Turkey commemorates Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, on the 78th anniversary of his death.
Thursday at 9:05am local time, people throughout Turkey – workers, students, motorists – stopped what they were doing to observe two minutes of silence.
They were paying their respects to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the principal architect of modern Turkey, on the 78th anniversary of his death.
Ataturk led the Turkish War of Independence against the occupation by Britain, France, Italy, Greece and Armenia, of most of the territory which now constitutes Turkey, after the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War l.
After he successfully led forces that regained Anatolia, the land that today makes up the Asian part of Turkey, he expelled the occupying powers and abolished the Ottoman Sultanate and Caliphate. Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey, moving the capital from Istanbul to Ankara, and embarking on an intensive programme of modernisation, secularism and national consolidation.
He served as its first president from 1923 until his death in 1938. His surname, Atatürk (meaning "Father of the Turks"), was granted to him in 1934 and forbidden to any other person by the Turkish parliament.
Here is the story of his life in pictures.In 1899, Mustafa Kemal went on to attend the Ottoman War Academy in Istanbul, where he was caught up in the wave of Turkish nationalism which arose following the loss of Ottoman territory and subsequent persecution of Ottoman Muslims in the preceding century. Although he came to disagree with many of its decisions, after finishing his education he joined the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) – an organisation advocating the reform of the Ottoman state which took power after overthrowing Sultan Abdulhamid II in 1908. Photo: Mustafa Kemal (front row, second from left) at the Ottoman War Academy, 1901. The Ottoman Empire entered the First World War on the side of Germany, Bulgaria, and Austria-Hungary in 1914. In 1915, by then a lieutenant-colonel, Mustafa Kemal played a key role in the successful defence of the Gallipoli Peninsula, which guarded the sea route into Istanbul from the forces of France and the British Empire, in what is known in Turkey as the Battle of Canakkale and outside as the Battle of Gallipoli. Photo: Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal, commander of the 19th Division of the Fifth Army, on the frontline in Gallipoli. At the end of World War l in 1918, the government of the Ottoman Empire was forced to sign the Armistice of Mudros, which led to the loss of most of its remaining territory and the occupation of much of Anatolia. In 1919, under his leadership, Mustafa Kemal, now a high-ranking general, gathered nationalist soldiers as well as political and religious leaders at the Congress of Erzurum to organise resistance to the occupying powers. Photo: Mustafa Kemal (C) photographed with the other attendees of the Congress of Erzurum.