Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

As the Turkish people are so passionate about Ataturk, I have made a little research on his history. I am sure I have not covered everything, please excuse me if I have made any mistakes, assumptions, missed anything out. Please add notes to this entry to correct my ignorance, and educate me on the history.


In 1881 Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born. In 1893 he enters Military Secondary School at Salonika, and over the next years he progresses through various military schools ending-up in 1905 graduating from the General Staff College with the rank of Staff Captain and is posted to the Fifth Army, based in Damascus.

In 1906 he helps to found Fatherland (Vatan) Society in Damascus. There was trouble in the country a Counter-revolution in Istanbul, and in 1909 Ataturk as divisional chief of staff, marches with Union and Progress striking force on the city from Salonika.  By 1911 he has been promoted to Major, and he serves with the Ottoman Empire army against Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. During this time many treaties were made, and it seemed broken, which resulted in Russia, Britain and France declaring war against the Ottoman Empire, in 1914.

Thoughout this campaign the Allies lost many battles, the Dardanelles, the Turkish Straits, Canakkale, the Gallipoli Peninsula, Bitlis and Muş, etc, and the Ottoman Empire lost battles and campaigns to, being forced out of Palestine and Syria, resulting on 30 October 1918, an Armistice being signed between Ottomans and Britain at Mudros. Ataturk had risen to the Rank of Commander.

Between then and 1923, many battles were fought, lost and won, especially against the Greeks in Izmir and Inonu, Sakarya, and many treaties where made, with Ataturk being given the title of “Gazi”and rank of Marshal by Grand National Assembly.

On the 24th July 1923, the  Treaty of Lausanne was signed in Switzerland by Turkey and the Entente powers that fought in World War I. After the conclusion of the Turkish War of Independence, this treaty recognized the Republic of Turkey as a sovereign nation.

On 9th October, Ankara becomes capital of Turkey. Then on the 29th October, the Proclamation of the Turkish Republic was made, with Ataturk as President. This resulted in the Ottoman dynasty being exiled.

Various radical changes were made, including the closing of religious schools, and organized Islam becoming regulated by the state, the abolition of religious courts, the abolition of fez, suppression of religious brotherhoods, and the closing of sacred tombs as places of worship, and the introduction of the Latin alphabet.

Ataturk died in 1938, having change a nation into Turkey as we know it today.

His picture, his statues, his images are every where.

The people still look up to him. 

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