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History Lessons by Jonathan Gifford

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MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK

(1881–1938)

Not many leaders get to create a nation state. Mustafa Kemal did just that as the tottering Ottoman Empire was being dismantled at the end of World War I by the victors; especially by Great Britain, France, and Italy.

Mustafa Kemal had distinguished himself during the war, especially in the defence of Gallipoli against British and Allied forces. He had shown himself to be a man who would lead from the front in the most extreme circumstances, showing great bravery and also considerable military acumen. After the war, with the Ottoman Empire about to be carved up in the most cynical way by the victorious powers, Kemal decided that the Turkish nation would be independent. He had little reason to believe that this ...

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