Ali Rıza Efendi

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A portrait of a volunteer officer of the Civil Service Battalion (Asâkir-i Mülkiye Taburu), which was established in Selânik on 23 December 1876. Atatürk had said that That's not my father when shown the picture.[1] This portrait had been suggested by İlhan Sungu in his article titled "Atatürk'ün Babası Ali Efendi ve Mensup Olduğu Selânik Asakir-i Mülkiye Taburu"[2] and has commenced to be published as Ali Rıza's portrait in 1939.

Ali Rıza Efendi (1839–1888) was the father of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the husband of Zübeyde Hanım.

He was born in Salonica/Thessaloniki in present-day Greek Macedonia but then the most important city in the Ottoman Empire in Europe after Constantinople/Istanbul. He worked as a customs official and died in 1888, when his son was 7 years old. He is thought to be of Albanian or Slavic origin by some scholars,[3][4][5][6][7] although Falih Rıfkı Atay, journalist and close friend of Atatürk, holds that he descends partially from Turks of Söke, in Aydın Province.[1][8] Historian and biographer Patrick Kinross writes that "this can only be a matter for surmise".[9]

Ali Riza's family comes from the village Kodžadžik, Centar Župa Municipality, Macedonia, where there is a memorial house.[10]

The reconstructed house of Ali Rıza Efendi's family, in Kodzadzik, Macedonia


  1. ^ a b Falih Fırkı Atay, Çankaya: Atatürk'ün doğumundan ölümüne kadar, Betaş, İstanbul, 1984, p. 17. (Turkish)
  2. ^ Şevket Süreyya Aydemir, Tek Adam: Mustafa Kemal, Birinci Cilt: 1881 - 1919, 14th edition, Remzi Kitabevi, 1997, ISBN 975-14-0212-3, p. 32.
  3. ^ Andrew Mango Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, Overlook Press, 2002, ISBN 978-1-58567-334-6, p. 25; p.27. "Feyzullah's family is said to have come from the country near Vodina (now Edhessa in western Greek Macedonia). The surname Sofuzade, meaning 'son of a pious man', suggests that the ancestors of Zübeyde and Ali Rıza had a similar background. Cemil Bozok, son of Salih Bozok, who was a distant cousin of Atatürk and, later, his ADC, claims to have been related to both Ali Rıza's and Zübeyde's families. This would mean that the families of Atatürk's parents were interrelated. Cemil Bozok also notes that his paternal grandfather, Safer Efendi, was of Albanian origin. This may have a bearing on the vexed question of Atatürk's ethnic origin. Atatürk's parents and relatives all used Turkish as their mother tongue. This suggests that some at least of their ancestors had originally come from Turkey, since local Muslims of Albanian and Slav origin who had no ethnic connection with Turkey spoke Albanian, Serbo-Croat or Bulgarian, at least so long as they remained in their native land., But in looks Ataturk resembled local Albanians and Slavs.[...] But there is no evidence that either Ali Riza or Zübeyde was descended from such Turkish nomads." page 28; "It is much more likely that Atatürk inherited his looks from his Balkan ancestors.[...] But Albanians and Slavs are likely to have figured among his ancestors."
  4. ^ Lou Giaffo: Albania: Eye of the Balkan Vortex[page needed]
  5. ^ Jackh, Ernest, The Rising Crescent, (Goemaere Press, 2007), p. 31, Turkish mother and Albanian father
  6. ^ Isaac Frederick Marcosson, Turbulent years, Ayer Publishing, 1969, p. 144.
  7. ^ Richmond, Yale, From Da to Yes: understanding the East Europeans, (Intercultural Press Inc., 1995), 212.
  8. ^ Vamik D. Volkan, Norman Itzkowitz, Ölümsüz Atatürk (Immortal Ataturk), Bağlam Yayınları, 1998, ISBN 975-7696-97-8, p. 37, dipnote no. 6 (Atay, 1980, s. 17).
  9. ^ Ataturk: the Rebirth of a Nation by Patrick Kinross, Orion Publishing Co. (August 26, 1993), p.4;Whether, like most Macedonians, he had about him a touch of the hybrid - perhaps of the Slav or Albanian - can only be a matter for surmise.
  10. ^ Memorial house of Ataturk in Kodžadžik