top of page

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk


My spiritual heritage is

science and reason.



Atatürk stands as one of the world's few historic figures who dedicated their lives totally to their nations.

He was born in 1881 (probably in the spring) in Salonica, then an Ottoman city, now in Greece. His father Ali Riza, a customs official turned lumber merchant, died when Mustafa was still a boy. His mother Zubeyde, a devout and strong-willed woman, raised him and his sister. First enrolled in a traditional religious school, he soon switched to a modern school. In 1893, he entered a military high school where his mathematics teacher gave him the second name Kemal (meaning perfection) in recognition of young Mustafa's superior achievement. He was thereafter known as Mustafa Kemal.

In 1905, Mustafa Kemal graduated from the War Academy in Istanbul with the rank of Staff Captain. Posted in Damascus, he started with several colleagues, a clandestine society called "Homeland and Freedom" to fight against the Sultan's despotism. In 1908 he helped the group of officers who toppled the Sultan. Mustafa Kemal's career flourished as he won his heroism in the far corners of the Ottoman Empire, including Albania and Tripoli. He also briefly served as a staff officer in Salonica and Istanbul and as a military attache in Sofia.

In 1915, when Dardanelles campaign was launched, Colonel Mustafa Kemal became a national hero by winning successive victories and finally repelling the invaders. Promoted to general in 1916, at age 35, he liberated two major provinces in eastern Turkey that year. In the next two years, he served as commander of several Ottoman armies in Palestine, Aleppo, and elsewhere, achieving another major victory by stopping the enemy advance at Aleppo.
















On May 19, 1919, Mustafa Kemal Pasha landed in the Black Sea port of Samsun to start the War of Independence. In defiance of the Sultan's government, he rallied a liberation army in Anatolia and convened the Congress of Erzurum and Sivas which established the basis for the new national effort under his leadership. On April 23, 1920, the Grand National Assembly was inaugurated. Mustafa Kemal Pasha was elected to its Presidency.

Fighting on many fronts, he led his forces to victory against rebels and invading armies. Following the Turkish triumph at the two major battles at Inonu in Western Turkey, the Grand National Assembly conferred on Mustafa Kemal Pasha the title of Commander-in-Chief with the rank of Marshal. At the end of August 1922, the Turkish armies won their ultimate victory. Within a few weeks, the Turkish mainland was completely liberated, the armistice signed, and the rule of the Ottoman dynasty abolished.

In July 1923, the national government signed the Lausanne Treaty with Great Britain, France, Greece, Italy, and others. In mid-October, Ankara became the capital of the new Turkish State. On October 29, the Republic was proclaimed and Mustafa Kemal Pasha was unanimously elected President of the Republic.


Atatürk married Latife Usakligil in early 1923. The marriage ended in divorce in 1925.

The account of Atatürk's fifteen year Presidency is a saga of dramatic modernization. With indefatigable determination, he created a new political and legal system, abolished the Caliphate and made both government and education secular, gave equal rights to women, changed the alphabet and the attire, and advanced the arts and the sciences, agriculture and industry.

In 1934, when the surname law was adopted, the national parliament gave him the name "Atatürk" (Father of the Turks).

On November 10, 1938, following an illness of a few months, the national liberator and the Father of modern Turkey died. But his legacy to his people and to the world endures.


Atatürk's body was re-interred in this splendid mausoleum in 1953.*


Few countries have such a person in their history. He was a successful military commander, and later established a democratic constitution and put in place changes that set Turkey on the road to becoming a new and developing nation. He inspired many later leaders like Habib BourguibaGamal Abdel NasserSukarno, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

His six principles still serve today as a sign post for establishing a democratic government:

1. Republicanism: Replacing the hereditary monarchy with an elected parliament.

2. Nationalism: Citizens working together with pride in a common interest.

3. Laicism: Separating religion from government. It is the guarantee of freedom of religion and conscience in society.

4. Populism: The equality of all citizens before the law.

5. Etatism: An economic system combining private enterprise with government-funded monopolies of large industries

6. Revolutionism: The basis of the other 5 principles. According to the needs of the society, innovations required by the age and science are made as soon as possible.*





​ ​

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk appreciates the status of women in society and civilization, thinking that “Everything we see in the world is the work of women”. In terms of this mentality, he considered women rights as an inevitable factor of westernization and getting contemporary. In this respect, he played the leadership role in striking reforms by trusting Turkish women so that they could obtain a respected status in society. So far, no leader has fought and shown such a sensitive approach for women rights.*

​ ​

Ali Rıza ERDEM Pamukkale University, Faculty of Education

​ ​

- The Civil Code of 1926 gave Turkish women wider rights in family and social life than in western countries.

- The Civil Code abolished the regulations on the man's right to polygamy and unilateral divorce, and gave women the right to divorce, custody and dispose of their property. Thus, women gained an equal status with men in family and social life.

- With the Law of Unification of Education adopted on March 3, 1924, women gained an equal status with men in education.

- In 1928, women also joined the profession of attorneyship, where Turkish women were not employed.

- The law of 1928 on the exemption of Turkish female doctors from compulsory service for 10 years increased women's interest in medicine; Starting from 1930, women doctors started to work.

- The Labor Law, which entered into force in 1936, brought regulations to women's working life.

- With the Municipal Law dated April 3, 1930, women were given the right to elect and be elected as members of municipal councils. Women have started to use this right since 1934.

- On December 5, 1934, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkish women were given the right to vote and be elected. With the adoption of the law on December 5, 1934, which gives women the right to elect and be elected, it is celebrated as "Women's Rights Day".

- The first international women's congress in the world was held in Istanbul on April 18, 1935 under the auspices of Atatürk.















With the words "Peace at home, peace in the world", Atatürk stated how valuable peace, human rights and justice are after years of wars. He fought against imperialism and won, as an example to the whole world, besides national policies. It has struggled with traditionalist and bigoted ideas, and has resolved sensitive issues such as women's rights before many developed western societies. He made peace with neighboring countries, respected borders and made social, economic and cultural agreements with many countries of the world.

​ ​

Atatürk never hesitated to tell the truth. "I must always speak my mind in front of the public. If I am wrong, the public will disapprove of me." he would say.

Atatürk was a multi-faceted leader. He is both an idea and a man of action. In other words, he was the preparer of the Turkish revolution on the one hand, and the implementer on the other. Atatürk, who both thinks and produces works, has shown that he is a versatile leader.

Atatürk was closely interested in national education as he aimed to raise the society above the level of contemporary civilization. He said, "It is education that either keeps a nation alive as a free, independent, glorious and sublime society, or it leaves a nation in captivity and misery." he said.

Atatürk, the republic he founded, did not feel proud despite his reforms and victories. "I did!" He always avoided his word. He always said: “The Turkish nation has succeeded”.

​ ​

Seeking the truth and speaking the truth was Atatürk's method. He valued reason and science. He tried to find the truth by looking at the events with the eyes of a scientist. "There is no problem that reason and logic cannot solve." he would say.

Atatürk was a realistic person. As he spoke the truth in the face of events and people without hesitation, he also did his best to make the right thing happen. He would first see the obstacles in his work, remove them one by one, and finally reach his goal. It was far from fantasy.

Atatürk's greatest ideal was to "raise the existence of the Turkish Nation as the most civilized and prosperous nation". As an idealist, he wanted to achieve this goal as soon as possible. Another aim of his was the peaceful coexistence of all nations. Atatürk overcame all obstacles for the modernization of the Turkish nation.

Atatürk used to evaluate the course of events and determine the outcome. During the Dardanelles Battles, taking the necessary precautions by anticipating where the enemy navy could land from, changed the outcome of the war.

Atatürk loved his nation very much, worked day and night for his nation, and made it a principle to be with the nation and trust the nation even in the most hopeless times. He respected not only his own nation, but all civilized nations.

Atatürk had a good heart. Resolve constantly against the calamities that await humanity.


Having a sharp logic and intelligence, Atatürk gave great importance to reason and logic throughout his life. This feature played a big role in his recognition as a universal statesman. "Our most distinctive feature is to act with reason, logic and intelligence." He showed that he acted with logic and consciousness in the country's problems.

Atatürk knew very well the time and order of the work to be done. He would do everything in order. First he would remove the obstacles, then he would have no difficulty in reaching the goal.

Atatürk displayed all the characteristics of a guide in the works he started right after he landed in Samsun on May 19, 1919. He showed the nation the right path.

Atatürk first thinks, examines, researches and discusses important ideas; Then he would make his final decision. He patiently awaited the execution of his decision. Atatürk also attached great importance to discipline. When he decides to do a job, he persistently works on that subject. He would never give up.

Atatürk was fond of art. He believed that the Turkish nation had a great artistic taste.

Atatürk would never fall into despair. Despite the multiplicity of internal and external enemies, he started the National Struggle and succeeded.

Patriotism is the most important characteristic of Atatürk. He did not spare any sacrifice for the defense of the homeland. Atatürk's love of homeland and his trust in the Turkish nation have an important place in the victory of Atatürk, who sees the defense of the homeland as important and above all else.

The love of country and nation was the cornerstone of Atatürk's characteristics. He had a character who would gladly give his life for his country and nation. He abolished personal sovereignty and gave sovereignty to his nation unconditionally. With this, he clearly showed his trust and love for his nation.

Mustafa Kemal had all the qualities necessary for a good manager. He set an example with his polite behavior, honesty and way of giving orders. He never gave room to adventure, both in state administration and throughout his military life. Ataturk; "Making big decisions is not enough. It is necessary to implement these decisions with courage and certainty." He insisted on his decisions and tried to resolve the result in the way he wanted.



​ ​

Atatürk valued books and literature in every aspect of his life, and always took time to read books. It is known that he read about 4000 books throughout his life. In some periods, the love of books has not only turned into reading, but also into writing. Thanks to the publication of his writings, the farsightedness, rationality and intelligence of Atatürk's thoughts were demonstrated. Ataturk's books:

- Nesayih Concerning the Settlement of the Subject Matter and the Copy of the Orders
- Team Combat Practice (1908)
- Cumalı Camp – Cavalry: Company, Regiment, Liva Training and Maneuvers (1909)
- Nature and Practice Travel (1911)
- Squadron Combat Practice (1912)
- Hasbihal with Officer and Commander (1918)
- Speech (1927)
- Civil Information for Citizen (1930)
- Geometry (1937)





























- Abolition of the Sultanate 1922-11-01

- Ankara Becoming the Capital 1923-10-13

- Proclamation of the Republic 1923-10-29

- Abolition of the Caliphate 1924-03-03

- Recognition of Women's Right to Vote and to be elected 1930-04-03

- Attempt to Transition to Multi-Party Regime with Atatürk's Incentive 1930-08-12

- Entry of Secularism into the Constitution 1937-02-05

- Hat and Dress Revolution (Hat Law) 1925-11-25

- Closure of Lodges, Lodges and Tombs 1925-11-30

- Adoption of the International Calendar and Time, New Digits and Changes in Measures 1925-12-26

- Surname Law 1934-06-21

- Removal of Nicknames and Titles 1934-11-26

- Opening of National Schools 1929-01-01

- Unification of Teaching 1924-03-03

- Closure of Madrasahs 1924

- Law on the Education Organization 1926

- Adoption of the law on the Alphabet Revolution 1928-11-01

- Innovations in Fine Arts 1928

- Establishment of the Turkish Historical Society and the Turkish Language Society 1931-04-12

- Beginning of the Language Revolution 1932-07-12

- University Reform 1933

- Regulation of University Education 1933-05-31

- İzmir Economy Congress 1923-02-17

- Abolition of tithe 1925-02-17

- Encouragement of the Farmer 1925

- Establishment of Model Farms 1925-05-05

- Establishment of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives 1925

- Cabotage Law 1926-07-01

- Industry Incentive Law 1927-05-28

- Land reform 1929

- I. and II. Development Plans 1933

- Establishment of the Higher Agricultural Institute 1933

- Establishment of Chambers of Commerce and Industry 1935

- Closure of Sharia Courts 1924-04-08

- Adoption of the New Constitution 1924-04-20

- Abolition of the Mecelle 1926

- Turkish Civil Code 1926-10-04

- Turkish Penal Code



1920 – Anadolu Agency.
1923 – Turkish Turing and Automobile Association.
1923 – Turkish Sugar Factories.
1923 – Uşak Terakki Ziraat T.A.Ş.
1924 – Gölcük Shipyard.
1924 – State Railways.
1924 – TC Ziraat Bankası A.Ş (incorporation of Ziraat Bank)
1924 – Türkiye İş Bankası.
1924 – Turkish Women's Union.
1924 – Presidential Orchestra.
1924 – Turkish Tobacco Bank.
1924 – Anadolu Insurance.
1924 – Bursa Karacabey Stud Farm.
1924 – Topkapi Palace museum.
1924 – Cumhuriyet Newspaper
1925 – Turkish Aeronautical Association (Turkish Aircraft Society).
1925 – istanbul port affairs monopoly.
1925 – General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums.
1925 – Istanbul and Thrace Sugar Factories T.A.Ş.
1925 – Gazi Forest Farm.
1925 – Eskişehir Traction Workshops.
1925 – Industry and Mine Bank.
1925 – Adana Textile Factory.
1925 – Adana and Pergamon Museums.
1926 – Turkish Wireless Telephone Company.
1926 – Eskişehir Aircraft Maintenance Company.
1929 – Alpullu Sugar Factory.
1926 – The first rolling mill to produce construction iron in Istanbul.
1926 – Agricultural Sales Cooperatives and Unions.
1926 – Amasya, Sinop and Tokat Museums.
1926 – Kayseri Aircraft and Engine Factory was opened.
1926 – Bakırköy Cement Factory.
1926 – Uşak Sugar Factory.
1926 – State Institute of Statistics.
1927 – Bunyan Weaving Factory.
1927 – General Directorate of Railways and Ports.
1927 - Ankara - Kayseri railway.
1927 – Real Estate and Eytam Bank.
1927 – Samsun – Havza – Amasya railways.
1927 – Bursa Weaving Factory.
1927 – Eskisehir Bank.
1927 – Ankara Archeology Museum and Sivas Museum.
1927 – Village Teacher's Schools.
1927 – Izmir Museum.
1928 – Purchase of Anatolian Railway Company from foreigners.
1928 – Ankara Cement Factory.
1928 – Ankara Numune Hospital.
1928 – Refik Saydam Hygiene Institute.
1928 – Turkish Education Association (TED).
1928 – Turkish Textile Factory in Bomonti, Istanbul.
1928 – Amasya – Zile railway.
1928 – Malatya Power Plant.
1928 – Kütahya – Tavşanlı railway.
1928 – Establishment of tram lines in Üsküdar, Bağlarbaşı and Kısıklı in Istanbul.
1928 – Ankara Palas hotel.
1928 – Gaziantep Textile Factory.
1929 – Purchase of Mersin-Adana railway from foreigners.
1929 – Ayancik Lumber Factory.
1929 – Trabzon Vizera Hydroelectric Power Plant.
1929 – Fatih-Edirnekapı tram line.
1929 – Purchase of Anatolian-Baghdad, Mersin-Tarsus Railways from foreigners.
1929 – Purchase of Haydarpaşa Port from foreigners.
1929 – Kütahya- Emirler, Fevzipaşa-Gölbaşı railways.
1929 – Paşabahçe Raki and Spirit Factory.
1930 – Ankara – Sivas Railway Line.
1930 – Mecidiyeköy Liquor and Cognac Factory.
1930 – Ankara Agricultural Institute.
1930 – Kayseri – Sarkisla railway.
1930 – Ankara Ethnography Museum.
1931 – Purchase of Bursa-Mudanya railway from foreigners.
1931 – Gölbaşı – Malatya railway.
1931 – District Art Schools.
1931 – General Directorate of Monopoly.
1931 – Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
1931 – Turkish Historical Society.
1932 - State Industry Office.
1932 – Samsun-Sivas railway.
1932 – Diyarbakir Tekel Raki Factory.
1932 – Purchase of Izmir Dock Management from foreigners.
1932 – Turkey Industry Credit Bank.
1932 – Kütahya – Balıkesir railway.
1932 – Ulukışla – Niğde railway.
1932 – Community Centers.
1932 – Turkish Language Association.
1933 – Eskişehir Sugar Factory.
1933 – Sumerbank.
1933 – Adana-Fevzipaşa railway.
1933 – Ulukışla – Kayseri railway.
1933 – Iller Bank.
1933 – Istanbul University.
1933 – Zonguldak Investment Bank
1933 – Kayseri National Economy Bank.
1933 – Purchase of Samsun-Cesamba railway line from foreigners.
1933 – People's Bank.
1933 – Higher Agricultural Institute.
1934 – Purchase of Bandırma-Menemen-Manisa railway from foreigners.
1934 – Keçiborlu Sulfur Factory.
1934 – Turhal Sugar Factory.
1934 – Isparta Rose Oil Factory.
1934 – Basmane (İzmir) – Purchase of Afyon railway from foreigners.
1934 – Sümerbank Bakırköy Cloth Factory.
1934 – Bursa Milk Powder Factory.
1934 – Zonguldak Coal Washing Factory.
1935 – Purchase of Aydın Railways from foreigners.
1935 – Depreciation Fund.
1935 – MTA Institute.
1935 – ETIBANK.
1935 – ETIMADEN.
1935 – Turkey Sugar Factories Inc.
1935 – Turkish bird.
1935 – Purchase of Istanbul Rıhtım Company from foreigners.
1935 – Ankara trolleybus line.
1935 – Fevzipaşa – Ergani – Diyarbakır railways.
1935 – Paşabahçe Bottle and Glass Factory.
1935 – Electrical Works Survey Administration.
1935 – Zonguldak Turkish Anthracite Factory.
1935 – Afyon – Isparta railway.
1935 – Sümerbank Kayseri Weaving Factory.
1935 – Ankara Mamak Gas Mask Factory.
1935 – Hagia Sophia museum.
1935 – Faculty of Language and History-Geography.
1936 – Ankara Çubuk Dam.
1936 – Ankara State Conservatory.
1936 – Purchase of Edirne-Sirkeci Eastern Railways from foreigners.
1936 – Haydarpaşa Numune Hospital.
1936 – Sümerbank Malatya Yarn and Cloth Factory.
1936 – İzmit Paper and Cardboard Factory.
1936 – Elazig Oriental Chrome Enterprise.
1936 – Izmir International Fair.
1936 – İzmir Gas Company

































Many revolutionaries were seen, but none of them could do what Atatürk dared and achieved.
“Greece, Newspaper Messager D'Athenes”

Atatürk's genius did what the Empire could not do in five centuries.
“Yugoslavia, Novosti Newspaper”

In no other country have women progressed so rapidly. Such a change in a nation is a truly unique event in history.
“England, Daily Telegraph Newspaper”

Ataturk's Revolution is so great that the world is still astonished by their greatness. This revolution created a western and modern Turkey from a dilapidated Empire.
“Belgium, Soir Newspaper”

No one today dares to attack His revolutionary work.
“Switzerland, Neue Züricher Zeitung Newspaper”

The leader of Turkey has accomplished something that all states never expected and created a strong, civilized country from a Turkey known as the sick man.
“Danish, Newspaper Social Demokten”

The veteran of Sakarya, the victor of the invaders, and the conqueror of Izmir will be exalted as one of the most admirable examples in history. Atatürk combined his military genius with the genius of statesman and philosopher.
“Spain, Vanguardia Newspaper”

History has seen the greats. He saw Alexanders, Napoleons, Washingtons. However, in the twentieth century, Atatürk, this Turkish son, broke the record for greatness.
“France, Journal of I'Illustration”

We do not think that this one and only man will ever be born again. Time will show his true greatness.
“Germany, Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung G.”

Atatürk is that man of our century that everyone would be ready to die at the desired moment in order to die like him.
"Syrian Press"

Atatürk is the most distinguished figure of our age. He gave life to the ideal, which philosophers and poets praised with the most beautiful and highest words, with his realist mind.
“Albania, Democracy Newspaper”

The resurrection of Turkey, one of the most unique events in modern history, is his work.
“Czechoslovakia, Lidove Novini Newspaper”

Ataturk created the miracle of modernizing an old nation in a few years without going through the stages required for a normal revolution.
“France, Le Temps Newspaper”

People like Atatürk are not born for a generation, nor are they born for a certain period. They are people who, under their leadership, will rule over the history of their nation for centuries.
“Iran, Tehran Newspaper”

Atatürk leaves behind a strong national state that is not afraid of its future.
“Czechoslovakia, Bohemia Newspaper”

Before his death, Atatürk completely achieved his ideal of creating a strong, vigorous and hardworking Turkey, respected and valued by everyone.
“Greece, Elenikon Mellon Newspaper”

History will engrave the name of this statesman in indelible letters. Atatürk is a man of the people. His unbreakable determination, sharp wit and might brought him before the destiny he defeated, thus becoming the creator of the new Turkey.
“Yugoslavia, Politics Newspaper”

A long way has been passed, a great work has been revealed, many victories have been achieved. All these are the work of Atatürk.
“Poland, Kurjer Warzawski Newspaper”

Atatürk was one of the greatest people of our century and one of the leaders who gathered the most unique genius and virtue in himself. He used the fruit of his struggle, work, morals and creativity for his nation.
“Syria, Elifba Newspaper”

No one on any side could do what Atatürk did in Turkey. Not Cavur, not Cromwell, not Washington.
“Greece, Tipoz Newspaper”

Atatürk was the symbol of personality and talent. He is the man who created the greatest miracle of the twentieth century.
“Denmark, National Tidence Newspaper”

Even their revolution alone is enough to inscribe the name Atatürk among the bravest correctors of modern times.
“Italy, Messaggero Newspaper”

His name will remain indelibly among the heroes of world history. Because his personality has crossed the borders of his own country. The Greek Nation, who recognized him as both an enemy and a friend, loved him as a friend as much as they appreciated him as an enemy.
“Greece, Eleftron Vima Newspaper”

A man who gave spirit to the new Turkey was registered in Atatürk's personality. We envy the Turks because they have a man of such a high disposition.
“Czechoslovakia, Ceska Slova Newspaper”

All of America admires Atatürk's perseverance and courage in accomplishing things that many people cannot afford to accomplish, and the work he has put forth.
"US Press"

After Atatürk, tears were shed to such an extent that they could not have a share of fate for any person on earth.
“France, Emile BOVERY”

Centuries rarely grow geniuses. Look at our misfortune that that great genius has been granted to the Turkish Nation in our age.
"England, David L'lyod GEORGE"

The death of Atatürk, who saved Turkey in the war and resurrected the Turkish Nation after the war, is a great loss not only for his country but also for Europe.
“England, Winston CHURCHILL”

British Prime Minister If he was told about his work, He; Either he says "I did my duty" or he considers all honor to the Assembly. I talked to many statesmen of Europe, but I did not see anyone more humble than him. But who among them was able to win such a victory in such contrasting circumstances?
"British Author, Grace ELLISON"

When the English, French and Italians drove us away from Anatolia and defeated us, we accepted that we were not faced with an ordinary man and that we were far from grasping his true creative power.
“Greek Minister of Economy, Yorgi PEZMAZOĞLU”

Atatürk showed a miracle of creating out of nothing under conditions unlike anyone else's.
“President of the Syrian National Assembly, Faris El HURİ”

Atatürk is one of the greatest statesmen in history. He never dwelled on the time in which he lived, he saw the future and acted accordingly. This is the point that separates Atatürk from rulers such as Mussolini and Hitler. They acted thinking of themselves every time they did it. Atatürk would act by seeing 20-30 years ahead of himself.
“England, Lord KINROSS”


bottom of page