Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: The First President of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (indeterminate, 1881–10 November 1938) was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey as well as its first President. Ataturk became known as an extremely capable military officer by being the only undefeated Ottoman commander during World War I. [1] Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, he led the Turkish national movement in the Turkish War of Independence. Having established a provisional government in Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Allies.

His successful military campaigns led to the liberation of the country and to the establishment of Turkey. During his presidency, Ataturk embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms. An admirer of the Age of Enlightenment, he sought to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern, democratic, and secular nation-state. The principles of Ataturk’s reforms, upon which modern Turkey was established, are referred to as Kemalism. Early life Main article: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s personal life

Born as Mustafa, his second name Kemal (meaning Perfection or Maturity) was given to him by his mathematics teacher in recognition of his academic excellence. [2] He was born to a turkish family living in Thessaloniki. Mustafa’s mother was Zubeyde Hanim (1857-1923), a devout Muslim and “as fair as any Slav from beyond the Bulgarian frontier” with “fine white” skin and “eyes of a deep but clear light blue”. [3] In his early years, his mother encouraged Mustafa to attend a religious school, something he did reluctantly and only briefly.

Later, he attended Semsi Efendi school (a private school with a more secular curriculum) at the direction of his father. His parents wanted him to have education in a trade, but without consulting them, Ataturk took an entrance exam for a military junior high school in Thessaloniki (in Turkish, Selanik, which was an Ottoman city at that time) in 1893. In 1896, he enrolled into a military high school in the Ottoman city of Manast? r (modern Bitola, Macedonia). In 1899, he enrolled at the War College in Istanbul and graduated in 1902. He later graduated from the War Academy on 11 January 1905.