Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
(1881-1938) Established the Republic of Turkey and became their first President
Background Information on Ataturk
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born on May 19, 1881 in the Ottoman Empire. In 1899, he went to Istanbul, Turkey to pursue his military education at a Military Academy, and became well associated with Turkey.
How Ataturk rose to power
When he was young, he was part of the Young Turks, who deposed the Sultan (Muslim King). He fought in the Ottoman Army, and later served in the Turkish Embassy. Eventually, he became a high ranked leader, who led the Turkish War of Independence. After signing the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, the Republic of Turkey was established, and he became Turkey's first President.
Style of Government
When Ataturk became the President of Turkey, he established a state secularism policy, which separated government and religion. People of Turkey had differing opinions on this policy, some thought that he was taking away important cultural traditions. His style of government was a democracy, allowing everyone to vote
The first thing Ataturk did in office was secularize the country from religion, which he accomplished. He was also big on social and economic reforms. During his time as President, he changed the Arabic alphabet in Turkey to the Latin Alphabet, and initiated the Gregorian Calendar. In addition to this, he recommended his people to dress in Western clothes. He gave women the right to vote, and promoted legal equality between different genders as well. All of this he did in an effort to industrialize the country.
"Peace at home, peace in the world!" One of Ataturk's foreign policies was peace, throughout the world, and in Turkey. Another principle of Ataturk was looking towards the West for direction, in an attempt to modernize the country. Ataturk also did not go to war, saying he was only going to war when his "full independence" was put at stake; he thought of war as a crime. Turkey's integrity and and security were threatened by Italy and Germany. The USSR was also a threat, but since Turkey and the Soviet Union were more focused on domestic rather than foreign policies, they had mutual feelings toward one another. Ataturk wanted to make sure his country was industrialized and modern, protected (security and integrity) and at peace with other countries. He wanted nothing to do with war with any other country. This stuck with Turkey even after Ataturk's death, as the country remained neutral in the Second World War.
Current Event on Ataturk
Kemal Ataturk became the President of Turkey in 1923. This was the most significant event in his life. When he went into office, he changed Turkey forever. Through political, social, and economic reforms, he turned this country into an industrialized, modern, and secular nation. Without him, Turkey to this day would probably still be led by a Sultan (Muslim King), and women would be treated like property with no rights.
Shout out to Kemal
Kemal Ataturk is best known for being the President of Turkey, and for reforming the country. He created the Republic (democracy), and industrialized the nation. He changed the alphabet to Latin, created public- free schools, and gave women freedoms, including the right to vote. He was considered a hero to Turkey, and still is.
Why is Kemal Ataturk the most influential leader of the 20th century?
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is the most influential leader of the 20th century. He turned a government ran by a Sultan to a democracy where even women got the right to vote. He made several reforms, including changing the alphabet to Latin from Arabic; the Arabic alphabet was hard to learn for the people and many were uneducated. He created public schools that are FREE to go to, and he actually promoted gender equality; women were treated the same as men. He restored hope to a demoralized nation, and was considered a national hero. Even now, over 75 years after his death, he is still commemorated by Turks, and his influence is still alive today. NO ONE disrespects Kemal Ataturk in Turkey.