State ceremony to be held for late Turkish President Demirel
AFP PhotoFormer Turkish Prime Minister and President Süleyman Demirel, who passed away at the age of 90 early on June 17, will be laid to rest in his hometown of İslamköy in Turkey’s south after a state ceremony in the capital on June 19.
A state ceremony will be held for Demirel, the seven-time prime minister and ninth president, at parliament in Ankara on June 19, after which his body will be sent to the southern province of Isparta’s İslamköy village to be buried on June 20, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Demirel’s body will be taken from his house on Güniz Street, located in the Tunalı neighborhood of Ankara, at 8 a.m. on June 19, and brought to the Turkish parliament for the state ceremony that will be held between 9 and 9:45.
Demirel will lie in state in front of the parliament’s Gate of Honor, where two speeches will be delivered in honor of the former president, one from his family and one from the state.
Demirel’s body will be taken to the Kocatepe Mosque on a gun carriage travelling through the streets on a cortege, which will be escorted by the Presidential Guard Regiment.
After the funeral prayer, Demirel’s body will be flown to Isparta by a military airplane and transferred to Çalcatepe in İslamköy, where he will be laid to rest on June 20, Aylin Cesur, Demirel’s doctor, said June 18 in front of Demirel’s house in Ankara.
“President [Demirel] will be laid to rest in Çalcatepe, where a mausoleum will later be built. His wife, Nazmiye Demirel, will be transferred next to him with an arrangement that will be made later,” said Cesur.
Nazmiye Demirel passed away in May 2013 after fighting Alzheimer’s disease for several years. She is buried at a family graveyard in İslamköy, which is also her hometown.
Erdoğan, Bahçeli visits family, extend condolences
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was among the visitors to the Demirel residence on June 18, when he indicated that the residence would be turned into “a house museum.”
“Especially over the past 50 years, Mr. Demirel had really a very different place and a very different position,” Erdoğan told reporters after he visited Demirel’s relatives to extend condolences.
“Particularly with the idiosyncratic seat that he got in politics, he has remained in the minds both for followers of politics and for those who wrote the book on politics. I believe that in the next period, he will constitute a center of attraction with the külliye [an Ottoman architectural concept that designates a complex with a central mosque and a series of ancillary buildings] he had built in Isparta. Again the name of Güniz Street will leave its mark for a permanent period according to the information that I took from his heirs. We will do our part as well,” Erdoğan said.
Earlier in the same day, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli also visited Demirel’s relatives at the residence.
“As a village child, a civil servant, a party leader, a prime minister and a president with rising authoritry and responsibility, he passed away, leaving a lot of great works and services for the nation,” Bahçeli told reporters after the visit.