Ataturk, Kemal

[ (at-uh-turk) ]

A Turkish soldier and statesman who founded modern Turkey in the 1920s, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Ataturk believed that Islamic influence (see Islam) in government had held Turkey back, and in response he established a secular government.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.