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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (pronounced  or Kamâl Atatürk; 19 May 1881 by a posteriori–10 November 1938) was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

Atatürk was a military officer during World War I. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, he led the Turkish national movement in the Turkish War of Independence. Having established a provisional government in Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Allies. His military campaigns gained Turkey independence. Atatürk then embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms, seeking to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern, westernized and secular nation-state. The principles of Atatürk's reforms, upon which modern Turkey was established, are referred to as Kemalism.

Mustafa was born in either the Ahmed Subaşı neighbourhood or the Islahhane Street (present-day Apostolu Pavlu Street) in the Koca Kasım Pasha neighbourhood (this house is preserved as a museum) in Salonica, Ottoman Empire, to his mother Zübeyde Hanım (a housewife) and father Ali Rıza Efendi (a militia officer, title deed clerk and lumber trader). Only one of Atatürk's siblings, a sister named Makbule (Atadan) survived childhood; she died in 1956. According to Andrew Mango, he was born into a family which was Muslim, Turkish-speaking and precariously middle-class. Time magazine states that Mustafa Kemal's father was of Albanian and his mother was of Macedonian origin, and Patrick Kinross wrote that he was "as fair as any Slav from beyond the Bulgarian frontier" with "fine white skin" and "eyes of a deep but clear light blue." According to Encyclopaedia Judaica, one assertion that was commonly made by many Jews of Salonika was that Kemal Atatürk was of Doenmeh origin. This view was eagerly embraced by many of Atatürk’s religious opponents and denied by the Turkish government. His father Ali Rıza is thought to be of Albanian origin; however, according to Falih Rıfkı Atay, Ali Rıza's ancestors were from Söke in the Aydın Province of Anatolia. His mother Zübeyde is thought to be of Turkish origin and according to Şevket Süreyya Aydemir, she was of Yörük ancestry.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kemal Ataturk."
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