The founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born in Thessaloniki in 1881 and died in Istanbul in 1938. Atatürk was a military officer during World War I and later commanded the war for the independence of Turkey. As a result, the modern Turkish Republic was formed in 1923 with him as the first president of the new country. He rented a three storey house built in 1908 after returning back to Istanbul from the Syrian Front. With his mother Zübeyde, sister Makbule and adopted son Abdurrahim, Atatürk lived in this house until 16th May 1919 the day he sailed on the ship Bandırma to Samsun. This date is considered as the beginning of the war of independence for Turkey. The house hosting the museum today was purchased in 1928 by the Municipality of Istanbul which converted it into a museum dedicated to the life of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Its doors were opened to visitors on 15th June 1942. The museum contains personal belongings of Atatürk such as paintings, medals, military uniforms, photographs, ashtrays and even underwear. The museum is located on the famous Halaskargazi Avenue in Şişli district on the European side of Istanbul.