Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
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Kemal Atatürk (or alternatively written as Kamâl Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal Pasha[a] until 1934, commonly referred to as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk;[b] 1881[c] – 10 November 1938) was a Turkish field marshal and statesman who was the first President of Turkey from 1923 to his death in 1938.
He is known for being a leader who freed his people from being controlled by other countries and then for starting changes that founded Turkish nation state based on social and economic nationalism, more modern and similar to Western civilization, mainly France (such as the French model of secularism called laïcité).
Atatürk was born under the name Mustafa in 1881. His birthplace was in Salonika, Macedonia (now Thessaloniki, Greece). Salonika was then part of the Ottoman Empire. He took the name Kemal as a schoolboy and Atatürk (which means Father of the Turks) when he was president. His father's name was Ali Rıza Efendi. His mother's name was Zübeyde Hanım. He also had a sister, whose name was Makbule (Atadan). He became an army officer and the most successful general officer of the empire in World War I, fighting in Gallipoli.
While the Ottoman Empire was collapsing after the war, Atatürk organized a nationalist movement that created the new secular, Republic of Turkey. That meant that the country's government was no longer led by hereditary or religious leaders. Visitors to Turkey are often surprised by the importance given to Atatürk in Turkey.
Few countries have such a person in their history. He was a successful military commander, later established a democratic constitution and put in place changes that set Turkey on the road to becoming a new and developing nation. He inspired many later leaders like Habib Bourguiba, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sukarno and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
His six principles still serve today as a sign post for establishing a democratic government:
- Republicanism: Replacing the hereditary monarchy with an elected parliament.
- Nationalism: Citizens working together with pride in a common interest.
- Secularism: Separating religion from government and the guarantee of freedom of religion and conscience in society.
- Populism: The equality of all citizens before the law.
- Statism: An economic system combining private enterprise with government-funded monopolies of large industries.
- Revolutionism: The basis of the other five principles. According to the needs of the society, innovations that are required by the age and science are made as soon as possible.
- Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى كمال پاشا
He was known for most of his lifetime as Mustafa Kemal but is referred to in this article as Atatürk for reasons of readability.
- / / ( listen); Turkish: [mustaˈfa ceˈmal aˈtatyɾc]
- His birthday is unknown. However, 19 May, when he landed at Samsun in 1919 to start the nationalist resistance, is considered to be his symbolic birthday. It is also claimed that he was born in 1880.
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