Istanbul on Edge @ National Geographic Magazine: “Istanbul was the capital of the Byzantine Empire, of the Ottoman Empire, and until 1923 of the Turkish Republic. It was Mustafa Kemal, a soldier and statesman, who decided to move the capital to Ankara, where it still remains.
Kemal?who became known as Atat?rk, meaning Father of the Turks?rescued what was left of the defeated Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I from the Allies who planned on dividing the remnants among themselves. His success in defeating the invading Greek forces and resistance to the Allies led to his election by the Grand National Assembly as the first president of the republic on October 29, 1923. His decision to move the capital to Ankara, where he had established the center of the resistance movement against the government of the Ottoman sultan and invading Greek forces, was spurred by his distrust of Istanbul as a city with long-standing ties to the Ottoman dynasty. “