Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Turkey's first President and the leader of the Turkish War of Independence
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. He was a division commander during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915 and was instrumental in preventing the partition of Anatolia and Eastern Thrace through his political and military leadership in the Turkish War of Independence. The successful anti-imperialist resistance drove out the various Allied occupying forces, and ultimately led to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Ataturk then instituted reforms in the political, economic and cultural aspects of life in Turkey, which led to the creation of a democratic secular nation-state guided by educational and scientific progress.
Founding & History of the Turkish Republic
Atatürk is internationally known as an outstanding statesman, soldier, commander, reformer, and nation-builder who introduced many reforms with the aim of founding a new secular democratic and modern republic after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. As a visionary, revolutionary figure, and political thinker, he strove to set Turkey on a path from which Turks today vow not to stray (this path included a series of political, legal, cultural, social and economic reforms, such as the emancipation of women, change in dress and alphabet). Ataturk's legacy and principles are deeply embedded in the Turkish national consciousness, while the results of his reform and modernization movement are firmly rooted in all realms and dimensions of life in Turkey.
The Turkish people's enduring respect and gratitude for Ataturk's grasp of the future needs of Turkey, along with his nobility of purpose, is demonstrated by the love of nation and patriotism, and is a reason why his statues and photographs are so widely displayed. Turks, regardless of political party affiliation, desire to protect the national ideals which are founded on Ataturk's legacy and principles.
* The founding principles of the Turkish Republic are often referred to as "Kemalizm," "Atatürkçü Düşünce," or "Atatürkçülük" (in addition to "Atatürk İlkeleri ve İnkılap Tarihi"). (Cumhuriyetin Temel İlkeleri)
of Mustafa Kemal
Ataturk to Ali Riza and Zübeyde at Salonika.
military mission established in Ottoman Empire.
enters Military Secondary School at Salonika and is given the additional name of
Kemal enters Military Training School at Monastir.
by students of Military Medical School in Istanbul suppressed.
April. Ottoman-Greek war commences, following a Greek threat to annex Crete.
Peace settlement by intervention of the European Powers.
visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II to Ottoman Empire.
March. Mustafa Kemal enters War College in Istanbul.
Kemal graduates as Lieutenant, General Staff College in Istanbul.
January. Mustafa Kemal graduates
from the General Staff College with the rank of Staff Captain and is posted to
the Fifth Army, based in Damascus
Mustafa Kemal helps to found Fatherland (Vatan)
Society in Damascus.
June. Mustafa Kemal promoted Adjutant-Major.
Mustafa Kemal posted to Third Army at Salonika.
July. 'Young Turk' Revolution in Salonika. Committee of Union
and Progress forces Abdulhamit to restore
Constitution of 1876 and recall
October. Bulgaria proclaims independence.
October. Austria-Hungary annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina.
October. Crete votes for Union with Greece.
Kemal sent to Tripolitania on mission for Committee of Union and
April. Counter-revolution in Istanbul. Union and Progress
striking force, with Mustafa Kemal as
divisional chief of staff, marches on the
and exile of Abdulhamit.
Succession of Mehmet V as
Kemal attends Congress of Union and Progress Party in Salonika.
September. Mustafa Kemal appointed Commander of Third Army and later Commander
Kemal serves as Chief of Staff in suppression of revolt in Albania.
Kemal sent to Paris with military mission to
attend French army manoeuvres.
September. Mustafa Kemal is posted to the General Staff in Istanbul.
October. Italian invasion of Tripoli.
Kemal with Turkish Forces at Tobruk and Derna.
November. Mustafa Kemal promoted to Major.
October - 3 December. Beginning of First Balkan War. Montenegro, Serbia,
Bulgaria and Greece at war with Ottoman Empire. Severe Turkish defeats. Salonika
falls to the Greeks. Mustafa Kemal leaves Cyrenaica and returns to Istanbul. Coup
d'etat against Government by Union and Progress officers.
November. Mustafa Kemal appointed Director of Operations for relief of
May. Treaty of London between Ottomans and Balkan states.
June - 20 July. Second Balkan War. Bulgaria attacks Greece,
and Rumania. Ottomans recovers Adrianople.
September. Treaty of Bucharest restores territory to Ottoman Empire.
October. Mustafa Kemal appointed Military Attaché in Sofia.
March. Mustafa Kemal promoted Lieutenant-Colonel.
June. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo.
July. Mustafa Kemal sends despatch to War Minister from Sofia, urging a
policy of Turkish neutrality in the event of
war, with a view to possible later
intervention against Bulgaria and the Central Powers.
July. Austria declares war on Serbia, with support of Germany.
August. Ottoman leadership signs secret alliance with Germany.
August. Ottomans purchase German warships Goeben
arrival in the Bosporus.
October. Ottomans shells Russian Black Sea ports.
November. Russia declares war on Ottoman Empire.
November. Britain and France declare war on Ottoman Empire.
February. Mustafa Kemal appointed to reorganize and command Nineteenth
February. Unsuccessful Allied naval attack on Dardanelles.
February. Mustafa Kemal establishes Headquarters of Nineteenth Division
Maidos on Gallipoli Peninsula.
March. Allied navy fails to force
Turkish Straits. Mustafa Kemal demonstrates outstanding skills as a soldier and
commander throughout the battle at Canakkale.
April. Allied military landings at Ariburnu (Anzac Cove).
by Mustafa Kemal with his outstanding leadership of the Nineteenth Division.
June. Mustafa Kemal promoted Colonel.
9 August. Mustafa Kemal appointed to
command of Sixteenth Army Corps.
second Allied advance on Gallipoli Peninsula.
January. Allied evacuation of Gallipoli Peninsula complete.
January. Mustafa Kemal posted to Adrianople in command of Sixteenth
Corps. Transfer to Caucasus front.
April. Mustafa Kemal promoted General and Pasha.
June. Sherif of Mecca proclaims independence of Arabia.
- 7 August. Mustafa Kemal recaptures Bitlis and Muş from Russians.
March. Mustafa Kemal appointed
second-in-command effective Commander of Second Army.
March. British forces capture Baghdad.
July. Mustafa Kemal appointed Commander of Seventh Army in Syria.
September. Mustafa Kemal sends report to Government on the poor state
the army and the country, and relinquishes his command.
Mustafa Kemal returns to Istanbul.
December. British forces capture Jerusalem.
December - 5 January 1918. Mustafa Kemal visits Germany with Crown
July. Death of Sultan Mehmet V.
succeeds him as Mehmet VI.
August. Mustafa Kemal reappointed
Commander of Seventh Army in
- 30 September. British forces,
Turkish forces out of Palestine and Syria.
Mustafa Kemal defends frontier north
October. Armistice signed between Ottomans and Britain at Mudros.
October. Mustafa Kemal takes over command of Army Group at Adana.
November. Dissolution of Army Group.
November. Mustafa Kemal returns to Istanbul.
Allied fleets enter Istanbul.
November. Dissolution of Parliament.
January. Opening of Peace Conference at Versailles.
April. Mustafa Kemal appointed Inspector-General of Ninth (later Third)
May. Greek forces land in Izmir, with Allied approval.
May. Mustafa Kemal lands in Samsun.
June. Mustafa Kemal issues 'Declaration
of Independence' at Amasya.
Nationalist Congress to be held in Sivas.
June. Mustafa Kemal ordered by the Ottoman Government to return to Istanbul.
July. Mustafa Kemal resigns from the army and is dismissed by the Ottoman
July - 7 August. Nationalist Congress meets in Erzurum under presidency
Mustafa Kemal. Declarations of National Pact are issued.
- 13 September. Nationalist Congress meets at Sivas under presidency of
Mustafa Kemal. Confirmation of National Pact.
Establishment of Representative
October. Resignation of Government.
November. New Parliament elected in Istanbul with Nationalist
December. Mustafa Kemal establishes headquarters in Ankara, with Representative
January. National Pact adopted by Istanbul Parliament.
February. Evacuation of French garrison from Maraş and start of
withdrawal from Cilicia.
March. Military occupation of Istanbul by Allies.
April. Dissolution of Istanbul Parliament.
April. First Grand National Assembly meets in Ankara.
May. Mustafa Kemal condemned to death by Sultan's Government.
June. Treaty of Sevres presented by Allies to Sultan's Government.
June - 9 July. Greek army advances into Anatolia and captures
August. Treaty of Sevres signed by Sultan's Government.
August. Draft treaty initialled in Moscow between Soviet Union
September - 2 November. Nationalist forces invade regions with Armenian revolts
and capture Kars.
December. Soviet Union establishes Armenian Republic at Erivan.
December. Treaty of Gümrü settles Turco-Armenian frontiers.
- 10 January. Greek advance checked at First Battle of Inonu.
January. Grand National Assembly at Ankara adopts Constitution
based on popular sovereignty.
February - 12 March. London Conference fails to reach agreement with
Nationalists on modifications to Treaty of Sevres.
March. Treaty of Moscow between Nationalist Government and
March - 1 April. Greeks resume offensive in Anatolia and are
at Second Battle of Inonu .
July. Greeks resume offensive and capture Eskişehir.
August. Mustafa Kemal given full powers as Commander-in-Chief by Grand
August - 13 September. Battle of Sakarya. Turks check Greek
August. Greeks thrown back at
battle of Sakarya.
September. Mustafa Kemal given title of Gaziand rank of Marshal by
October. Treaty of Kars between Nationalist Government and
October. Treaty of Ankara between Nationalist Government and France.
August - 9 September. Nationalist forces defeat Greeks in counter-offensive and
capture Izmir, which is destroyed by fire. Turks launch final offensive against
Greek forces in Anatolia; break through the following day; win decisive victory
on 30 August.
September. Nationalist forces enter
the Turkish Straits Neutral Zone.
- 11 October. Conference at Mudanya agrees on Armistice between
and Nationalist Government.
October. Resignation of Lloyd George and his Government.
November. Mustafa Kemal proclaims abolition of Sultanate.
November. Flight of Sultan Mehmet VI from Istanbul.
November. Opening of Peace Conference at Lausanne.
January. Death of Mustafa Kemal's mother, in Izmir.
January. Mustafa Kemal marries Latife in Izmir.
February. Breakdown of Lausanne Conference.
February. Mustafa Kemal opens Economic Congress in Izmir.
April. Resumption of Lausanne Conference.
of Lausanne signed in Switzerland by Turkey and the Entente powers that fought
in World War I. After the conclusion of the Turkish War of Independence, this
treaty recognized the Republic of Turkey as a sovereign nation.
August. Foundation of People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP).
August. Second Grand National Assembly.
October. Turkish forces occupy Istanbul, following Allied
October. Ankara becomes capital of Turkey.
October. Proclamation of the Turkish Republic, with Mustafa Kemal as
March. The Caliphate
is abolished, the Ottoman dynasty is exiled, religious schools are closed down,
Islam becomes regulated by the state.
April. Abolition of religious courts.
November. Foundation of Progressive Party.
February - 12 April. Revolt in eastern region.
March. Law for Maintenance of Public Order gives Government
June. Suppression of Progressive Party.
August. Mustafa Kemal divorces Latife.
August - 2 September. Mustafa
Kemal tours Kastamonu province,
announcing abolition of fez,
suppression of religious brotherhoods,
of sacred tombs as places of worship.
February. Adoption of new Civil Law code.
June. Agreement on Mosul. Treaty of Ankara between Turkey,
June - 13 July. Attempted assassination of Mustafa Kemal in Izmir is uncovered.
and execution of ringleaders.
- 26 August. Trial and execution of 'Young Turk' leaders and
July. Mustafa Kemal revisits Istanbul.
- 20 October. Mustafa Kemal makes historic speech to Congress of People's
November. Third Grand National Assembly. Mustafa Kemal re-elected
of the Republic.
November. Introduction of Latin alphabet.
January. National schools open to teach new alphabet.
March. Maintenance of Order Law repealed.
May. New commercial law adopted.
August. Foundation of Free Party.
November. Dissolution of Free Party.
December. Religious riot at Menemen. Trials and executions.
April. Foundation of Turkish Historical Society.
May. Fourth Grand National Assembly. Mustafa Kemal re-elected President
July. Foundation of Turkish Linguistic Society.
August. Turkey becomes member of League of Nations.
1 February. Disturbances in Bursa over decision to recite the call to prayer in Turkish.
May. Istanbul University is established.
October. Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
January. First Five-Year Plan for industrial development.
February. Balkan Pact concluded between Turkey, Greece, Rumania
November. Mustafa Kemal adopts the surname "ATATÜRK" which is given to him by
the Turkish Parliament.
December. Women made eligible to vote in Parliamentary elections
to become members of Parliament.
March. Fifth Grand National Assembly. Ataturk re-elected President of the
May. Dispute regarding future status of Hatay (Alexandretta)
to the League of Nations.
regulating the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus and Dardanelles).
September. Visit of King Edward VIII to Ataturk in
January. Autonomy of Hatay agreed between Turkey, France and
July. Saadabad Pact signed, between
Turkey, Irak, Iran and
March. Illness of Ataturk is officially announced.
July. Franco-Turkish agreement to send French and Turkish troops
Hatay, to supervise elections.
September. Grand National Assembly votes nominal Republic of
with Turks in effective control.
September. Second Five Year Plan for industrial development.
November. The death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish
War of Independence and founder of modern-day Turkey.
November. Succession of Ismet Inonu as President of Turkey.
A BRIEF SUMMARY
Accession of Abdulhamit II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
Abdulhamit proclaims Parliamentary Constitution.
Russia invades Ottoman lands.
Abdulhamit suspends Constitution and dissolves Ottoman Parliament.
Russian victory confirmed by Treaty of San Stephano.
Treaty of Berlin replaces Treaty of San Stephano on July 13 1878 after Congress ends.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is born in Salonika.
The young Mustafa enters the Military Preparatory School in Salonika and is
given the second name "Kemal" by his teacher.
Mustafa Kemal enters the Military High School at Manastir.
Mustafa Kemal enters the infantry class of the Military Academy in
Mustafa Kemal graduates from the Military Academy and continues his studies at the
General Staff College.
January 11, 1905
Mustafa Kemal graduates from the General Staff College with the rank of
Staff Captain and is posted to the Fifth Army, based in Damascus.
Mustafa Kemal and his friends become active in the little known
"Fatherland and Freedom" society in Damascus.
Mustafa Kemal is transferred to the Third Army and travels to Salonika.
September 13, 1911
Mustafa Kemal is transferred to the General Staff in Istanbul.
January 9, 1912
Mustafa Kemal successfully leads the Tobruk offensive in Libya.
November 25, 1912
Mustafa Kemal is appointed Director of Operations (Mediterranean Straits
October 27, 1913
Mustafa Kemal is appointed Military Attaché in Sofia.
March 18, 1915
Allied navy fails to force the Turkish Straits. Mustafa Kemal demonstrates outstanding skills as a soldier and commander throughout the battle at Canakkale.
April 25, 1915
Allied troops land at Arıburnu (Anzac Cove) along the Dardanelles; Mustafa Kemal plays a major role in stopping their advance.
August 9, 1915
Mustafa Kemal is appointed Commander of the Anafartalar Group on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
April 1, 1916
Mustafa Kemal is promoted Brigadier-General.
August 6-7, 1916
Mustafa Kemal wins Bitlis and Muş back from the enemy.
October 31, 1918
Mustafa Kemal becomes Commander, 'Lightning Group' of Armies.
April 30, 1919
Mustafa Kemal is appointed Inspector of the 9th Army based in Erzurum and is granted extensive powers.
May 16, 1919
Mustafa Kemal leaves Istanbul for Samsun on the Bandırma vessel.
May 19, 1919
Mustafa Kemal lands in Samsun, a city located on the Black Sea.. This date marks the beginning of the Turkish national liberation movement, and is an official holiday dedicated to the youth of Turkey.
July 8, 1919
Mustafa Kemal resigns from his post of Inspector of the 3rd Army, and from the army.
July 23, 1919
Mustafa Kemal is elected Chairman of the Erzurum Congress.
September 4, 1919
Mustafa Kemal is elected Chairman of the Sivas Congress.
December 27, 1919
Mustafa Kemal arrives in Ankara with the Excutive Committee.
April 23, 1920
Mustafa Kemal opens the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara.
May 11, 1920
Mustafa Kemal is condemned to death by the government in Istanbul.
August 5, 1921
Mustafa Kemal is appointed Commander-in-Chief by the Grand National Assembly.
August 23, 1921
The battle of Sakarya, led by Mustafa Kemal, begins.
September 19, 1921
The Grand National Assembly gives Mustafa Kemal the rank of Marshal and
the title Gazi (Victor).
August 26, 1922
Gazi Mustafa Kemal begins to lead the Great Offensive from the hill of
August 30, 1922
Gazi Mustafa Kemal Paşa wins the battle of Dumlupınar.
September 10, 1922
Gazi Mustafa Kemal enters Izmir.
November 1, 1922
The Grand National Assembly accepts Gazi Mustafa Kemal's proposal to
abolish the Sultanate.
January 14, 1923
Mustafa Kemal's mother Zübeyde Hanım dies in Izmir.
October 29, 1923
Proclamation of the Turkish Republic. Gazi Mustafa Kemal is elected Turkey's
August 24, 1924
As part of Turkey's modernization, Gazi Mustafa Kemal wears a hat at Sarayburnu in
August 9, 1928
As part of Turkey's reform process, Gazi Mustafa Kemal educates the public on the new Turkish alphabet at Sarayburnu.
April 12, 1931
Gazi Mustafa Kemal establishes the Turkish Historical Society.
July 12, 1932
Gazi Mustafa Kemal founds the Turkish Linguistic Society.
June 16, 1934
The Grand National Assembly passes a law granting Gazi Mustafa Kemal the
November 10, 1938
Atatürk died at five past nine in the morning on November 10 in Dolmabahce Palace. Mourning Turkish citizens came to Istanbul to pay their last respects to Atatürk, until November 19, when the coffin in which his body rested, covered by a Turkish flag, was taken in procession to Sarayburnu. After it was placed onto the battleship Yavuz, it was transported to Izmit and later placed on a specially designated train which travelled at a slow speed throughout the country to enable mourners to pay tribute to their leader. Once the coffin arrived in Ankara on November 20, an official funeral was held on November 21. Dignitaries from many countries attended Atatürks state funeral. The coffin was moved in a solemn procession by gun carriage from the Grand National Assembly to the Ethnographic Museum, which had been selected as a temporary resting place until a mausoleum for Atatürk could be constructed.
November 10, 1953
At five past nine on November 10, 1953, Atatürks remains were taken from the Ethnographic Museum in a Turkish flag-draped coffin for burial at Anıtkabir.
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