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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Kemalism - Essay Example

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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Kemalism

This is the official cult. His biography is read like hagiography of saints. After more than half a century after his death most of the Turks with bated breath speak about the penetrating gaze of his blue eyes, his tireless energy, strength of mind and indomitable will.
Mustafa Kemal was born in Thessaloniki in Greece. At that time the area was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. His father was a middle-ranking customs official, his mother - a peasant. After a difficult childhood, lived in poverty due to early death of his father, the boy entered the Salonica Military School, then the Monastir Military High School and in 1889, finally, the Ottoman Military Academy in Istanbul. There, in addition to military disciplines, Kemal studied the works of Rousseau, Voltaire, Hobbes and other philosophers and thinkers that certainly influenced his views.
At the age of 20, during training, Kemal and his friends joined a secret revolutionary society - Vatan ve Hürriyet (Motherland and Liberty). Failing to come to understanding with the other members of the society, Kemal left Vatan and joined the Committee of Union and Progress, which has collaborated with the movement of the Young Turks (Turkish bourgeois revolutionary movement, setting a task to replace the sultan’s autocracy with constitutional order). Kemal was personally acquainted with many key figures in the Young Turk movement and was involved in the coup in 1908.
At the outbreak of the World War I, Kemal, who despised the Germans, was shocked by the fact that the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire became their ally. However, in spite of the personal views, he skillfully commanded the troops entrusted to him. So, in Gallipoli, in April 1915, he blunted the attack of the British forces several weeks, earning the nickname “Savior of Istanbul”. It was one of the few victories of the Turks in the war. He told his subordinates not only to attack but to die. It is ...Show more


His portraits are in government offices in the capital and coffee houses in small towns. His statues and busts are innumerable. You can find them probably in every city square or park. His maxims decorate stadiums, schools, concert halls. You can…
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