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There is no defense line, but a defense territory, and that territory is the whole of the motherland. Not even an inch of the motherland may be abandoned without being soaked in the blood of her citizens.
— Ataturk's order to the Turkish army at the Battle of Sakarya

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, born Ali Rıza oğlu Mustafa, was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938.

Born in a middle-class family and served in the Turkish Army during World War One, Ataturk came to prominence for his role in securing the Ottoman Turkish victory at the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. Following the Ottoman Empire's defeat and subsequent dissolution, he led the Turkish National Movement, which resisted against the mainland Turkey's partition among the victorious Allied powers. Establishing a provisional government in present-day Turkish capital Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Allies, thus emerging victorious from what was later referred to as the Turkish War of Independence. He subsequently proceeded to abolish the decrepit Ottoman Empire and proclaimed the foundation of the Turkish Republic in its place.

During his presidency, Ataturk made primary education free and compulsory, introduced the Latin-based Turkish alphabet to replace the old Ottoman Turkish alphabet and granted Turkish with equal civil right, which gained him nation-wide respect.

During 1937, indications that Atatürk's health was worsening started to appear. In early 1938, while he was on a trip to Yalova, he suffered from a serious illness. He went to Istanbul for treatment, where he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. He died November 10, 1938, at the age of 57.

Today, Ataturk is commemorated by many memorials throughout Turkey and numerous countries all over the world, where place names are named in honor of him.

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