Kemal (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk) was virulently antireligious and saw Islam as the primary source of his country’s backwardness. “I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea,” he is reported to have said once. “He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap.”
Systematically, therefore, he set out to dismantle Islam’s grip on Turkish society. In 1924, with only slight modifications, the Swiss Civil Code was adopted and replaced the Sharia (Islamic Law).
– The Modern Middle East, Book by Mehran Kamrava, Page 56.