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 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. He also started changes that founded the Turkish nation state based on social and economic nationalism, which was modern and similar to Western civilization (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 unitary republic based on a 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 Amānullāh Khān, Reza Shah Pahlavi, Adolf Hitler, Habib Bourguiba, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sukarno, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and John F. Kennedy.
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.
Notes[change | change source]
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ /ˈmʊstəfə kəˌmɑːl ˈætətɜːrk/ (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.
References[change | change source]
- ↑ Andrew Mango Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, Overlook Press, 2002, ISBN 978-1-58567-334-6, 
- ↑ ID card from 1934
- ↑ ID card from 1935
- ↑ Ihrig, Stefan (2014). Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-674-36837-8.
For example, in 1938, on his birthday, in a meeting with a delegation of Turkish politicians and journalists, he reaffirmed the primal and original role Atatürk had played for him and in doing so also pinpointed what was the essence of most far-right and Nazi interpretations of Atatürk in interwar Germany: “Atatürk was the first to show that it is possible to mobilize and regenerate the resources that a country has lost. In this respect Atatürk was a teacher; Mussolini was his first and I his second student.”
- ↑ Remarks on the 25th Anniversary of the Death of Kemal Atatürk, 4 November 1963. Audio file on: jfklibrary.org.