After World War I the Ottoman Empire lost its Arab provinces and part of Asia Minor. Led by General Mustafa Kemal the Turkish National Movement developed in reaction to the Allied occupation of Istanbul.

Mustafa Kemal declared the creation of the state of Turkey in 1923 and obtained the abolition of the sultanate. Under his presidency (1923-38), the Turkish Republic promoted Turkish nationalism and secularism. The Islamic courts of law were abolished and a new constitution in 1928 removed all references to religious life. After 1935 Kemal Mustafa assumed the name of Ataturk.