Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, commander, president, reformer, the man who made Turks rising from the ashes of Ottomans possible.
Mustafa was born in 1881 in Thessaloniki. After his graduation from primary school, Mustafa took the exam for Thessaloniki Military School in 1893. Military education continued with Monaster Military High School, Ottoman Military Academy, and Ottoman Military College (1905).
Mustafa’s first assignment was in Damascus, assigned to the Fifth Army as a Staff Captain. He then attended Italo Turkish War in Libya (1911), and Balkan Wars (1912). In World War I, Mustafa commanded 19th Division attached to Fifth Army in Gallipolli in 1914. Even Ottomans defeated in war, Mustafa Kemal gained reputation regarding successful defending in Gallipolli. As soon as the war was over Anatolia was occupied by Allies forces, and the occupation of Izmir and Istanbul followed. All these situations sparked Turkish Independence fire under the leadership of Ataturk.
On 19 May 1919, Ataturk went to Samsun to establish organized national movement against occupied forces, declaring that the country is in great danger. Mustafa Kemal resigned from the army then he was condemned to death by Ottoman Government. After several wars from 1919 to 1922, mainly against to Greek troops, on 29 October 1923, Turkish Republic was proclaimed.
Mustafa Kemal’s role as a leader hasn’t finished yet. He knew Young Turkish Republic needed social, educational, religious and financial reforms. Until his death in 1938, he was trying to modernize the country in many ways.
The surname ” Ataturk “, which means ” father of Turks”, was given to Mustafa Kemal by parliament.
You are going to see his picture on Turkish banknotes and coins, statues on squares, and his photos or pictures on interior walls. So it is better to be familiar with him before your visit.