General Ataman was assigned to SHAPE as a staff officer in the Plans and Policy Division from 1980 to 1983 and then appointed as the Secretary General of the Staff at the Turkish Land Forces Command for one year.
From 1984 to 1986 General Ataman commanded the Cadets Regiment at the Turkish Military Academy and was assigned to the Turkish Army Staff College as a Senior Instructor. Upon graduation from the Turkish Armed Forces College, he also served as the Chief Instructor at the Army Staff College.
Promoted to Brigadier General in 1988, General Ataman was assigned as Chief, Plans and Operations Division, Turkish General Staff for two years and commanded the 14th Mechanized Brigade in Kars from 1990 to 1992.
Upon his promotion to Major General, he was assigned as Chief, Strategy and Force Planning Division, Turkish General Staff from 1992 to 1995 and commanded the 1st Mechanized Division from 1995 to 1997.
General Ataman who successfully completed his studies at the Turkish National Security College while serving as a division commander, was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1997 and assigned as Chief, Operations, Turkish General Staff. He then served as the Turkish Permanent Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1998 to 2000 and as Commander, 6th Corps in Adana until 2001.
General Ataman was assigned as Commander, Joint Command Southeast on 13 August 2001 and promoted to the rank of General on 30 August 2001.
General Ataman whose decorations include the Turkish Armed Forces Superior Service Medal, is married to Mrs. Nedret Ataman and has two children. His interests include reading, water sports and traveling.