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Ataturk Corner

Mustafa Kemal was born in 1881 in Selanik, a province under the Ottoman Empire. His father was Ali Rıza Efendi, and his mother was Zübeyde Hanım. After he lost his father at a young age, he went to primary school in Selanik at Şemsi Efendi Primary School. He continued his education in Selanik Military High School and Manastır Military High School. He graduated from the Istanbul Military School in 1899 with the rank of infantry lieutenant in 1902, and from the Military Academy in 1905 with the rank of chief of staff.

Mustafa Kemal was assigned to the 5th Army in Damascus in 1905 and to the 3rd Army in Macedonia in 1907. While serving in Bitola and Selanik, he took part in the Army of Action that suppressed the uprising in Istanbul (31 March Incident) in 1909 and the uprising was successfully suppressed in a short time. He participated in the operation to suppress the Albanian revolt. He was sent to Tobruk after Italy landed troops in Tripoli in 1911. After successfully leading the Turkish Forces in Tobruk and Derne, he participated in the Balkan War in 1912-1913 with the rank of major; He served in the corps that took Edirne back from Bulgaria. He was attache in Sofia between 1913-1915. During the First World War, in 1915, he participated in the Dardanelles War as the Commander of the 19th Division. He successfully stopped the enemy attacks at Gallipoli; He became famous as the "Anafartalar Hero".

He was appointed as the Commander of the Corps to the Eastern Front in 1916 and was promoted to the general position. Stopping the Russian attacks, Mustafa Kemal took Bingöl and Muş back from the enemy. In 1917, he was appointed to the 7th Army Command in Palestine and Syria. In the same year, he went to Germany with then Crown Prince Vahdettin.

He made examinations at the German General Headquarters and German war fronts. While he was the Commander of the 7th Army in the Syrian front, where he was re-appointed in 1918, he came to Istanbul after the Armistice of Mondros, which was signed at the end of the First World War. He left Istanbul with the duty of Army Inspector, keeping the aim of saving the country from enemy occupation secret. Traveling to Samsun via the Black Sea on 19 May 1919, Mustafa Kemal issued the Amasya Circular on 22 June 1919. He informed the Turkish nation that "the integrity of the homeland and the independence of the nation are in danger, and a congress will be held in Sivas to save the country with resolution and determination." In addition, he resigned from the duty given by the Ottoman Government and from military service, and chaired the congresses that convened in Erzurum on 23 July 1919 and in Sivas on 4 September 1919.

At these congresses, the decisions that "the nation will defend the homeland against the invasion of the enemy, a provisional government will be established for this purpose, a national assembly will convene, no mandate and patronage will be accepted," were taken and declared. The Turkish Grand National Assembly began its historical mission in Ankara on April 23, 1920 with his efforts; Mustafa Kemal was elected the President of the Assembly and the Government. He announced to the world that the Turkish nation did not accept the Treaty of Sevres signed between the Ottoman Government and the Allied States. The progress of the Greek Forces, which occupied Izmir with the help of the Allied Powers, was stopped in 1921 with the First and Second İnönü Battles. The Greek Army, which attacked again on August 23, 1921, was defeated and the Turkish Army led by Commander-in-Chief Mustafa Kemal Pasha ended the Battle of Sakarya with victory. The Greek Army suffered heavy losses in this war, which lasted 22 days and nights. Due to this victory, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey gave Mustafa Kemal the rank of “Marshal” and the title of “Gazi” (Veteran).

The Turkish Army started a counterattack on 26 August 1922 to save the homeland from enemy occupation. In the Battle of the Commander-in-Chief (30 August 1922), led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha, the Turkish Army destroyed the majority of the Greek Army. Following the defeat and fleeing enemy forces, the Turkish Army entered Izmir on September 9, 1922. On October 11, 1922, the Mudanya Armistice Treaty was signed and the Allied States withdrew from the Turkish territories they occupied.

After the War of Independence, the Republic was declared by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on October 29, 1923, and Mustafa Kemal was elected President. Atatürk, who was elected president four times in a row until his death in 1938, became the president who held this office for the longest time. Mustafa Kemal was given the surname Atatürk with the law number 2587 dated 24.11.1934 and the use of this surname by others was prohibited. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk initiated the Five-Year Industrial Plan in 1933 with the aim of mitigating the effects of the 1929 World Economic Crisis and accelerating the development of the country. In the same period, important steps were taken in foreign policy; Initiatives such as joining the League of Nations (1932), the signing of the Balkan Pact (1934), the Montreux Straits Agreement (1936) and the Sadabat Pact (1937) contributed to Turkey's emergence as an influential actor in its region and in the world. Atatürk made an intense diplomatic effort for Hatay to join the homeland, and this goal of his was realized in 1939 after his death.

Atatürk was not only a commander who successfully led the Turkish nation's War of Independence, but also a statesman with the revolutions he carried out. For most of his 57 years of life, he worked tirelessly for the independence and happiness of his nation and homeland, and he emerged victorious from every struggle he entered.

The founder, brave and unforgettable leader of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, passed away on 10 November 1938.

Extract: http://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/
Source: http://www.tsk.tr/HomeEng