Dawn of the Legend: Mustafa Kemal

Modern Turkey’s greatest leader, Mustafa Kemal, had a significant part in the fighting on Gallipoli. On 25 April 1915, commanding the 19th Turkish Division, he brought his troops up quickly to reinforce the Anzac area where Australian troops were coming ashore and pushing on up the slopes. He met the enemy in the hills, held them, and retook the high ground. Largely owing to him and his command, the Australian and New Zealand forces were contained and the landing force failed to reach its objectives.

On the establishment of the republic in 1923, Kemal was elected its first president, a position he held until his death in 1938. He assumed the name Atatürk (“father of Turkey”) and devoted himself to modernising the nation. He remains a revered figure in Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal P01141.001

I don’t order you to attack, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders can come and take our places.

Mustafa Kemal