Special Sub-Topic: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
|In which city was Ataturk born?|
Thessaloniki. He was born in Thessaloniki in 1881. His father was a minor government official and later on traded lumber. His mother raised Mustafa after his father died in 1888.
|When did Ataturk graduate from the military academy in Constantinople?|
1905. He graduated on 11 January 1905, with the rank of major. His first posting was in Damascus, with the 5th Army. In 1907 he was promoted to senior major and stationed with the 3rd Army in Monastir/North Africa.
|Which division did Ataturk command at Gallipoli?|
19th Division. Mustafa Kemal was sent to Tekirdag, Thrace in early 1915, in order to form the 19th Division. This division stopped the Allied forces on 25 April 1915 at Gallipoli. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel after this victory.
|Which position was he offered in early 1919?|
Inspector-General of the Ottoman 9th Army. Mustafa Kemal went to Samsun on 19th May 1919, as the new Inspector-General of 9th Army. Disillusioned by the Sultan's "puppet government" in Constantinople, he decided to take up the fight for the freedom of the Turkish nation. This struggle continued until 1923.
|Where was the second Turkish National Congress held?|
Sivas. The second Turkish National Congress was held in Sivas, in September 1919. This congress led, ultimately, to the end of the Ottoman Empire and confirmed the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. It was decided that, "The freedom of the nation will be restored, with the resolve and determination of the nation itself".
|When was Ataturk elected President of Turkey?|
29 October 1923. The Turkish National Assembly first convened on 23 April 1920 in Ankara. In reality there were now two governments (the sultan's government in Constantinople and the National Assembly in Ankara), administering the country from different places! He was elected president on 29 October 1923, in the new capital, Ankara.
|Which treaty did the Ottoman government sign on 10 August 1920?|
Sevres. The Treaty of Sevres severely restricted Ottoman sovereignty and was recognised only by the government of Sultan Muhammad VI, but rejected by Ataturk. After the final victory over the Greek Army and the overthrow of the sultan, Ataturk's government used this strategic leverage and negotiated the much less punitivie Treaty of Lausanne, which was signed in 1923. Turkey recovered several strategic areas, among them Eastern Thrace, some Aegean islands, the Izmir area and the important zone of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits. The Straits had to remain demilitarised and are part of an international convention. Outside the the Straits Zone, the Turkish military faced no limitations whatsoever. The border with the newly established Iraq, however, wasn't settled until 1928.
|When did Ataturk abolish the sultanate?|
1922. On 1 November 1922, the offices of the sultan and caliph, were separated from each other and the sultanate was abolished. It meant, Turkey was a secular state. The caliphate, that is the role of the sultan (or ex-sultan) as supreme spiritual head, was abolished in 1923.
|What is the meaning of his adopted family name?|
Father of theTurks. The Turkish Grand Assembly gave the name "Ataturk", as a last name to Mustafa Kemal on 24 November 1934. Prior to this, Ottomans had no family names.
|What was the name of the Islamic law abolished by Ataturk?|
Sheriat. The Sheriat (Islamic jurisprudence based on the Koran) had regulated all aspects of life in the Ottoman Empire and religious and state institutions had been completely intertwined. The religious schools (Medresses) were shut down, the traditional religious garments were outlawed and the Western calendar introduced. The nationalist government was eager to purge or purify the Turkish language of foreign (especially Arabic) words. It also adopted the Roman alphabet in place of the Arabic alphabet.
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