Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881 – 1938) was a military commander of the Ottoman Army during World War I, and a revolutionary statesman who founded the Republic of Turkey. Until 1934, his legal name was Mustafa Kemal Pasha,[1] and he changed it to Kamâl Atatürk after 1935.[2]


Atatürk was a successful division commander in the Battle of Gallipoli. The Allies defeated the Ottoman Empire and arranged for its partition. Thereupon, after a few congresses, he led an organized political resistance in Asia Minor by establishing a new assembly and government in Ankara. Atatürk defeated the forces sent by the Allies, thus emerging victorious from what was later referred to as the Turkish War of Independence. Then he deposed the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 and became the first President of Turkey in 1923. Atatürk led a political, legal, religious, cultural, social, and economic revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, secularized and based on the rationalist Enlightenment. It is estimated that most of Turks are Muslim (and most of them are conservative), but Atatürk established a secular rule based on a strong military. He abolished the sharia law and gave women the right to vote and hold government positions. As a result of his efforts, Turkey was the only Muslim country to independently hold democratic elections.

Samuel Huntington defines "Kemalism" as a response to attempts at "reconciliation of Islam and modernity", or to modernise Islam without Westernization.

The National Assembly which first convened on 23 April 1920 in Ankara was the first clue to the Turkish Republic. The successful management of the War of Independence by this assembly accelerated the founding of the new Turkish State. On 1 November 1922, the offices of the Sultan and caliph were severed from one other and the former was abolished. There was no longer any administrative ties with the Ottoman Empire. On 29 October 1923, Turkish Republic was formally proclaimed and Atatürk was unanimously elected as its first President. On 30 October 1923, the first government of the Republic was formed by İsmet İnönü. Turkish Republic started to grow on the foundations of the twin principles "Sovereignty, unconditionally belongs to the nation" and "peace at home, peace in the world". Biography of Atatürk

Atatürk read and was influenced by the works of Jean Jacques Rousseau.[3] From Sep 9, 1923 to Nov 10, 1938, he was also leader of the Republican People's Party, the largest secularist political party in Turkey.

See also


  • Balfour, Patrick. Atatürk: The Rebirth of a Nation (1964).
  • Çandar, Cengiz, and David Pryce-Jones. "Atatürk's Ambiguous Legacy." Wilson Quarterly 2000 24(4): 88-96. Issn: 0363-3276 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Eissenstat, Howard. "History and Historiography: Politics and Memory in the Turkish Republic." Contemporary European History 2003 12(1): 93-105. Issn: 0960-7773 Fulltext: in Cambridge journals.
  • Karpat, Kemal H. "The Personality of Atatürk," The American Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 4 (Oct., 1985), pp. 893–899 in JSTOR
  • Kazancıgil, Ali and Özbudun, Ergün, eds. Atatürk: Founder of a Modern State. Archon, 1982. 243 pp.
  • Kedourie, Sylvia, ed. Seventy-Five Years of the Turkish Republic. (1999). 237 pp.
  • Kedourie, Sylvia. Turkey Before and After Atatürk: Internal and External Affairs (1989) 282pp; excerpts and text search
  • Kinross, Patrick. Atatürk: The Rebirth of a Nation (1965) 615pp
  • Macfie, A.L. Atatürk (1995) 275pp excerpt and text search
  • Mango, Andrew. Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey (1999) and text search
  • Tachau, Frank. Kemal Atatürk (1987)
  • Trask, Roger R. "The United States and Turkish Nationalism: Investments and Technical Aid during the Atatürk Era," Business History Review, Vol. 38, No. 1, International Government-Business Issue (Spring, 1964), pp. 58–77 in JSTOR
  • Volkan, Vamık D., and Norman Itzko. The Immortal Atatürk – A Psychobiography (1984)
  • Weiker, Walter F. The Modernization of Turkey: From Atatürk to the Present Day (1981) online edition


External links