Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - Founder of the Republic of Turkey, Family and Childhood

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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's Personal Details

Kemal Ataturk was an army officer, statesman and the first President of Turkey.

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 19, 1881
Died onNovember 10, 1938
NationalityTurkish
FamousFounder of the Republic of Turkey, Leaders, Political Leaders, Revolutionaries, Presidents, Military Leaders
SpousesLatife Uşşaki (m. 1923–1925)
SiblingsMakbule Atadan
Childrens Afet İnan, Fikriye Atatürk, Mustafa Atatürk, Nebile Bayyurt, Rukiye Erkin, Sabiha Gökçen, Ülkü Adatepe, Zehra Aylin
Universities
  • Monastir Military High School
  • Ottoman Military College
Birth PlaceThessaloniki
Political IdeologyCommittee of Union and Progress, Republican People's Party
GenderMale
FatherAli Rıza Efendi
MotherZübeyde Hanım
Sun SignTaurus
Born inThessaloniki
Famous asFounder of the Republic of Turkey,
Died at Age57

// Famous Founder of the Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's photo

Who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk?

Kemal Ataturk was the founder of the Republic of Turkey. He was an army officer and revolutionary, who led the Turkish National Movement in the Turkish War of Independence and set up the provisional government at Ankara. His excellence in military campaigns and leadership led to victory in Turkish War of Independence. During his term as the President, he brought about various political, social and economic changes which transformed the country completely from being an Ottoman Empire to a modern, secular and democratic nation-state. He modernized the country through his reforms which emancipated the women, abolished Islamic institutions, introduced Western legal codes, dress, calendar and alphabet and helped maintain friendly relations with neighbouring countries. It was for his relentless and selfless service to the nation that he was given the surname Ataturk which means ‘Father of the Turks’.

// Famous Presidents

Childhood & Early Life

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born as Mustafa to Zubeyde Hanim and Ali Rıza Efendi. While his mother was a housewife, his father was employed as a militia officer, title-deed clerk and lumber trader. He was the only child of the couple who survived past childhood.

When he was 12 years of age, he attended the military academy where his mathematics teacher gave him the name ‘Kemal’ or perfection for his excellence in academics. The name stayed with him for the rest of his life. In 1905, he completed his studies.

Career

Following his studies, he was drafted as a staff Captain in the Fifth Army based in Damascus. No sooner he was promoted to the rank of Senior Captain and eventually Inspector of the Ottoman Railways in Eastern Rumelia

While continuing his service, he became an active member of the Young Turks, a revolutionary movement of the intellectuals. In 1908, he even went on to participate in the Young Turk Revolution, which successfully seized power from Sultan Abdulhamid II and established the constitutional monarchy.

For a period of about 9 years from 1909 to 1918, he held a number of posts in the Ottoman army. He actively contributed in the Italo-Turkish War from 1911 to 1912 where he fought against Italy and later in the Balkan War from 1912 to 1913.

In 1913, he was appointed as the Ottoman military attache to all Balkan states and promoted to the rank of Kaymakam (Lieutenant Colonel) in 1914. In the First World War, he was given the task of commanding the 19th Division.

As a commander of the 19th Division, he became quite famous and was known all through for his astute sense, bravery and strategic powers. These capabilities helped him thwart the Allied invasion of the Dardanelles in 1915.

During the battle, he received repeated promotions until the Armistice of Mudros ended the fighting in 1918. Despite the conclusion of World War I, the treaty gave the Allies the right to occupy forts that controlled major waterways. It was then that he organized a resistance movement for complete independence.

He then engaged himself completely in the Turkish war of Independence. The Turks engaged in a series of battle against the Greek and Armenian forces until the Treaty of Lausanne was signed on October 29, 1923, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

He was appointed as the first president of the Republic of Turkey. In the new role, he instituted several political, social and economic reforms, banking on the reputation he had gained from his military background.

His first key step as the president was to secularise the country from being a Muslim state to a modern, democratic and secular nation-state. He studied and adapted the Western government structure for the same. He successfully established a constitution that separated the government from religion and professed state secularism.

Other than constitutional changes, he brought about a major change in the social and cultural arena and established the backbone of legislative, judicial and economic structures.

He eradicated the Arabic alphabet, giving way for the Latin to rule the nation. He even insisted that no prayers should be made in Turkish and Arabic should be used instead.

Furthermore, he introduced the Gregorian calendar instead of the Islamic calendar followed and urged people to accept the westernized ways. He insisted on wearing western clothes, thus abandoning the sartorial tradition of the Middle East. He forbade wearing fez hats, turbans and headscarves.

Under his rule, the gender difference ceased to almost zero as he established equality between the sexes in a legal manner. Women were provided equal civic and political rights. They were bereft of veiling laws as well.

He established thousands of new schools, providing free and compulsory primary education. He banned the religious schools and instead appointed the secular schools which came under the governance of the Ministry of National Education.

He abolished the Caliphate to reform the political system and promote national sovereignty. Its powers were transferred to the GNA. Though other countries debated on confirming or discouraging Turkish nation, they could not come to a single conclusion.

His foreign policy rested on his motto of ‘peace at home and peace in the world’. During his presidency, he resolved all foreign issues in a peaceful manner, not once using military might to solve problems.

The economic policies under his rule helped develop small and large scale businesses. During the Great Depression, he established the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, the main purpose of which was to control exchange rates. He even supervised the first and second five year economic plan.

Awards & Achievements

The Turkish government bestowed upon him several high-profile decorations such as Fifth Class Knight Order of the Medjidie, Silver Imtiyaz Medal, Silver Liakat Medal, Golden Liakat Medal, Second Class Knight Order of Osmanieh, Second Class Knight Order of the Medjidie, Golden Imtiyaz Medal, First Class Knight Order of the Medjidie, Gallipoli Star, Medal of Independence and Murassa Order

Other countries that honoured him include France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour, Bulgaria’ Commander Grand Cross Order Of Saint Alexander, Germany’s 1st and 2nd Class Iron Cross, Prussia’s 1st Class Order of the Crown Prussia, Afghanistan’s Aluyulala Order of Kingdom of Afghanistan and so on.

Personal Life & Legacy

Before being in a nuptial relationship, he was speculated to be in a romantic relationship with two women - Eleni Karinte and Fikriye Hanim. He married Latife Usakligil on January 29, 1923. The unison was not a happy one and the two separated in 1925.

Though he had no biological children, he is said to have adopted thirteen children, 12 daughters and one son of which Sabiha Gokcen became famous for being world's first female fighter pilot and Turkey's first female pilot

His health deteriorated starting 1937. He suffered from serious illness in 1938 while on a trip to Yalova. He was diagnosed with cirrhosis of liver.

He finally breathed his last on November 10, 1938, at the age of 57, in the Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul. His funeral was a moment of sorrow and pride for Turkey. Representatives from 17 countries attended his funeral.

His remains were first laid in the Ethnography Museum of Ankara - 15 years later, they were transferred in a 42-ton sarcophagus, to a mausoleum that overlooks Ankara, Anıtkabir.

His centennial birth year was honoured by the UN and UNESCO as The Atuturk Year in the World and adopted the Resolution on the Ataturk Centennial.

Several monuments, memorials and squares have been constructed in his honour. Roads and avenues throughout the world bear his name

Trivia

This first President of the Republic of Turkey was given the nickname ‘Father of the Turks’.

// Famous Leaders

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk awards

YearNameAward

Other

4th class in Silver for Achievements during the Battle of Benghazi
1915Osminieh Order
3rd class in Silver for Achievements during the building of the 19th Division
1915Order of Saint Alexander for Achievements during the Battle of Gallipoli
1915Imtiyaz Medal in Silver for Achievements during command of the 19th Division of 5th Army
1915Liakat Medal in silver for Achievements during the Battle of Gallipoli
1915Iron Cross in Iron for Achievements during the Battle of Gallipoli
1916Liakat Medal in Gold for Achievements during the Battle of Sari Bair
1916Osminieh Order
2nd class in Silver for Achievements during the Caucasus Campaign
1916Military Merit Medal for Achievements during the World War I
1916Military Merit Cross
3rd class for Achievements during the World War I
1916Medjidie Order
2nd class in Gold for Achievements during command of the XVIth Corps of the 2nd Army
1917Iron Cross 1st Class for Achievements during the World War I
1917Iron Cross 2nd Class for Achievements during the World War I
1917Military Merit Medal
2nd class for Achievements during the World War I
1917Imtiyaz Medal in Gold for Achievements during the Caucasus Campaign
1917Medjidie Order
1st class in Gold for Achievements during the World War I
1918Order of the Crown of Prussia
1st class for Achievements during the World War I
1918War Medal in Silver for World War I veteran
1923Aliyülala Order in Gold
1923Turkish Medal of Independence in Bronze for Accomplishments during the War of Independence
1925Murassa Order in Platinum for Establishment of TAA
1931Sadakat Silver Hizmet Salibi
1906 - Medjidie Order
5th class in Silver for Distinguished service
1912 - Osminieh Order

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk biography timelines

  • // 19th May 1881
    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born as Mustafa to Zubeyde Hanim and Ali Rıza Efendi. While his mother was a housewife, his father was employed as a militia officer, title-deed clerk and lumber trader. He was the only child of the couple who survived past childhood.
  • // 1905
    When he was 12 years of age, he attended the military academy where his mathematics teacher gave him the name ‘Kemal’ or perfection for his excellence in academics. The name stayed with him for the rest of his life. In 1905, he completed his studies.
  • // 1908
    While continuing his service, he became an active member of the Young Turks, a revolutionary movement of the intellectuals. In 1908, he even went on to participate in the Young Turk Revolution, which successfully seized power from Sultan Abdulhamid II and established the constitutional monarchy.
  • // 1909 To 1918
    For a period of about 9 years from 1909 to 1918, he held a number of posts in the Ottoman army. He actively contributed in the Italo-Turkish War from 1911 to 1912 where he fought against Italy and later in the Balkan War from 1912 to 1913.
  • // 1913
    In 1913, he was appointed as the Ottoman military attache to all Balkan states and promoted to the rank of Kaymakam (Lieutenant Colonel) in 1914. In the First World War, he was given the task of commanding the 19th Division.
  • // 1915
    As a commander of the 19th Division, he became quite famous and was known all through for his astute sense, bravery and strategic powers. These capabilities helped him thwart the Allied invasion of the Dardanelles in 1915.
  • // 1918
    During the battle, he received repeated promotions until the Armistice of Mudros ended the fighting in 1918. Despite the conclusion of World War I, the treaty gave the Allies the right to occupy forts that controlled major waterways. It was then that he organized a resistance movement for complete independence.
  • // 29th Jan 1923 To 1925
    Before being in a nuptial relationship, he was speculated to be in a romantic relationship with two women - Eleni Karinte and Fikriye Hanim. He married Latife Usakligil on January 29, 1923. The unison was not a happy one and the two separated in 1925.
  • // 29th Oct 1923
    He then engaged himself completely in the Turkish war of Independence. The Turks engaged in a series of battle against the Greek and Armenian forces until the Treaty of Lausanne was signed on October 29, 1923, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.
  • // 10th Nov 1938
    He finally breathed his last on November 10, 1938, at the age of 57, in the Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul. His funeral was a moment of sorrow and pride for Turkey. Representatives from 17 countries attended his funeral.

// Famous Revolutionaries

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's FAQ

  • What is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk birthday?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born at 1881-05-19

  • When was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was died at 1938-11-10

  • Where was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was died in Istanbul

  • Which age was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was died at age 57

  • Where is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's birth place?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born in Thessaloniki

  • What is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk nationalities?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's nationalities is Turkish

  • Who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk spouses?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's spouses is Latife Uşşaki (m. 1923–1925)

  • Who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk siblings?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's siblings is Makbule Atadan

  • Who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk childrens?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's childrens is Afet İnan, Fikriye Atatürk, Mustafa Atatürk, Nebile Bayyurt, Rukiye Erkin, Sabiha Gökçen, Ülkü Adatepe, Zehra Aylin

  • What was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk universities?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk studied at Monastir Military High School, Ottoman Military College

  • What is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's political ideology?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's political ideology is Committee of Union and Progress, Republican People's Party

  • Who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's father?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's father is Ali Rıza Efendi

  • Who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's mother?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's mother is Zübeyde Hanım

  • What is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's sun sign?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is Taurus

  • How famous is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is famouse as Founder of the Republic of Turkey,