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Ataturk Museum (Kemal Ataturk’s house)

The house of the Turkish national leader, Kemal Ataturk, which also houses the Turkish consulate.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1937 Transferred from the municipality to the jurisdiction of the Turkish State and became a museum.

    1981 Was painted pink, its original colour.

    2013 The building was restored and the present exhibition was inaugurated, a collaboration between Greek and Turkish museum curators.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    1870 Constructed by Mouderi Hadji Mehmed Vafk.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

This three-storey building of Macedonian folk architecture with striking enclosed balconies used to be the home of Mustafa Kemal (Mustafa was his family name, Kemal his army name, that means maturity, perfection), later called Ataturk (= Father of the Turks). He was born here in 1881. It is now a museum that features photographs of Kemal from different periods of his life, as well as personal items, some of which have been brought here from Ankara, as well as kitchenware, documents from his school years, the room where he was born and his mother’s bedroom, among others. Most of the furniture is authentic, although several pieces have come from his mausoleum and the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Museum visits are scheduled through the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki.

What I can't see

Turkish visitors to the museum often consider a visit here as a kind of pilgrimage. Kemal came from a poor family and became a military leader, politician and reformer of the Turks. He belonged to the movement of the Young Turks which formed in 1908 in Thessaloniki, which at the time was under Ottoman sovereignty. Their manifesto, written in 10 languages, stated the ideals of modern Turkey: equality, freedom and justice for all. Kemal envisioned a secular and de-Islamized Turkish state. He replaced the Arabic script with the Latin alphabet, thus contributing to the dissemination of theatre and classical music in Turkey, while strengthening “Turkishness” by using nationalism and language, rather than religion. Finally, he obligated citizens to use their family name by law. Apart from secularizing Turkey, he was also a gifted military leader, who disrupted the expansive course of Greece deep into Asia Minor at a time when the so-called “Great Idea of Greece” was to recover Byzantine Empire borders and to “eliminate” Turkey. His military action culminated in the Smyrna (Izmir) Catastrophe, where he committed war crimes that led to massive waves of mainly Greek refugees. Mustafa Kemal died on November 10, 1938. The mentors of Turkish nationalism were the Crimean Tatars and Azeris (Turkic-speakers of tsarist Russia), who turned the hitherto disparaging term “Turk” (meaning uneducated Muslim farmer) into a term with a positive connotation that gradually replaced “Ottoman”.



  • Address: 17 Apostolou Pavlou St.
  • Τηλέφωνο: +30 2310 248452


Mazower M., (2006), Θεσσαλονίκη. Πόλη των φαντασμάτων, χριστιανοί, μουσουλμάνοι και εβραίοι 1430- 1950, [Salonica. City of ghosts], Athens: Alexandreia Publications

Anagnostopoulou S., (2003), Μικρασιατικός Ελληνισμός, από το Σύνταγμα των Νεοτούρκων στην Καταστροφή, [Asia Minor Hellenism, from Young Turks Constitution to Catastrophe], in Ιστορία του Νέου Ελληνισμού 1770-2000, από το κίνημα στο Γουδή ως τη Μικρασιατική Καταστροφή, [History of modern hellenism 1770-2000, from Goudi mouvement to Asia Minor Catastrophe], Ellinika Grammata, v.6, p.p. 51-62

Ζafeiris Ch., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η παρουσία των απόντων, η κληρονομιά Ρωμαίων, Μουσουλμάνων, Εβραίων, Ντονμέδων, Φράγκων, Αρμενίων και Σλάβων, [Thessaloniki, the presense of the absent, the heritage of Romans, Muslims, Jews, Doenme, Franks, Armenians and Slavs], Thessaloniki: Epikentro

Konortas, P., (2003), Η Οθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Έλληνες, Οθωμανοί και Εθνικά Κινήματα 1876- 1908, [The Ottoman Empire, Greeks, Ottoman and National Movements 1876- 1908], in Ιστορία του Νέου Ελληνισμού, 1770- 2000, [History of modern Hellenism, 1770-2000] v.5, p.p. 343- 364
San Simera, (d.u.), Κεμάλ Ατατούρκ, 1881-1938, [Kemal Ataturk, 1881-1938]

Last visit 10/8/2012

Τzimou Κ., (2013), Η μανία με τα μουσεία: Κεμάλ Ατατούρκ, [Museum mania: Kema Ataturk], Parallaxi

Last visit 10/8/2012

Fragkaki Ε. S., (2003), Το κίνημα των Νεοτούρκων, οι συνέπειες για τον ελληνισμό 1908-1918, [Young Turks movement, the concequences to hellenism 1908-1918],  in Ιστορία του Νέου Ελληνισμού 1770-2000, από το κίνημα στο Γουδή ως τη Μικρασιατική Καταστροφή, [History of modern hellenism 1770-2000, from Goudi mouvement to Asia Minor Catastrophe], Ellinika Grammata, v.6, p.p. 41-50