Former President İsmet İnönü, one of the founders of the Republic of Turkey, was commemorated on Dec. 25 on the 42nd anniversary of his passing in a ceremony held at his grave in Anıtkabir, also known as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Mausoleum.
Members of İnönü’s family, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, presidential office deputy general secretary Nadir Alpaslan, Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç and parliament deputy speaker Akif Hamzaçebi where at the ceremony, in addition to several other deputies and members of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
released a one-sentence message commemorating former İnönü.
In 2014, Erdoğan had released a lone message in which he praised İnönü’s contributions during the War of Independence as well as his merits both as a statesman and a politician.
“I respectfully commemorate İsmet İnönü, the second president of the Republic of Turkey on the anniversary of his death,” Erdoğan said in his message released on Dec. 25.
He “is among the most important personalities in our Republic’s history not only for his contributions on completion of our War of Independence with victory, but also as an esteemed politician and statesman. I respectfully and mercifully memorialize deceased İsmet İnönü on the 41st anniversary of his death,” Erdoğan said in his previous message released in 2014.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
also released a commemorative message for the same occasion.
“Our second president, İsmet İnönü, offered great services as a prime minister and president after the foundation of the republic, besides being a commander who made significant accomplishments in our War of Independence. On the anniversary of his death, I respectfully and mercifully memorialize the deceased İsmet İnönü, who is one of the most important personalities in our history as a consequence of the tasks he took on and accomplishments he made,” Davutoğlu said in his message also released on Dec. 25.
On several occasions during his term as prime minister from early 2003 until being elected as president in August 2014, Erdoğan lambasted the single-party rule of the CHP
in the early years of the republic, which he once described as “a dark past filled with brutality and oppression.”
During polemics with the CHP’s current leaders, Erdoğan personally and particularly criticized İnönü with strongly-worded remarks.
In March 2014, in response to CHP
leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
describing him as a dictator, Erdoğan called Turkey’s former president and long-time CHP
leader İnönü a dictator in return.
“We have asked and looked around to find the dictator. It is within you, CHP. It’s İnönü. He had been one of the first [leaders] to congratulate [officials] when Nazism and fascism came into power,” Erdoğan told his party’s supporters.
Erdoğan had said something similar in August 2013.
“I reminded the main opposition, to go look if in the time of your ‘National Chief’ any person could dare call him a dictator? I wonder, has there been anyone who could call your coup-doer friends dictators until this day?” Erdoğan said, criticizing the CHP
over İnönü, who was known as the “National Chief” due to his practices while he was prime minister during Turkey’s one-party era, and president at the beginning of the multiparty era.