Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) was a distinguished soldier and reformer; the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey.
Militarily, he was perhaps most famous as the Ottoman officer who inflicted two defeats on British forces at Gallipoli during World War I. Later, however, he set about ridding his country of some of the corruption, superstition and waste that had corroded the empire from within.
His ideology was distilled into six tenets, known as the "six arrows of Kemalism:"
* Republicanism--aimed to replace the elitist Ottoman social order, which invested power in the sultan and his immediate entourage, with a more broadly based republican system.
* Nationalism--held up a distinctly Turkish identity to replace the pan-Islamism of the Ottoman Empire. The main platform that Ataturk used to rally his countrymen in the 1920s, the approach created barriers between Turkey and the outside world, and some of its expressions, such as claiming Turkish origin for virtually all human achievements, are now discredited.