THE BIOGRAPHY OF MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK
ATATURK, FOUNDER OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC AND THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born in a three-storey pink house at Islahhane Street, Kocakasim District, Salonika in 1881. His father was Ali Riza Efendi and mother was Zübeyde Hanim. His paternal grand father Hafiz Efendi is a member of Kocacik Nomads from Konya and Aydin region, which was settled in Macedonia during 14th-15th centuries. His mother Zübeyde Hanim, also a daughter of an old Turkish family, settled in the town of Langasa near Salonika. Ali Riza Efendi who worked in various areas such as; a military officer, a pious foundation clerk and for some time a timber merchant and got married with Zübeyde Hanim in 1871. Four of Atatürk’s five siblings died at an early age, only his sister Makbule Atadan survived and lived until 1956.
Little Mustafa commenced his education in Hafiz Mehmet Efendi’s neighbourhood school, later he was transferred to Semsi Efendi School, because his father wished so (Comparatively modern education at the time.) During his primary education, he lost his father in 1888. For a while he stayed on his uncle’s farm in Rapla, returned to Salonika and completed his primary education. He enrolled to Salonika Junior High School for Civil Servants. After a short time in 1893, he transferred to Military Junior High School. It is at this school his math teacher Mustafa Bey, added Kemal to his name in between 1896-1899, Mustafa Kemal finished Monastir Military Senior High School and commenced Military College in Istanbul. In 1902 he graduated with the rank of lieutenant and continued his education in Military Academy. In January 1905 he completed the Academy and graduated with the rank of a captain. His first appointment was in 5 Army in Damascus in between 1905-1907. He was promoted to adjutant major in 1907 and appointed to 3 Army in Monastery. He was the Chief of Staff of the Army Corps which entered Istanbul on 19 April 1909. He was sent to France in 1910 and took part in Picardie Manoeuvres. In 1911 he was back in Istanbul and started to work under the Command of General Staff.
Mustafa Kemal and a group of friends took part in Tobruk and Derna Fronts during the war which started in 1911 against the Italians who were attacking Tripoli (Libya). He won the Battle of Tobruk against the Italian forces on 22 December 1911. He was then appointed to Derna Front as the Commander-in-Chief on 6 March 1912.
When the Balkan War started in October 1912, Mustafa Kemal joined the battle with units in Gelibolu (Gallipoli) and Bolayir. He greatly contributed to the retrieval of Edirne and Dimetoka (Dhidhimotikhon). In 1913 he was appointed to Sofia as the military attache. During his assignment in Sofia he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. His duty as the military attache ended in January 1915. During his stay in Sofia, the First World War had started and the Ottoman Empire had become obliged to enter in this war. Mustafa Kemal was appointed to Tekirdag to organize the 19 Division.
It is in the First World War, which started in 1914, that Mustafa Kemal wrote an heroic epic and made the legend of Dardanelles are Impassable against Entente troops in Gallipoli. On 18 March 1915, when British and French navies failed to break in through the Straits of Dardanelles with heavy losses, the decision to land troops on the Gallipoli peninsula had been given. Under the command of Mustafa Kemal, 19 Division halted the enemy forces, which landed in Ariburnu -now called Anzak Koyu (Anzac Cove)- on 25 April 1915 at Conkbayir. Mustafa Kemal was promoted to full colonel after this great success. British forces started attacking again from Ariburnu on 6-7 August 1915. Anafartalar Group Commander Mustafa Kemal won the victory of Battle of Anafartalar on 9-10 August. Following this, he also won the victories of Battle of Kirectepe on 17 August and Second Battle of Anafartalar on 21 August. The Turkish nation defended her honour in Gallipoli (Battle of Canakkale) against Entente States by losing approximately 253,000 of her sons to martyrdom. Mustafa Kemal’s famous order to his soldiers “I do not order you to attack, I order you to die”, had changed the destiny of this Front.