Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Residence
The house is the birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was born here in 1881. It is a three-floor house with a courtyard on Apostolou Pavlou Street, next to the Turkish Consulate. Before the capture of Thessaloniki by the Greek Army in 1912, it was known as Koca Kasım Paşa district, Islahhane street. It was built before 1870 and in 1935 the Thessaloniki City Council gave it to the Turkish State, which decided to convert it into a museum dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
The building has three floors and a courtyard. It was repaired in 1981 and was repainted to its original pink. Most of the furniture is authentic. Any missing items were replaced with furniture from Kemal’s Mausoleum and from Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. There are photographs on all the walls of Kemal at various periods of his life.
There are four rooms on the ground floor. On the 1st floor is the reception room, with European sofas, a large console table, and a chased brazier; a large sitting-room, with low banquettes around the walls; Kemal’s mother’s room, with a bed, a banquette, and a trunk; and the kitchen, equipped with contemporary cooking utensils. The most impressive room on the 2nd floor is the one in which Kemal was born, a large room with a banquette, his desk, and a large brazier. It faces another room, in which some of Kemal’s personal effects from Ankara are displayed. These include formal dress, smoking requisites, cutlery, cups, and other items. All the documents relating to Kemal’s schooldays have been hung on the walls. A pomegranate tree planted by Kemal’s father still grows in the courtyard.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. Atatürk proceeded to abolish the decrepit Ottoman Empire and proclaimed the foundation of the Turkish Republic in its place. As president, Atatürk initiated a rigorous program of political, economic, and cultural reforms with the ultimate aim of building a modern, progressive, and secular nation-state. He made primary education free and compulsory, opening thousands of new schools all over the country. He also introduced the Latin-based Turkish alphabet, replacing the old Ottoman Turkish alphabet. Turkish women received equal civil and political rights during Atatürk’s presidency ahead of many Western countries.
The Turkish Parliament granted him the surname Atatürk in 1934, which means Father of the Turks, in recognition of the role he played in building the modern Turkish Republic.
Atatürk made many reforms in order to bring Turkey to the level of contemporary civilizations. Those reforms can be put under five main topics:
1. Political Reforms
- Abolishment of the Sultanate, 1922;
- Declaration of the Republic, 1923;
- Abolishment of Caliphate, 1924.
2. Social Reforms
- Women were given equal rights with men, 1926-1934;
- The Revolution of Headgear and Outfit, 1925;
- Closing of dervish lodges and shrines, 1925;
- The Surname law, 1934;
- Abolishment of nicknames, pious and royal titles, 1934;
- Adoption of the Intl. calendar, time and measurements, 1925-1931.
3. Juridical Reforms
- Abolishment of the Canon Law, 1924-1937;
- Instating the new Turkish Civil Code and other legislation to suit secular order, 1924-1937.
4. Educational and Cultural Reforms
- Integration of education, 1924;
- Adoption of the new Turkish alphabet, 1928;
- Establishment of the Turkish Language and Historical Societies, 1932;
- Organization of the University Education, 1933;
- Innovations in Fine Arts.
5. Economical Reforms
- Abolishment of old taxation laws;
- Encouragement of the farmers;
- Establishment of model farms;
- Legislation of the Encouragement of the Industry Law and establishment of Industrial Corporations;
- Implementing First and Second Development Plans, 1933-1937;
- Construction of new highways to reach every corner of the country.
Source: wikipedia, kultur.gov.tr
Thessaloniki photos: Myrto Adam, blackmilk.gr