Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
By: Trevor Spanel The person I decided to assess based on certain characteristics for class is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. I am going to first give a short history lesson on his early years, military career, and some political accomplishments Mustafa Kemal Ataturk achieved. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born March 12, 1881 in the Ottoman Empire town of Salonika. At a very early age his dad, Ali Riza, dedicated him into military service by raising a sword over him. Ali Riza died when Mustafa was seven years old, but Ali Riza still wanted Mustafa to get a good education in a modern school. In modern times what we refer to as a middle school, was where Mustafa received his nickname. His teachers called him Kemal, which means, “perfect” because they saw that he had a brilliant mind.
After middle school, Mustafa Kemal attended the War College in Istanbul, where he began learning the art of war. He graduated the War College in the top ten of his class with 400+ students in 1902. He then entered another high-ranking college called Generals Staff College. After graduating in three years, he later became a second lieutenant and one of the nations exciting new officers. Throughout his time in college, many citizens in the Ottoman Empire believed there was a lot of political abuse and wanted things to change.
After Mustafa Kemal graduated, he joined an antigovernment group called Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). During his time in the CUP, he held many titles and served in many wars. In 1911, the Italians attacked the Ottoman Province, in 1912, the First Balkan War started, and then the Second Balkan War occurred in 1913. Another significant event from when Mustafa Kemal was apart of the CUP was when the Ottoman Empire entered World War I, as apart of the Central Powers. Being one of the only leaders to have defended Russia successfully, Mustafa Kemal was appointed General in 1916. This was just the start of the War of Independence, where it was a struggle to keep major ports and organize forces to give them enough power to hold ground.
After many military victories, Mustafa Kemal eventually resigned in the army to go into the political world. Shortly after, he was elected the head of the Erzurum Congress in 1919. At this time, the Ottoman Empire was still alive and it was a crucial time for independence. While in Congress, Mustafa and the other congressmen wrote a document named the National Pact. The National Pact stated that the eastern six providences, where the majority of the Turks were located, were safe from the Ottoman Empire. Later on in 1920, the Treaty of Sevres was signed, ending World War I and reduced the size of the Ottoman Empire. One of the regions that were split from the Ottoman Empire was Armenia. During all this time, Mustafa Kemal became the president of The Grand National Assembly (GNA), which gave him control of an army. With the help of Russia, GNA had to fight off the Greeks to get control of land. They had to fight from the Eastern boarder in the towns of Kars, Ardahan, later apart of the country Turkey. This is where the push for land began. Their ending goal was to get to Ankara where the region’s main government was located. On the way to Ankara, GNA took over Bursa. Mustafa Kemal took over the role and made himself the Commander in Chief with total authority of the GNA. With many other victories over the land, the allies’ soldier count was dwindling. Just getting into Ankara, Mustafa Kemal met with their government. With so much power, Mustafa Kemal demanded they signed the Treaty of Lausanne, which set the boundaries of Turkey at the Eastern River, Maritsa. Turkey officially had complete power over the territory and the Turkish Republic was formed. They named Mustafa Kemal as the president. The new president felt as though Turkey was behind the rest of the world. He wanted them to catch up and had great visions for