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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - Interesting Facts

23rd September 2014

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the revolutionary who helped establish the Republic of Turkey, his reforms modernized the country but did you know these interesting facts about Turkeys founding father?

1) Mustafa Kemal was Turkeys first president.

2) Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born simply "Mustafa"

The name Kemal came later. At 12 years old, Mustafa was sent to the military academy in Istanbul. There, his mathematics teacher gave him the additional name Kemal—meaning "perfection" because of his academic excellence.

3) He was born March 12, 1881, in Salonika, which was then known as part of the Ottoman Empire, today his birthplace is known as Thessalonika, in modern-day Greece.

4) He replaced the Arabic alphabet with a Latin one and introduced the Gregorian calendar to Turkey.

5) Under his leadership, Atatürk introduced free and compulsory primary education and thousands of new schools were built.

6) He gave equal opportunities to women by introducing a multitude of new laws for equality between the sexes. Mustafa removed women’s veiling laws and gave women the right to vote. He gave women full political rights. In the mid-1930s, 18 women were elected to the national parliament. Later, Turkey had the world's first women Supreme Court justice.

One of his famous quotes "Everything we see in the world is the creative work of women."

7) Atatürk introduced state secularism to Turkey, his new policy caused some controversy at the time and he was accused of decimating important cultural traditions.

Today Turkey is proud of its secular state.

8) He never fathered his own children instead he adopted one son and 7 daughters, including Sabiha Gökçen , who grew up to be the world's first female combat pilot. Atatürk founded a civil aviation school called Türkkuşu (Turkish Bird). Sabiha was the first female student of the school and graduated in 1935.

"Sabiha Gökçen Airport", Istanbuls second International airport, is named in her honor.

9) In 1935 he introduced surnames in Turkey, He decided all Turks should have surnames, not previously known in Turkey. Before, people were known by their occupation. Mustafa Kemal took the last name Atatürk, which means "Father of the Turks."

10) Atatürk, made Ankara the capital city of Turkey.

11) He has a perfect military record which boasts victories and no defeats, Atatürk ranks amongst the world's greatest strategists.

As he said before he passed away on November 10, 1938, “My poor body will one day re-turn to dust, but the Republic of Turkey will endure forever”

Why was Kemal Atatürk important to Turkey?

Atatürk was the commander in chief in the Turkish war of Independence and founder of the Grand National Assembly and of the Republic of Turkey.

Mustafa Kemel Atatürk is the reason why Turks exist. If He were not born, there would be no such thing as a 'Turk'. He is the creator of the Republic Of Turkey. Turks owe him their existence, because he dedicated his life to Turkey. He is the greatest leader, president, commander and father a country could ever have.



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