Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (b. 1881 in Selânik, Ottoman Empire – d. November 10, 1938 in Istanbul, Turkey) was an army officer, revolutionary statesman, and founder of theRepublic of Turkey as well as its first President.
Mustafa Kemal established himself as a successful and extremely capable military commander while serving as a division commander at the Battle of Gallipoli. He later fought with distinction on the eastern Anatolian and Palestinian fronts, making a name for himself during World War I. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the hands of the Allies, and the subsequent plans for its partition, Mustafa Kemal led the Turkish national movement in what would become the Turkish War of Independence. Having established a provisional government in Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Entente powers. His successful military campaigns led to the liberation of the country and to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.
As the first President of Turkey, Atatürk embarked upon a major programme of political, economic and cultural reforms. An admirer of the Enlightenment, Atatürk sought to transform the ruins of the Ottoman Empire into a modern, democratic, secular, nation-state. The principles of Atatürk's reforms are often referred to as Kemalism and continue to form the political foundation of the modern Turkish state.

Early life
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born in the Ottoman city of Salonika (Turkish: Selânik; modern-day Thessaloniki in Greece) in the spring of 1881 to Ali Rıza Efendi, his father, and Zübeyde Hanım, his mother. Born as Mustafa, his second name Kemal (meaning Perfection or Maturity) was given to him by his mathematics teacher in recognition of his academic excellence.[3] In his early years, his mother encouraged Mustafa to attend a religious school (the Şemsi Efendi Mektebi), though a reluctant Mustafa completed only a brief stay there; eventually enrolling into a military junior high school in Selânik (the Selânik Askerî Rüştiyesi) in 1893. In 1896 he enrolled into a military high school (the Manastır Askerî İdadisi) in the Ottoman city of Manastır (today's Bitola, in the Republic of Macedonia.) In 1899 he enrolled into the War College (the Mekteb-i Harbiye-i Şahane) in Istanbul and graduated in 1902. He later graduated from the War Academy (the Erkân-ı Harbiye Mektebi) on January 11, 1905.

Military career
After his graduation in 1905, he was assigned to Damascus as a lieutenant. He joined a small secret revolutionary society of reformist officers called "Motherland and Liberty." In 1907, he was promoted to the rank of captain and assigned to Manastır. He joined the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). However, in later years he became known for his opposition to, and frequent criticism of, policies pursued by the CUP leadership. In 1908, the Young Turk Revolution seized power from Abdülhamid II. He played a role in this revolution. In 1910, he took part in the Picardie army maneuvers in France. In 1911, served at the Ministry of War for a short time. Later in 1911, he was posted to the Ottoman province of Trablusgarp (present-day Libya) to oppose the Italian invasion. He returned to capital in October 1912 following the outbreak of the Balkan Wars. During the First Balkan War, he fought against the Bulgarian army at Gallipoli and Bolayır on the coast of Thrace. In 1913, he was appointed military attaché to Sofia and promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1914.
Ottoman Empire entered World War I and engaged with the Allies in the Middle Eastern theatre. Mustafa Kemal was given the task of organizing and commanding the 19th Division attached to the 5th Army during the Battle of Gallipoli. The Gallipoli campaign became a disastrous defeat for the Allies. Mustafa Kemal became the outstanding front-line commander and gained much respect from his former enemies for his chivalry in victory. Following the Battle of Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal served in Edirne until the January 14, 1916.
He was assigned to the command of the XVIth Corps of the 2nd Army and sent to the Caucasus Campaign. The massive Russian offensive reached to the Anatolian key cities. On 7 August, Mustafa Kemal rallied his troops and mounted a counteroffensive. Two of his divisions captured not only Bitlis but the equally important town of Muş, greatly disturbing the calculations of the Russian Command. On March 7, 1917, Mustafa Kemal was appointed from the command of the XVI Corps to the overall command of the 2nd Army. The Russian Revolution erupted and the Caucasus front of the Czar's armies disintegrated. Mustafa Kemal had already left the region as was assigned to the command of the 7th Army at the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.
He returned to Aleppo on August 28, 1918, and resumed his command. Liman von Sanders lost the Battle of Megiddo. Nothing stood between General Allenby's forces and Mustafa Kemal. Concluding that he didn't have enough men to encounter the British forces, Mustafa Kemal retreated towards Jordan for establishing a stronger defensive line. Mustafa Kemal was appointed to the command of Thunder Groups Command (Turkish:Yıldırım Orduları Gurubu), replacing Liman von Sanders. Mustafa Kemal's position became the base line for the Armistice of Mudros.
Kemal's last active service to the Ottoman Army was organizing the return of the troops that were left behind the south of his line. At the end of the war, Mustafa Kemal was 37 years old. Mustafa Kemal returned back to an occupied Istanbul on November 13, 1918. Along the established structures of partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, British, Italian, French and Greek forces began to occupy Anatolia. The occupation of Istanbul along with the occupation of İzmir mobilized the establishment of the Turkish national movement and the Turkish War of Independence.

Leadership During the War of Independence
Mustafa Kemal's active participation in the national resistance movement began with his assignment as a General Inspector to oversee the demobilisation of remaining Ottoman military units and nationalist organizations. On May 19, 1919, he departed from Istanbul to Samsun. The first goal in his mind was the establishment of an organised national resistance movement against the occupying forces. In June 1919, he and his close friends issued the Amasya Circular, which stated that the independence of the country was in danger. Ottoman government issued a warrant for the arrest, later condemning him to death. He resigned from the Ottoman Army on July 8.
Mustafa Kemal called for a national election to establish a new Turkish Parliament that would have its seat in Ankara. On 12 February, 1920, the last Ottoman Parliament gathered in Istanbul. Parliament dissolved by the British forces after the declaration of the National Pact (Turkish: Misak-ı Milli). Mustafa Kemal used this opportunity to establish the "Grand National Assembly of Turkey" (GNA) gathered on April 23, 1920, with Mustafa Kemal as the speaker of the parliament. On August 10, 1920 Grand Vizier Damat Ferid Pasha signed the Treaty of Sèvres, which finalized the plans for the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire including what Turkish nationals accepted as their heartland. Kemal Insisted on complete independence and the safeguarding of the interests of the Turkish majority on Turkish soil. He persuaded the GNA to gather a National Army. The National Army faced the Allied occupation forces and fought on three fronts: in the Franco-Turkish, Greco-Turkish and Turkish-Armenian wars. After a series of initial battles during Greco-Turkish war, the Greek army advanced as far as the Sakarya River, just eighty kilometers west of the GNA. On August 5 1921, Mustafa Kemal was promoted to Commander in chief of the forces. The Battle of Sakarya from August 23 to September 13, 1921 ended with the defeat of the Greeks. The Allies, ignoring the extent of Ankara's successes, hoped to impose a modified version of the Serves treaty as a peace settlement on Ankara. Kemal rejected their proposal. The final battle, the Battle of Dumlupınar, was fought during August and September of 1922. He launched an all-out attack on the Greek lines at Afyonkarahisar.
The Conference of Lausanne began on November 21, 1922. In accordance with the directives of Mustafa Kemal, İsmet İnönü refused any proposal that would compromise Turkish sovereignty while discussing matters regarding the control of Turkish finances and justice, the Capitulations, the Turkish Straits and the like. On July 24, 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed. Ten weeks after agreement was reached the Allied forces left Istanbul. The final outcome of the independence war was the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923.

Presidency, 1923–1938
The Treaty of Lausanne ended the Turkish War of Independence and recognized the new nation's independence. However, efforts to modernise the country had just started; institutions and constitutions of Western states such as France, Sweden, Italy, or Switzerland were yet to be analyzed and adopted according to the needs and characteristics of the Turkish nation. Mustafa Kemal was 42 years old when the Republic of Turkey was formed. Highlighting the publics lack of knowledge regarding Kemal's intentions, the public cheered: "We are returning to the days of the first caliphs". In order to establish reforms Mustafa Kemal placed Fevzi Çakmak, Kazım Özalp and İsmet İnönü in the important positions. Mustafa Kemal capitalized on his reputation as an efficient military leader and spent the following years, up until his death in 1938, instituting wide-ranging and progressive political, economic, and social reforms, transforming Turkish society from perceiving itself as Muslim subjects of a vast Empire into citizens of a modern, democratic, and secularnation-state.
A basic political principle for Kemal was the complete independence of the country, for him the total independence of the country was not negotiable. However, he was well aware that independence could not be maintained solely by the military force. His view of independence was expressed in a statement, saying that:"…by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence." Thus, as the backbone of the legislative, judicial, and economic structures were put in place, Atatürk led wide ranging reforms in the social, cultural, economical aspects of life in Turkey.