Who's Who - Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Mustafa Kemal Pasha (1881-1938), also referred to as Kemal Ataturk ('Father of the Turks') served in field commands during World War One and subsequently became Turkey's first president.
Born in Salonika Kemal graduated from the Turkish Military Academy in 1902. Chiefly interested in military progression he nevertheless participated in early revolutionary activities while serving as a junior officer.
Regarded as a potential rival by Enver Pasha, the most prominent figure in the country's Young Turk administration, Kemal was packed off to Bulgaria as Turkish military attaché and remained there when European war broke out in August 1914.
With the Ottoman Empire's entry into the war in November 1914 Kemal was given command of the 19th Division based at Gallipoli. His fanatical determination to throw back the Allied invasion there and at Suvla Bay in 1915 manifested itself in repeated attacks, often at great cost. His defiant stand sparked admiration and transformed him into a popular figure at home.
Promoted General in the wake of his success at Gallipoli he was subsequently transferred to the Caucasus in 1916 where he proved rather less successful in the face of challenging odds. He nevertheless came out of what was a disastrous summer offensive for the Turks with greater credit than most.
The following year saw Kemal lead Second Army at Aleppo as part of a wider German-led force. In October 1917 he resigned in protest at Enver Pasha's conduct of the Caucasian campaign but returned in August 1918 at the head of Seventh Army to conduct its retreat following defeat at Megiddo. Shortly before the armistice took effect in October 1918 Kemal was given overall command of Ottoman forces north of Aleppo.
Unaffected by the collapse of the Young Turk administration (with most of the leadership fleeing to Germany) Kemal organised nationalist forces in Anatolia against Allied division of Turkey. Incensed by the terms of the Treaty of Sevres - which effectively reduced the Ottoman Empire to Turkey itself - Kemal announced the establishment of a provisional government.
After successfully leading a guerrilla campaign against the Greek army's attempt to occupy Smyrna Kemal deposed Sultan Mehmed VI (abolishing the sultanate and in 1924 the caliphate) and became Turkey's first president in 1924, serving until 1938.
As president (and effective dictator) Kemal radically transformed Turkish society, politics and law; its citizens adopted Western standards of dress, the Latin alphabet, secularism and industry.
Awarded the title 'Ataturk' - 'Father of the Turks' - by the National Assembly in 1934 Kemal died on 10 November 1938 in Istanbul the most significant figure of his generation.