This paper discusses some of the current problems and issues facing ELT in Turkey, and also provides a brief historical overview of the development of English in that country, focusing on the ‘language revolution’ of the 1920s. By situating the development of ELT in Turkey within the larger context of Ataturk’s reforms, this paper works towards a conception of ELT in Turkey as a natural development in the country’s westernization process begun after the First World War. It is hoped that this perspective will be found congenial to Turkish nationals, many of whom oppose the spread of English while at the same time venerate the westernizing philosophy of Kemalism upon which their country is founded. This paper will connect these two strains of contemporary Turkish history. It will also discuss some specific pedagogical issues in ELT in Turkey, including new ‘distance’ language programs.