National identity is one of the most frequently discussed topics in social and political as well as artistic and cultural sense. In the first years of the republican period culture and arts policy of goverment was based on providing a contemporary and national identity to Turkish art, performing national arts thoughts with art education programs and improving the public through art. Moving from this understanding the national consciousness was tried to be strengthened with activation of State Painting and Sculpture Museum, establishment of Gazi Educational Institute, Village Institutes and Public Houses and homeland traves. With the Yeniler Group, which emerged in the 1940s when identity discussions were intense, a new perspective was brought on nationality and Anatolian steppe and Anatolian were painted in socialist realistic style. Then with the Onlar group, which created by the students of Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, national and universal understanding of art based on traditional handicrafts were adopted. It is possible to say that Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu is one of the key names in the national identity in the history of contemporary Turkish painting, which reinterprets Anatolian motifs of handicrafts with western painting technique. In this study, it is aimed to reveal the historical process for the search for national identity intensifying with the foundation of the Republic and the contribution of Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu to this process.
Keywords: Early Republican period, Turkish painting, national identity, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu.