The Ottoman Empire was a vast empire that existed from the 13th century to 1922. It was the last of the great Muslim empires and lasted longer than any other in history. The Ottoman Empire began as a small principality in northwestern Anatolia and expanded into an empire that eventually encompassed most of the Middle East, North Africa, and much of southeastern Europe. In its heyday, it was one of the most powerful and influential states in world history. However, by the end of World War One, it had been reduced to rubble by years of war. At this time, Turkey was established as a republic with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as its first president.

Coat of Arms of the Ottoman Empire | Source: AS

Peak of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire reached its peak under Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled from 1520 to 1566. Under his rule, the empire expanded greatly and included much of southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It was organized as an empire with an administrative bureaucracy based on religious law and tradition. The empire’s capital was Istanbul (formerly Constantinople).

Map of Ottoman Empire | Source: AS

The empire began to decline when it lost territories in Europe during war. The last sultan of the Ottoman Empire was Mehmed VI (1918-1922), who ruled from 1918 to 1922. After World War One, its territory was divided between France and Britain as part of the Treaty of Sevres (1920). He was deposed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who established the Republic of Turkey in 1923.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey | Source: AS

History of Mustafa Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (19 May 1881 – 10 November 1938) was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey as well as its first president. A career military officer, he fought in the Balkan Wars (1912–13) and World War I (1914–18). Atatürk came to prominence for his role in securing the Ottoman Turkish victory at the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. In 1923 he established a new Turkish state.

Portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk | Source: Wikipedia

He is credited with being the chief architect of the modern Republic of Turkey. His surname, Atatürk (meaning “Father of the Turks”), was granted to him in 1934 and forbidden to any other person by the Turkish parliament. As president, Atatürk oversaw the adoption of a constitution modeled on that of the west, it provided for a parliamentary system with an elected lower house (the Grand National Assembly), an appointed upper house (the Senate), and a president who could serve for no more than two four-year terms. He also abolished all religious schools and replaced Arabic script with the Latin alphabet in order to modernize Turkey’s culture.

Protest taking place at Anıtkabir, mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk | Source: Wikipedia

His government also carried out a policy of modernisation, seeking to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern republic based on Western models. Atatürk’s application of secular reforms led to public support for his leadership; he became popular both within his own country and internationally. Atatürk led Turkey until his death at age 57 in 1938; his body was entombed at Anıtkabir, a mausoleum built on an elevation overlooking Ankara that houses many other former heads of state.

Banknotes Featuring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Turkey 1 Million Lira | L.1970 (2002 ND) | Source: Banknote World

Today you can find Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in various aspects of Turkish life including banknotes. The 1 Million Turkish Lira Banknote from 2002 is part of the 1991-2002 series. Its obverse side features the bank logo, and former President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The reverse side features the Ataturk dam, one of the largest dams in Turkey, and its name honors former President Ataturk. You can also find him on moderan day banknotes like the 10 Lira from the 2009 series family.

Turkey 10 Lira | L.1970 (2009 ND) | Source: Banknote World

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