205 people working to make Dolmabahçe ready for Atatürk Memorial Day
A total of 205 people are undertaking works at Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace to prepare the palace for a memorial ceremony that will take place on Nov. 10, marking the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
The palace is closed for general visits on Nov. 10, but only room number 71 – where Atatürk died – can be seen by visitors on the day.
The palace was visited by 80,000 local and foreign visitors on Nov. 10 of last year, and this year the number is expected to exceed 100,000.
Dolmabahçe Palace has a great importance as it is the place where Atatürk made his first speech in Istanbul, where he died and where his funeral was held.
A team of 205 people from the Presidency of National Palaces Administration are preparing the palace for the Atatürk Memorial Day. The palace crew will be on duty starting at 7 a.m. in the morning of the day. Two police officers will stand on both sides of Atatürk’s bed during the day.
Every year on Nov. 10, at 9:05 a.m., sirens wail across Turkey to mark the exact moment of Atatürk’s death. The Turkish leader died at the age of 57 from health problems at Dolmabahçe Palace. Every year on this date, flags fly at half-mast.
All around the country, people stop in the streets or stand silently to observe a minute’s silence at their workplaces to remember the founder of modern Turkey.
Atatürk was born in 1881 in the now Greek city of Thessaloniki, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. He made his mark in the military in 1915 when he led Ottoman forces repelling the allied invasion of Çanakkale, known in the West as the Dardanelles.
Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Atatürk led the Turkish War of Independence, which defeated European powers hoping to invade the crumbled empire. When he became president, Atatürk strived to transform the former empire into a modern, democratic and secular country.