Mustafa Kemal Atatürk dies in Istanbul

Today on the 10th of November in 1938 CE, the founder and first president (1923–38) of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk died in Istanbul. He was buried in the capital city of Ankara on November 21. Atatürk was instrumental in transforming the remains of the Ottoman Empire into the modern Turkish state.

Although Atatürk was instrumental in ending the Ottoman Empire, it should be remembered that he was nevertheless a child of late Ottoman society and as such was shaped by its social, educational, and cultural surroundings.

He was, above all things, a brilliant officer and field commander whose worldview was shaped in large part by the Ottoman state and the Ottoman military.

He modernized the country’s legal and educational systems and encouraged the adoption of a European way of life, with Turkish written in the Latin alphabet and with citizens adopting European-style names.

It is fitting to remember that Atatürk, the man who led the creation of the modern Turkish state, modern secular democracy with its capital located in Anatolian Ankara, drew his last breath in Dolmabahçe Palace, the last of the palaces of the Ottoman sultans in Istanbul.

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