Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was born in the Ottoman city in Salonika in 1881, was Turkey’s most beloved hero and the founder of the Republic of Turkey. Atatürk (1881-1938) was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, and the first president of Turkey.
Atatürk became known as an extremely capable military officer during World War One. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, he led the Turkish national movement in the Turkish War of Independence. On Oct. 29, 1923, the Turkish Republic was formally established, and Atatürk was unanimously elected as the first president. Atatürk’s motto was: “Peace at home and peace in the world.”
Atatürk was a military genius, a charismatic leader, and a comprehensive reformer throughout his life. Through his reforms, modern Turkey was founded. Atatürk modernized the life of his country. He gave many rights to women so they would be equal with men. Women were given right to vote in elections in 1934. At that time in many European countries, women had no right to vote and be involved in elections. Atatürk promoted modern dress for men and women, and he replaced the Arabic alphabet with the Latin alphabet. Atatürk modernized the social life in Turkey through his reforms.
On Nov. 10, 1938, at 9:05 a.m., Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey, died in Dolmabahce Palace following an illness. All of Turkey mourned for his loss. Every year since his death, all of Turkey stops on Nov. 10 to mark a minute’s silence at this day at 9:05 a.m.. Since the moment of his death, his beloved name and memory have been engraved on the hearts of the Turkish population. Atatürk worked for the happiness of our nation and its independence.
Atatürk was one of the most eminent personalities in the history of the world. Many world leaders highly respected him and made this clear with their comments upon his death. Winston Churchill said, “Atatürk’s death is not only a loss for the country, but for Europe is the greatest loss, he who saved Turkey in the war and who revived a new the Turkish nation after the war.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, remarked, “The name of Atatürk reminds people of the historical successes of one of the great individuals of this century, the leadership that gave inspiration to the Turkish nation.”
As I am a Turkish girl, I would like to share and remember our saddest day. Thank you.
Cagla Cakmak is a proud daughter of the great nation of Turkey.