Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the George Washington of today’s Republic of Turkey. After he gained his military reputation by repelling the 1915 Allied invasion of the Dardanelles, he first directed Turkey’s 1920-22 “War of Salvation” and then became Turkey’s first president. He immediately embarked on a fifteen-year campaign to modernize Turkey, which included the empowering of women, abolition of key Islamic institutions, and introduction of Western legal codes, dress, calendar, and alphabet. His adopted surname means “Father of the Turks.”
Nabil Al-Tikriti, Associate Professor of History at the University of Mary Washington, earned a Ph.D. in Ottoman History from the University of Chicago. In addition, having served in various field capacities with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) since 1993, he has just been elected to a three-year term as a member of MSF-USA’s Board of Directors.