Can you help me understand this Social Science question?
Read the assigned article about the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He undertook many changes to establish a secular state, such as changing the alphabet to Latin letters instead of Arabic script, ending the rule of Islamic law, and permitting divorce. “In 1934, the [Turkish people] were required by law to take last names” (Lawlor, 1996). This final idea can be hard to imagine, but it can also show the importance of names and naming. One may wonder how families would decide. As a result, many Turkish last names have meanings, such as Yıldız (star), Berberoğlu (son of a barber) or Korkmaz (fearless). HU 250 Abia Polytechnic University Modernizing the Turkish Republic Discussion
First, why do you think last names may have been an important part of “modernizing” the Turkish Republic?
Next, talk about your own name. Does your name have a meaning? What are some of the historical or familial reasons for your first and last name? Do you have a nickname or preferred titles at work or in your community?
How can names communicate ideas about traditions, values, and beliefs?
Lawlor, E. (March 1996) “His Name Meant ‘Father Turk’ and That He Was.”
. Vol. 26, Issue 12.
When Ataturk introduced the last reform in 1935, he wanted the people to adopt family names. Names of meaning that could be carried on from generation to generation. This is my opinion. Because of this reform beginning, I believe this caused modernization in the Turkish Republic. Before this everyone went by only first names that were given at birth. While these names did have a meaning, they were not continued on from one family member to another. This created a more European way of doing things and a modernization of the last name for their culture.
When looking at my own last name, what I do know is that it is of German background. My last name is Hess and I believe originates from the region of Hesse. I have researched and found the actual meaning of this last name is “hooded people,” but there seems to be a confusion as to what that actually means. I am unsure of the historical or family reasons of my last name, except that I have a German background on my Father’s side. I have quite a few nationalities in my blood to be honest. German is most likely the strongest. My first name was given to me only because my older sister was named Tiffani and my parents thought Tiffani and Brittani went well together. I do not have any nicknames. Some do like to call me by my middle name. So people will refer to me as Brittani Kay instead of Brittani Hess.
I believe names can come from different traditions and beliefs because they originated from a time long ago when certain traditions, religions, culture, values, and beliefs first began and the name has since been passed down from generation to generation. A name can have a meaning that describes a person or the background of a person’s family. It can have a religious meaning that stands for that family’s beliefs or traditions. Even nicknames can be given based on something to do with the person it is given to, their personality, traits, beliefs, and so on. I enjoy researching the meanings of names and where they came from and why. It is very interesting to know where it originated and why that is.
Lawler, E., (1996). His name meant ‘Father Turk,’ and that he was. Purdue University Global Library. Retrieved from
N.A., (2017). Las Name: Hess. Surname DB. Retrieved from
Hannah Serra posted Nov 27, 2020 10:54 AM
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In the early 1920’s, many reforms were passed with the goal of transforming Turkey into a modern country. The surname law in 1924 forced Turkish citizens to choose a last name for their family. I believe this law was passed to “modernize” the Turkish Republic in hopes of bringing the people together. “People adopted surnames related to their ancestors, historic events or simply related to the holder’s profession or personality” (Agency, 2015). This was a way to identify families but also a connection to the past, which is interesting.
I am a third-generation American meaning I have two US-born parents with foreign-born grandparents. My grandparents moved here from the Philippines in . I took my father’s last name, Serra. I always assumed Serra was of Filipino origin but after doing a little research, I actually learned that “noble surnames, such as Serra, evoke images of the ancient homeland of the Spanish people”(House of Names). The reason for my first name is more familial. My grandmother is deeply religious and chose my name. The name Hannah comes from the Bible. The narrative of Hannah can be found in the Book of Samuel. It is of Hebrew origin meaning ‘favor’ or ‘grace’.
Names can communicate ideas about beliefs similar to my grandmother’s. I believe your name can be quite empowering. Even the most plain, basic name could have a powerful meaning behind it. They portray where you might be from, traditions you practice, and what you believe in.
Agency, A. (2015, June 22). The surname law: A profound change in Turkish history. Retrieved
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Serra Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms. (n.d.). Retrieved
November 27, 2020, from