Erdoğan, 16 Turkish warriors join solemn welcoming ceremony for Aliyev
Hürriyet Photo / Selahattin SönmezBack by popular demand following their welcome for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, warriors supposedly representing “the 16 Great Turkish Empires” returned on Jan. 15, indicating their intent to figure prominently from now on in all official ceremonies at Turkey’s flamboyant new presidential palace.
Erdoğan greeted his Azerbaijani counterpart, İlham Aliyev, with army soldiers flanked on one side and actors dressed in period costume on the other. Both leaders walked on the turquoise carpet – another innovation of the government, which judged the tropical sea-like color more representative of Turkic identity – saluting the soldiers according to formal protocol rules.
During the ceremony, the presidential military band played the Anthem of Resurrection, which was composed to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey's foundation.
The warriors made their first appearance during Abbas’ visit on Jan. 12, prompting domestic and global admiration – along with a healthy dose of derision. It was then announced that the creative touch was adopted following a proposal from the Turkish military, and that the actors would attend all future official ceremonies.