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Mustafa Kemal
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Military Personnel
    (March 12, 1881-November 10, 1938)
    Birth name is Mustafa Rizi
    Earned the nickname Kemal (Perfection)
    Honored as Ataturk (Father Turk)
    Founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey
    He began military schooling at age twelve.
    He joined many secret societies whose mission was to oppose the Ottoman regime.
    He fought for the Ottoman Empire during World War I, which was a part of the Central Powers.
    His initial popularity came from his military victories against the Allies.
    He did not cooperate well with his German subordinates, which angered the politicians in Turkey so much that he was removed from command (1917).
    He was later asked back, a year later, when the German-Ottoman alliance faced certain defeat (1918).
    He was appointed by the Ottoman sultan to quell the protest against Greek and Allied soldiers. Instead, he encouraged them to revolt against both the Allies and the Ottoman regime.
    Though he was called the President of Turkey, in reality he was a dictator.
    He created a nation where the military has a large sway on political affairs, this made it difficult for Turkey to enter the European Union.
    He was given the name Kemal by his math teacher in recognition of his academic brilliance.
    He is credited with thwarting the Gallipoli landings by British and French forces (1915).
    He was moved around frequently as a military officer in the Ottoman Empire because he was dangerous politically.
    He was never defeated in battle and holds only military victories.
    He frequently denounced the Ottoman Empire's autocratic regime and became the leader of the movement to free Turkey.
    He fought both the Ottoman Empire and the victorious Allies of World War I to create an independent Turkey.
    His military command saved Turkey from defeat in the War of Independence between Greece and Turkey (1919-1922).
    He forced the sultan to abdicate and created the Republic of Turkey (October 29, 1923).
    He managed to get a muslim country to accept a more western form of government.
    His reforms of Turkey still stand to this day.
    He created a political system in Turkey that could adapt to democracy rather easily after his death.
    It might be said that no other leader in the 20th century had done more in his lifetime in creating an entirely new nation than him.
    He abolished religious laws and created a new code of law.
    He believed in the power of the electorate, secular administration, nationalism, mixed economy with state participation in many vital sectors and modernization.
    He created the Turkish language which changed the face of Turkish culture and education.
    He made great leaps into women's rights by abolishing polygamy, allowing women to divorce, have custody over their children and get inheritance.
    He was honored by the League of Nations upon his death as a 'genius international peacemaker.'
    He has been honored by Lloyd George, Churchill, Roosevelt, Nehru, de Gaulle, Nasser, Kennedy and countless other heads of state.
    He dedicated his entire life to his nation.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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