At 1,200 meters above sea level over the karst countryside in village Kodzadzik (Коџаџик) in Municipality Centar Zupa (Центар Жупа), were found the foundations of the family house of great Turkish reformer and statesman Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, on basis of which in 2009 began reconstruction of the memorial building.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk grandfather on his father’s side – Hafız Ahmet Efendi, was from Kocacık Yörüks (a nomadic shepherd tribe from Anatolia) that had come from Konya and Aydın and settled at Kocacık in Macedonia in the XIV – XV cent.
Hafız Ahmet Efendi settled in “Tshli Maala” (Ташли Маала, Tashli neighborhood) which means “stone neighborhood”.
House of Ataturk’s family, according its volume and characteristics, differed from all other houses in Tashli neighborhood. It was the largest and most beautiful, which indicates that Ataturk originated from rich family. According to architect-conservator Djurdjica Lekovska (Ѓурѓица Лековска) from National Conservation Centre (Националниот конзерваторски центар) , the remains of these houses have been preserved until the Second World War. Djurdjica Lekovska had prepared the project for the memorial houses which had been implemented by TİKA – Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (Türk İşbirliği ve Koordinasyon Ajansı).
The Family house of Kemal Ataturk in the 19th century was built by his grandfather Kazli Hafiz Ahmed (Казли Хафиз Ахмед), who in this area came as a Turkish soldier “dervendzhija” (soldiers that kept roads, bridges and crossings where had passed the traders). He stayed here and founded the Turkish neighborhood over the flat part of the village, which lived under special customs.
Ataturk father Ali Riza Efendi, seeking for better life decided to move to Thessaloniki, and Ataturk was born in 1881 in the “Pink” house on Islahana street, in Thessaloniki district Kodja Kasim Pasha.
Historians which are familiar with the character of Kemal Ataturk say just because his father lived among the Macedonians, in Ataturk were merged the best features from both nationalities. Love toward Macedonia, was among the reasons why his father enrolled young Ataturk in Bitola (Monastir) military high school.
As it is told among villagers in Kodzadzik, Ataturk although yearned to visit his family home, he never came to Kodzadzik.
The reconstruction of the family houses of Ataturk was made on basis of an old photograph, which was in the possession of the last remaining female descendant living in Debar. On the location “Tashli neighborhood” are built two houses based on authentic base – one of Ali Riza Efendi, and the other, the family house.
The first is reconstructed as an ethnological house with furniture that captures the former setting. The family house, shows the history of Kodzadzik, with a section dedicated to the ancestors of Ataturk. In one of the rooms is represented Ataturk as a soldier and a statesman.
To Kodzadzik in Zupa municipality you can arrive from the narrow mountain road, on which right side stretches view of Debar and Debar Lake. From the village center to Tashli neighborhood on the hill, leads new asphalt road.