Atatürk, (Mustafa) Kemal

views updated Jun 11 2018

Atatürk, (Mustafa) Kemal (1881–1938) Turkish general and statesman, first president (1923–38) of the Turkish republic. As a young soldier he joined the Young Turks and was chief of staff to Enver Pasha in the successful revolution (1908). He fought against the Italians in Tripoli (1911) and defended Gallipoli in the Balkan Wars. During World War I he led resistance to the Allies' Gallipoli Campaign. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire and the capitulation of the sultan persuaded Mustafa Kemal to organize the Turkish Nationalist Party (1919) and set up a rival government in Ankara. The Treaty of Sèvres (1920) forced him on the offensive. His expulsion of the Greeks from Asia Minor (1921–22) led the sultan to flee Istanbul. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) saw the creation of a independent republic. His dictatorship undertook sweeping reforms, which transformed Turkey into a secular, industrial nation. In 1934 he adopted the title Atatürk (Turkish, father of the Turks). He was succeeded by Ismet Inönü.

Kemal Atatürk

views updated May 09 2018

Kemal Atatürk See Atatürk