Who was Atatürk? Atatürk was a ruthless missionary, which ultimately made Turkey a modern country. Atatürk has also laid the foundation for today's Turkey, as we know it. How Atatürk grew from an ordinary boy from up to a super reformer?
Sighing and groaning the Bandirma runs on May 19, 1919 the port of Samsun in the northern Turkish city on the Black Sea. It's spring, but there is a strong wind, and the ship has struggled to head straight to shore. On board, the 38-year-old Mustafa Kemal. With his blond hair, blond mustache and blue eyes, he stands out among the dark people of Anatolia, the peninsula on which is the greater part of Turkey. What brings these General so far in the province?
Officially, Mustafa sent to quell the uprisings against incumbent Ottoman sultan. More once arrived, he sees his chance to be not to promote long-held plans for a modern Turkey. It combines the rebellious troops and forcing the sultan to give more power to the people. That is the very beginning of his reign, which Turkey until 1938 in its grip will hold. At that time Mustafa purchased include the sultanate, the headscarf and the Arabic alphabet off. As a father he feeds the Turks on the Western model. That's why he gives himself in 1934 the title Ataturk, "father of the Turks."
The blond general was probably born in November 1881 in Thessaloniki today, which belonged to the Ottoman Empire. This was roughly the current Balkans to the eastern border where now Iran begins. Along with a government of friends and relatives, the Ottoman sultan was the head of this great empire. Mustafa's parents were of humble origins. First father earned a living as a customs officer and later as a timber merchant. The story goes that the father over the crib of his offspring had hung a sword, a sign that his son, a career military wished. At an early age Mustafa indeed decides that he wants the army. He goes to the cadet school in his hometown. Mustafa wants to be the best in class. Hence, his mathematics teacher gave him the nickname Kemal.
In his teens Mustafa begins to take an interest in politics. In the local pub, he discusses with classmates the position of the sultan. Large amounts of raki, strong Turkish anise liquor, tongues loosen and sharp. "Our confidence in the sultan is completely undermined. We note that the army loses its power and prestige. Fearful of the sultan has plunged our people into hopeless oriental resignation, "writes Ali Fouad, a friend and fellow student of Mustafa, at his notepad. In the school announcing the soldiers-in-training their radical innovation ideas. Their ideal? The "enlightened" French republic, with its democracy and equal rights for everyone.
During the binge drinking Mustafa comes in contact with members of the so-called Young Turks. This resistance movement wants a parliament elected by the people to involve citizens in the state, and a constitution. But that's Mustafa actually not far enough. The young soldier wants a total revision of Turkey to the western model: the separation of state and religion, patriotism, democracy and economic reforms. But Mustafa feels that the time is not ripe for such a big change. So he excludes himself yet in 1907 with the Young Turks. He becomes friends with people who have similar ideals as he. And Mustafa studies a cartload of books about contemporary politics and the western world. Slowly the modernization of Turkey is a personal ambition that Mustafa will not let go. But first are the brand new captain waiting other tasks. Mustafa must precisely on behalf of the Sultan and his government fight during a series of wars, including the war against the Italians, two Balkan wars and the First World War. These conflicts revolve around territory. For since the Ottoman sultan is so weak, try especially Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece to nibble at the Ottoman borders. On the battlefield, Mustafa does good things for his country. As a reward, he climbs rapidly in the army. But meanwhile his criticism of the sultan increases. Mustafa feels that he takes the wrong war decisions. With the absolute low in 1914 of the treaty, which the sultan chooses the side of the Germans during the First World War.
When Mustafa Kemal in 1919 arrives by ship in Samsun, the signatures put an end to the First World War just dry. It is restless in the Ottoman Empire that the loser has come from the battle. The position of the Sultan and his government, which have worked closely with the Germans, is further weakened. The Ottoman Empire is placed under the authority of Great Britain and France. The discontent of the population and some senior military grows: why the Sultan has let this happen? Other countries and groups are trying to get their share of the situation. So want to take the Smyrna Greeks, and Armenians demand in the east stands on its own. Mustafa, then as a general in the service of the Ottoman army, officially comes to Anatolia to keep the insurgents in check. But in the meantime he has a very different, hidden agenda. Mustafa does not suppress the rebel groups, he just talk to them. Probably because the underground resistance group of the Young Turks has asked him to take charge of the resistance in itself. Mustafa wants nothing more than that!
If the Sultan air gets from the "resistance operations" Mustafa, he calls his general immediately returned to Istanbul. Which in turn sends a resignation letter to the sultan. Although he now officially no more general, Mustafa simply loves his support of his fellow generals and troops. In fact, other rebellious army units join him. They want to get rid of the sultan and the allied threat. And to start: elections for the People's Assembly.
The sultan feels cornered and eventually agrees to elections to the parliament. There sat until then acquaintances from the circle of the sultan. But the British do it in 1920 to an end. At this time, in addition to the administration of the weakened Sultan, the new 'People's Assembly' installed. Chairman? Mustafa. Who feels that the opportunity to modernize his country, now it is close. So he put the rebellion by. The sultan then throw some fuel on the fire. He signs the Treaty of Sevres with the allied countries. Thus the rich would lose much territory. Mustafa wrote: "The Treaty of Sèvres is a death sentence, so fatal to the people that we want its name is not pronounced by someone who calls himself our friend." A two-year independence war follows. It fights Mustafa, along with a large part of the army, against the sultan and against the Allies. He leads the battle from the city Ankara, in central Anatolia, where sits the brand new People's Assembly. There will be stiff opposition from Istanbul, the Allies and especially the Greeks, who send military units to the area. But the "Regime of Ankara 'remains and is gaining popularity.
In 1921, following the final blow. Then the people, parliament passed a law stating that it is itself the sole legitimate and executive. Actually, is equivalent to an acquisition of all government tasks. The sultan flight a few months later from the country. As leader of the largest party in parliament Mustafa takes over leadership of that government tasks. In 1923 the state of Turkey was founded. Mustafa Kemal, the first president of the new republic. The blonde general, once a firebrand in a provincial café has completed one part of its mission. He can now start the second half, and create a modern country of Turkey. His first feat? Ankara becomes the new capital of the country. Because Mustafa wants to govern away from the Ottoman palaces in Istanbul, in the heart of the territory where he began his journey victory on May 19, 1919.
What is the legacy of Ataturk in Turkey now? First, the super reformer for the Turks remained a mythical figure. In all public buildings still hang portraits of the 'man who made a modern country of Turkey. " Yet not all his ideas survived the 20th century. So his economic policies unleashed by later governments. And to protest against the ban on headscarves, some women wear a headscarf in the street once again. Also there again political parties that invoke Islam. Another legacy of Ataturk is the Kurdish problem in Turkey. Because of their own culture, they want some form of autonomy. But the Turkish governments after Atatürk are always stick to his statement: who lives on Turkish territory is Turk.
How he oppressed his people?