Kemal Atatürk

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Ali oğlu Mustafa (Mustafa, son of Ali) was born around 1881 in Salonica in the Ottoman Empire. Today, this region is in Greece. He gained the second name Kemal in high school. And, many years later, in 1934, he received the honorary name Atatürk. The name means “Father Turk” or “Father of Turks.”

His father died when Atatürk was only seven years old. Yet, he still had a big impact on his son. First, he sent him to a secular rather than religious school. Secondly, he doomed him for a career in the army. On a sad note, the family often experienced racial abuse.

After he graduated from the War school in Istanbul, he joined the Fifth army based in Damascus. There, he noticed the poor treatment of the local people by the officials. Thus, he got involved in politics. After his return to Salonica, he joined an anti-governmental group called the Committee of Union and Progress.

Kamal Atatürk
* ca. 1881, Salonica, Ottoman Empire
✟ November 10, 1938, Istanbul, Turkey

Kemal Atatürk, Father Turk

In the following years, Atatürk proved himself strong. He played a vital role during both the war with Italy and World War I. Hence, his reputation grew high among the Turks.

Despite suffering from medical issues, he started the fight against the Sultan. By 1920, the Ottoman Empire heavily reduced in size. But, a war with now independent Greece was a new obstacle. This war raged for two years. Finally, in October 1922, a truce between the two nations was signed. Later that year, the Turks abolished the Ottoman Empire.

On October 29, 1923, Kemal Atatürk became the first president of the newly formed Turkish Republic. Soon, he abolished religious schools and courts, as well as the caliphate and Islamic law. Hence, he wanted Turkey to become a modern secular state.

Further in his life, he closed up from most people. He spent his time in his mansion drinking alcohol, remote from his nation. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk suffered from cirrhosis and on November 10, 1938

“Peace at Home, Peace in the World”

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk