Name: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Alive: 1881-1938

Bio: An army officer who founded the Republic of Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, Atatürk served as Turkey’s first President from 1923 and until his death in 1938. His reforms, such as the introduction of a European style law code and the abolishment of the sultan’s office, rapidly Westernised and secularised the country. He governed at times as an authoritarian in a democratic country. Atatürk first helped organise the nationalist revolution of 1919 and secured the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which recognised Turkey as an independent nation. In 1935, he was given the name Atatürk meaning ‘Father of the Turks’.

Quotes:

“Everything we see in this world is the creative work of women”

“Peace at home, peace in the world”

Popular Culture:

“Mustafa” – film, 2008

Further Reading:

  • Andrew Mango, Atatürk (2004)
  • M. Suekrue Hanioglu, Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography (2011)
  • Patrick Kinross, Atatürk: The Rebirth of a Nation (2003)