Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and brave and unforgettable leader of the Republic of Türkiye, went down in history not only as the commander who successfully led the Turkish nation's War of Independence, but also as a statesman with groundbreaking revolutions. Atatürk was born in 1881 in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, then part of the Ottoman Empire, as the son of Ali Rıza Efendi and Zübeyde Hanım. His father passed away when Mustafa Kemal was a young boy. He continued his education at the Military School of Istanbul and then graduated as a lieutenant in 1902. With his extraordinary skills, Atatürk quickly climbed the military ranks, becoming a staff captain in 1905. He drew the attention of his subordinates with his outstanding services following the start of the Balkan Wars in 1912. As a major, he played a significant role in recapturing the Dimetoka and Edirne provinces. SUCCESS IN BATTLE OF DARDANELLES In a letter to Acting Chief Commander Enver Pasha, Atatürk requested to be in the field, suspending his duty in Sofia. His star continued to shine during his services in the northwestern Edirne and southeastern Diyarbakır provinces in 1916, earning him the title of major general that same year. He fought against the British army in Damascus in 1918, and led a successful resistance against it. PATH TO INDEPENDENCE After proclaiming that the country's liberation from the occupant forces would only be possible through the will of the people, he organized two congresses-in the cities of Sivas and Erzurum-where the battle of independence and the country's future was discussed. The struggle for Turkish independence started on May 15, 1919, when the first bullet against the occupant Greek forces was fired by Hasan Tahsin, a Turkish journalist who was killed shortly after his action. The incredible achievements on the battlefield led to Turkish independence, and the Republic of Türkiye was founded on Oct. 29, 1923. As a tradition, Turkish people visit his mausoleum in Ankara every Nov. 10 and pay their tributes to Atatürk.