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AtatürkAn Intellectual Biography$
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M. Sükrü Hanioglu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175829

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175829.001.0001

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From Wars to the Great War: A Hero Is Born

From Wars to the Great War: A Hero Is Born

(p.68) 4 From Wars to the Great War: A Hero Is Born

M. Şükrü Hanioğlu

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's quest for heroism. As he expressed it in a personal letter to a female friend, he had “grand desires” to render extraordinary services to his homeland. Circumstances, however, were not yet favorable to the realization of that ambition. Up until the Great War, he remained an obscure figure little known outside the circle of young Committee of Union and Progress's (CUP) officers. The German-inspired reorganization of the Ottoman military on the eve of the Great War paved the way for Mustafa Kemal's ascendance. Like many of his colleagues, he agreed with Colmar von der Goltz's opinion that “to make war means to attack.” Mustafa Kemal maintained that only nations inspired by the Japanese attack code of “kōgeki seishin” (aggressive spirit) could carry out successful offensive wars.

Keywords:   Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, heroism, Great War, Committee of Union and Progress, Ottoman military, kōgeki seishin, offensive wars

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