Pertevniyal High School, Since 1872

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Pertevniyal High School

Topkapı Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace

Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881 - 10 November 1938) was a Turkish field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and the founding father of the Republic of Turkiye, serving as its first president from 1923 until his death in 1938. Due to his military and political accomplishments,  Atatürk is regarded as one of the most important political leaders of the 20th century.

Atatürk was born in 1881 in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, then part of the Ottoman Empire. His military education started in 1893 when he was enrolled in a military school in Thessaloniki. He continued his education at the Military Academy of Istanbul and then graduated as second lieutenant in 1902. With his extraordinary skills, Atatürk quickly climbed military ranks, becoming a captain in 1905.

The year 1911 marked a significant point in Atatürk's life, as he fought the Italians in Tripoli and won a decisive victory, proving his skills in the military field. However, this huge success was nothing compared to what the future held for him. He drew the attention of his subordinates with his outstanding services following the start of the Balkan Wars in 1912. He played a significant role in recapturing Dimetoka and Edirne provinces.

In 1914, the alliances deployed soldiers on the Gallipoli peninsula and the Battle of Gallipoli started. Atatürk and Turkish soldiers made history by showing incredible resistance. Atatürk's order to his soldiers at the war still echoes in the hearts of all Turks: "I don't order you to attack, I order you to die!"

His star continued to shine during his services in northwestern Edirne province and southeastern Diyarbakır province in 1916, earning a major general title the same year. He fought against the British army in Damascus in 1918 and led successful resistance against it. Following the occupation of Istanbul by the allies, in 1919, Atatürk went to northern Samsun province as the inspector of the 9th army, which changed his life completely, and Türkiye's eventually.

Atatürk was an army inspector when he traveled to Samsun on the Black Sea coast from Istanbul. His arrival in Samsun on May 19, 1919, is now largely considered the first concrete step in the fight for independence for the Turkish nation following World War I, after being sentenced to death, as he rallied military commanders and civilians in Anatolia in his campaign for independence. Resigning from his military career, he embarked on a mission to garner public support in conventions held in cities in the Anatolian heartland.

A charismatic figure with military credentials, he was embraced by an Allied-occupied nation torn apart by years of war. He called for the members of the last Ottoman parliament to convene in Ankara in 1920. Then came the Treaty of Sevres between the Ottoman Empire and the invading forces which sought to relinquish Turkish territories to the Allied forces of World War I, but Mustafa Kemal announced that the Parliament in Ankara would not recognize it. After a series of victories against invading Greek forces, he launched the Büyük Taarruz (Great Offensive), an all-out war against the invaders that ensured the survival of the nation and the birth of a new country.

Following multiple battles and treaties, Türkiye emerged as the successor of the now-defunct Ottoman Empire, and in 1923, Mustafa Kemal declared the establishment of the Republic of Turkiye. He was elected the first president of the republic, an office he held until his death. To this day, he remains the longest-serving president.

Today the leader is better known by his last name than his first, but Mustafa Kemal was actually given his last name at a much later stage in his life. A law mandating citizens to use surnames was enacted in 1934, and Mustafa Kemal was endowed with the surname Atatürk, which literally means “the father of Turks.”

Atatürk proved his tenacity on the battlefield but also demonstrated that he was more than a commander-in-chief in post-war Turkiye. He drafted new economic policies and the country’s foreign affairs at a time when the world had declared war against the country just a few years earlier. His motto, “Peace At Home, Peace In the World” inspired generations of statespeople in their approach to the country’s diplomatic affairs.

Atatürk’s health worsened in early 1938, and he was confined to Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul for the majority of his final days. Following his death, Atatürk’s body was taken to Ankara and placed in a temporary grave at the Ethnography Museum of Ankara. His body was transferred to its current resting place, Anıtkabir, a spectacular mausoleum, in 1953.


Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ...You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.

On account of the fact that Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the leader who led the country's war of independence and the founder of the Republic of Türkiye, one of the aims of the project is to recount the achievements of Atatürk.