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Politics & War

Politics & War

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
PART – 1

• Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born 19 MAY 1881. His father was Ali
Riza Efendi and mother was Zübeyde Hanim. Ali Riza Efendi who
worked in various areas such as; a military officer, a pious foundation clerk
and for some time a timber merchant and got married with Zübeyde Hanim
in 1871.
• Four of Atatürk’s five siblings died at an early age, only his sister Makbule
Atadan survived and lived until 1956. Little Mustafa commenced his
education in Hafiz Mehmet Efendi’s neighbourhood school, later he was
transferred to Semsi Efendi School, because his father wished so.
• During his primary education, he lost his father in 1888. He enrolled to
Salonika Junior High School for Civil Servants. After a short time in 1893,
he transferred to Military Junior High School. It is at this school his math
teacher Mustafa Bey, added Kemal to his name in between 1896-1899.


• In 1902 he graduated with the rank of lieutenant and continued his
education in Military Academy. In January 1905 he completed the
Academy and graduated with the rank of a captain. His first
appointment was in 5 Army in Damascus in between 1905-1907.
• He was the Chief of Staff of the Army Corps which entered Istanbul on
19 April 1909. In July 1908, he played a role in the Young Turk
Revolution which seized power from Sultan Abdülhamid II and
restored the constitutional monarchy.
• He was proposing depolitization in the army, a proposal which was
disliked by the leaders of the CUP. In April 1909 in İstanbul, a group
of soldiers began a counter revolution . Mustafa Kemal was
instrumental in suppressing the revolt.


• In 1911, he was assigned to the Ottoman Tripolitania Vilayet to fight in the
Italo-Turkish War, mainly in the areas near Benghazi, Derna and Tobruk
against a 150,000-strong Italian amphibious assault force,which had to be
countered by 20,000 Bedouins and 8,000 Turks.
• A short time before Italy declared war, a large portion of the Ottoman
troops in Libya were sent to the Ottoman province of Yemen in order to put
down the rebellion there.
• Ottoman soldiers like Mustafa Kemal went to in disguise (risking
imprisonment if noticed by the British authorities in Egypt).However,
despite all the hardships, Mustafa Kemal’s forces in Libya managed to
repel the Italians on a number of occasions, such as the Battle of Tobruk
on 22 December 1911. Losing the war, the Ottoman government had
to surrender Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica (3 provinces forming
present-day Libya) to the Kingdom of Italy with the secret Treaty of




• In 1913, he was appointed the Ottoman military attaché to all Balkan
states and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel on 1
March 1914.
• In 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the European and Middle Eastern
theatres of World War I allied with the Central Powers. Mustafa Kemal was
given the task of organizing and commanding the 19th Division attached to
the Fifth Army during the Battle of Gallipoli.
• Mustafa Kemal became the front-line commander after correctly
anticipating where the Allies would attack and holding his position until
they retreated. He was sent to the Caucasus Campaign after the massive
Russian offensive had reached key Anatolian cities.
• on 7 March 1917, Mustafa Kemal Pasha was promoted from the command
of the XVI Corps to the overall command of the Second Army.


• When Mehmed VI became the new Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in July
1918, he called Mustafa Kemal Pasha to Constantinople, and in August
1918 assigned him to the command of the Seventh Army in Palestine.
• On 19 September, at the beginning of the Battle of Megiddo. Mustafa
Kemal managed to form a defense line to the north of Aleppo. According
to Lord Kinross, Mustafa Kemal was the only Turkish general in the war
who never suffered a defeat.
• The war ended with the Armistice of Mudros which was signed on 30
October 1918, and all German and Austro-Hungarian troops in the
Ottoman Empire were granted ample time to withdraw.
• Along the established lines of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire,
the Allies (British, Italian, French and Greek forces) occupied Anatolia.

PART – 2

• Mustafa Kemal Pasha was assigned as the inspector of the Ninth Army
Troops Inspectorate to reorganize what remained of the Ottoman military
units and to improve internal security on 30 April 1919.
• His first goal was the establishment of an organized national movement
against the occupying forces. In June 1919, he issued the Amasya
Circular, declaring the independence of the country was in danger.
He resigned from the Ottoman Army on 8 July and the Ottoman
government issued a warrant for his arrest. Later, he was condemned to
• The last election to the Ottoman parliament held in December 1919
gave a sweeping majority to candidates of the “Association for
Defense of Rights for Anatolia and Roumelia headed by Mustafa
Kemal, who himself remained in Ankara.


• The fourth (and last) term of the Parliament opened in Constantinople on
12 January 1920. It was dissolved by British forces on 18 March 1920,
Mustafa Kemal called for a national election to establish a new Turkish
Parliament seated in Ankara the “Grand National Assembly” (GNA)
• On 10 August 1920, the Ottoman Grand Vizier Damat Ferid Pasha
signed the Treaty of Sèvres, finalizing plans for the partitioning of the
Ottoman Empire.
• He persuaded the GNA to gather a National Army. The GNA Army faced
the Caliphate army propped up by the Allied occupation forces and had
the immediate task of fighting the Armenian forces in the Eastern Front
and the Greek forces advancing eastward from Smyrna that they had
occupied in May 1919, on the Western Front.


• In January 1920, Mustafa Kemal advanced his troops into Marash where
the Battle of Marash ensued against the French Armenian Legion. The
battle resulted in a Turkish victory.
• After a series of battles during the Greco-Turkish war, the Greek army
advanced as far as the Sakarya River, just eighty kilometers west of the
• Battle of Sakarya was fought from 23 August to 13 September 1921
and ended with the defeat of the Greeks.
• In August 1922, Kemal launched an all-out attack on the Greek lines
in the Battle of Dumlupınar and Turkish forces regained control of
Smyrna on 9 September 1922.


• The Conference of Lausanne began on 21 November 1922 Although the
conference halted on 4 February, it continued after 23 April mainly on the
economic issues. On 24 July 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed by
the Powers with the GNA, thus recognising the latter as the government
of Turkey.
• On 29 October 1923, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed. With the
establishment of the Republic of Turkey, efforts to modernise the country
started. The new government analyzed the institutions and constitutions of
Western states such as France, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland and adapted
them to the needs and characteristics of the Turkish nation.
• Mustafa Kemal capitalized on his reputation as an efficient military
leader and spent the following years, up until his death in 1938,
instituting political, economic, and social reforms. In doing so, he transformed
Turkish society from perceiving itself as a Muslim part of a vast Empire into a
modern, democratic, and secular nation-state


• He led wide-ranging reforms in social, cultural, and economical aspects,
establishing the new Republic’s backbone of legislative, judicial, and
economic structures.
• Mustafa Kemal created a banner to mark the changes between the old
Ottoman and the new republican rule. Each change was symbolized as an
arrow in this banner. This defining ideology of the Republic of Turkey is
referred to as the “Six Arrows”, or Kemalist ideology. Kemalist ideology is
based on Mustafa Kemal’s conception of realism and pragmatism.
• They made Ankara the country’s new capital and reformed the Turkish postal
service. Mustafa Kemal saw the consequences of fascist and communist
doctrines in the 1920s and 1930s and rejected both. The heart of the new
republic was the GNA, established during the Turkish War of
Independence by Mustafa Kemal

• The Turkish Constitution of 1924 set a loose separation of powers
between the legislative and the executive organs of the state, whereas
the separation of these two within the judiciary system was a strict one.
Mustafa Kemal, then the President, occupied a powerful position in this
political system.
• The only political party of the GNA was the “Peoples Party”, founded by
Mustafa Kemal on 9 September 1923. Abolition of the Caliphate was an
important dimension in Mustafa Kemal’s drive to reform the political system
and to promote the national sovereignty.
• On 3 March 1924, the caliphate was officially abolished and its powers
within Turkey were transferred to the GNA. Turkey did not accept the
re-establishment of the caliphate and perceived it as an attack to its basic
existence; while Mustafa Kemal and the reformists continued their own way.


• In the summer of 1924, Mustafa Kemal invited American educational reformer
John Dewey to Ankara to advise him on how to reform Turkish education. He
wanted to institute compulsory primary education for both girls and boys.
• Unification of education was put into force on 3 March 1924 by the Law
on Unification of Education. With the new law, education became inclusive,
organized on a model of the civil community.
• In this new design, all schools submitted their curriculum to the “Ministry of
National Education”. The unification of education under one curriculum ended
“clerics or clergy of the Ottoman Empire”, but was not the end of religious
schools in Turkey.
• They were moved to higher education until later governments restored them
to their former position in secondary after Mustafa Kemal’s death.


• Beginning in the fall of 1925, Mustafa Kemal encouraged the Turks to
wear modern European attire. He was determined to force the
abandonment of the sartorial traditions of the Middle East and finalize a
series of dress reforms, which were originally started by Mahmud II.
• The Hat Law of 1925 introduced the use of Western-style hats instead of
the fez. Mustafa Kemal first made the hat compulsory for civil servants. Even
though he personally promoted modern dress for women, Mustafa Kemal
never made specific reference to women’s clothing in the law, as he believed
that women would adapt to the new clothing styles of their own free will.
• In the years following 1926, Mustafa Kemal introduced a radical departure
from previous reformations established by the Ottoman Empire. For the first
time in history, Islamic law was separated from secular law, and restricted to
matters of religion

• On 1 March 1926, the Turkish penal code was passed. It was modelled
after the Italian Penal Code. On 4 October 1926, Islamic courts were
• The first part was the education of girls and was established with the
unification of education. On 4 October 1926, the new Turkish civil code
passed. It was modelled after the Swiss Civil Code.
• Mustafa Kemal did not consider gender a factor in social organization, etween
1923 and 1938, the number of students attending primary schools increased
by 224% from 342,000 to 765,000.
• the number of students attending middle schools increased by 12.5 times,
from around 6,000 to 74,000 and the number of students attending high
schools increased by almost 17 times, from 1,200 to 21,000.

• On 5 December 1934, Turkey moved to grant full political rights to
women, before several other European nations. The equal rights of women in
marriage had already been established in the earlier Turkish civil code.
• The 1935 elections yielded 18 female MPs out of a total of 395
representatives, compared to nine out of 615 members of the British
House of Commons and six out of 435 in the US House of
Representatives inaugurated that year.
• During his lifetime, Atatürk adopted thirteen children: a boy and twelve girls.
Of these, the most famous is Sabiha Gökçen, Turkey’s first female pilot and
the world’s first female fighter pilot.


• During 1937, indications that Atatürk’s health was worsening started to
appear. He died on 10 November 1938, at the age of 57, in the
Dolmabahçe Palace, where he spent his last days.The clock in the
bedroom where he died is still set to the time of his death, 9:05 in the
• Atatürk’s funeral called forth both sorrow and pride in Turkey, and 17
countries sent special representatives.
• In his will, Atatürk donated all of his possessions to the Republican People’s
Party, providing that the yearly interest of his funds would be used to look
after his sister Makbule and his adopted children, and fund the higher
education of the children.
• The remainder of this yearly interest was willed to the Turkish Language
Association and the Turkish Historical Society.