Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Life (1881-193∞)
Atatürk’s Life (1881-193∞)has lots of wonderful facts and events. Let’s read them together. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the founder of the Republic of Turkey. His surname, Ataturk, means “Father of the Turks”. He was born in 1881 in Salonika, then part of the Ottoman Empire.
He had a long and active military career before entering politics. He was a visionary and revolutionary leader who swiftly modernized Turkey after becoming its first president. His legacy is seen throughout Turkish life today.
When Atatürk was 12, he joined a military school. He later graduated from a military academy in Istanbul in 1905. He quickly established his military reputation by fighting against the Italians in Libya in 1911, and in the Balkan Wars between 1912-1913. He became a hero by defending the Dardanelles against the Allies in 1915. Atatürk was promoted to general at the age of 35 because of his military skills.
Atatürk played a key role in the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1922). He started a nationalist revolution and successfully fought off European armies that had carved up and occupied Turkey after WWI. In 1921, he established a temporary government in Ankara. Two years later, in 1923, Turkey became a secular republic with Atatürk as its president. He remained in office until 1938.
As president, Mustafa Kemal’s reforms secularized schools and encouraged education for girls. He also asked women to work to build Turkey’s economy. He replaced Islamic courts with secular civil law and replaced Arabic script with a Latin-based Turkish alphabet. He also promoted a more western style of dressing.
Atatürk died on November 10, 1938, aged 57 years old. He remains a revered figure in Turkey.
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