatay Madrasah, Alâdeddin Mosque, Sahip Atâ Madrasah Mosque and Tomb, Sirçalı Small Mosque and İnce Minareli Mosque need to be repaired immediately. Since this delay in repair will cause the monuments to completely disappear, first of all I kindly request your Excellency to provide the evacuation of the monuments used by the soldiers and also to provide the repair of all of them under the supervision of experts.