Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Founder of the Republic of Turkey

Kemal Atatürk[2] (until 1934: Mustafa Kemal Pasha, Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى كمال پاشا‎; after 1935: Kamâl Atatürk;[3] commonly referred to as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk) was a Turkish field marshal, secularist reformer, and statesman who became the first President of Turkey from 1923 until his death in 1938. He is known for being a leader of Turkey who freed the country from being controlled by other countries and later for starting changes that made Turkey more modern and similar to Western civilization, mainly Europe and the United States.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Atatürk Kemal.jpg
Atatürk during his presidency
1st President of Turkey
In office
29 October 1923 – 10 November 1938
Prime Ministerİsmet İnönü
Ali Fethi Okyar
Celâl Bayar
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byİsmet İnönü
1st Prime Minister of the Government of the Grand National Assembly
In office
3 May 1920 – 24 January 1921
DeputyFevzi Çakmak
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byFevzi Çakmak
1st Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
In office
24 April 1920 – 29 October 1923
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byAli Fethi Okyar
1st Leader of the Republican People's Party
In office
9 September 1923 – 10 November 1938
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byİsmet İnönü
Personal details
Ali Rıza oğlu Mustafa
(Mustafa son of Ali Rıza)

Salonica, Salonica Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
(now Thessaloniki, Greece)
Died10 November 1938(1938-11-10) (aged 57)
Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Resting placeEthnography Museum, Ankara (21 November 1938 – 10 November 1953)
Anıtkabir, Ankara (from 10 November 1953)
Political partyRepublican People's Party
Other political
Motherland and Liberty
Committee of Union and Progress (He left it.)
Association for the Defense of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia (Republican People's Party after 1923.)
Spouse(s)Latife Uşaklıgil (1923–25)
ParentsAli Rıza Efendi
Zübeyde Hanım
RelativesMakbule Atadan (sister)
AwardsList (24 medals)
Military service
Allegiance Ottoman Empire (1893–1919)
 Turkey (1921–1927)
Branch/service Ottoman Empire Army
Turkish Army
RankMajor General (Ottoman Army)
Marshal (Turkish Army)
Commands19th Division
16th Corps
2nd Army
7th Army
Yildirim Army Group
Army of the Grand National Assembly
External timeline

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born under the name Mustafa in 1881. His birth place was in Salonika, Macedonia (now Thessaloniki, Greece). Salonika was part of the Ottoman Empire at that time. He took the name Kemal as a schoolboy and Atatürk (which means Father of All 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.

When the Ottoman Empire was ended after the war, Atatürk organized a nationalist movement that created the new, secular, Republic of Turkey. This 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 present-day Turkey.

Few countries have such a person in their history. He was a successful military commander, and 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 Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

His six principles still serve today as a sign post for establishing a democratic government:

  1. Republicanism: Replacing the hereditary monarchy with an elected parliament.
  2. Nationalism: Citizens working together with pride in a common interest.
  3. Secularism: Separating religion from government.
  4. Populism: The equality of all citizens before the law.
  5. Reformism: A constant process of development and modernisation.
  6. Etatism: An economic system combining private enterprise with government-funded monopolies of large industries


  1. His birthday is unknown. 19 May –the day he landed to Samsun in 1919 to start the nationalist resistance– is considered his symbolic birthday. It was also claimed that he was born in 1880. Zürcher, Erik Jan (1984). The Unionist factor: the role of the Committee of Union and Progress in the Turkish National Movement, 1905–1926. Leiden: E.J. Brill. p. 106.
  2. ID card from 1934
  3. ID card from 1935

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