(1881—1938) Turkish general and statesman, President 1923–38
Turkish general and statesman, President (1923–38). Leader of the postwar Turkish Nationalist Party, he was elected President of a provisional government in 1920. With the official establishment of the Turkish republic in 1923, he was elected its first President, taking the name of Atatürk (Turkish for ‘father of the Turks’) in 1934. During his presidency he introduced many political and social reforms, including the abolition of the caliphate, the adoption of the Roman alphabet for writing Turkish, and other policies designed to make Turkey a modern secular state.