Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Turkish pronunciation: ; indeterminate, 1881–10 November 1938) was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and founder of the Republic of Turkey as well as its first president.
Atatürk became known as an extremely capable military officer during World War I. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, 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 successful military campaigns led to the liberation of the country and to the establishment of Turkey. During his presidency, Atatürk embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms. An admirer of the Age of Enlightenment, he sought to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern and secular nation-state. The principles of Atatürk's reforms, upon which modern Turkey was established, are referred to as Kemalism.
He was born at the Kocakasım ward of Salonika, in a house located on Islahhane Street, to mother Zübeyde Hanim and father Ali Rıza Efendi, a militia officer, title deed clerk and lumber trader. They had married in 1871. His paternal grandfather, Hafız Ahmed Efendi belonged to the Kocacık nomads settled in Macedonia between the 14th and 15th centuries. His mother was from an Old Turkish family settled in the town of Langasa near Salonika. Only one of Ataturk's siblings, a sister named Makbule (Atadan) survived childhood and died in 1956. The only language spoken in his home as well as both of his grandparents' homes was Turkish. His mother's family tree clearly shows that they had been relocated from Anatolia after Rumelia (Balkans) had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire. He was born to a Turkish family living in the Ottoman Vilâyet Selanik, which then was part of Ottoman Rumelia. However, according to an article by Time magazine, Mustafa Kemal's father was Albanian and his mother was Macedonian, and "as fair as any Slav from beyond the Bulgarian frontier" with "fine white" skin and "eyes of a deep but clear light blue".