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POLITICS > Crowd sidesteps police, walks toward Anıtkabir

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Crowds gathered in Ulus Square for banned Republic Day celebrations began walking toward Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk after police barriers were upheld.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu commented on the ongoing events before his departure to Istanbul.

“These people had only Turkish flags in their hands, but the state had police and pepper gas. Why? Are we waging war? What can be as natural as celebrating Republic Day? Our ancestors constructed the Republic with blood and tears,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu went on to criticize the government’s actions in his speech. “Has this government read the Amasya Agreement [signed June 22, 1919]? There it says sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people. Do they know the meaning of this? A republican government is a government that gives importance to the people. Why then were the people punished today? What have they done? Nothing,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Kılıçdaroğlu mentioned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s earlier statements that people were disconnected from holidays. “Wasn't he saying celebration won't be done in stadiums? There is no need to get permission to celebrate a holiday.”  

“I thank all of my fellow citizens who have celebrated this day with flags in their hands," Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Groups looking to celebrate the Republic Day holiday at the first Parliament Assembly building, an act banned by the Ankara governorship, have gathered in Ulus Square.

Police attempted to disperse the crowd with pepper gas and sprayed pressurized water on the broadcasting vehicles of reporters covering the event, daily Hürriyet has reported.

The struggle between the crowd and police continues.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu arrived to Ulus Square following the official ceremony in Anıtkabir. Kılıçdaroğlu had wanted to pass through security barriers, however, police forces refused to allow him through. He and his bodyguards were also subjected to pepper gas. There has reportedly been a struggle between Kılıçdaroğlu’s bodyguards and the security forces on hand.

Meanwhile, local gendarmerie forces stopped and searched numerous buses carrying crowds looking to participate in celebrations for the Oct. 29 National Republic Day holiday in the Turkish capital of Ankara earlier today.

Gendarmerie forces reportedly refused to allow 110 buses from entering the city due to security reasons. 

This year there have been angry reactions to the Ankara governorship’s ban on Republic Day celebrations.

However, a group of NGOs and the Republican People's Party (CHP) are planning to gather in front of the first Parliament Assembly building for celebrations.

Strict security preventions have been taken throughout the city where 5,000 police officers are on duty today.

October/29/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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ealsho@eartlink.net tango73

10/29/2012 11:25:57 PM

It's always the same when religion gains too much power. Erdogan's AKP is imitating Iran religious dictatorship.

mara mcglothin

10/29/2012 11:03:38 PM

Well OZMAN I can't believe that there are some who want the antiquated system of Shariah back either. Get over it!

Erol Aydin

10/29/2012 9:59:12 PM

We can celebrated yesterday in Toronto, Canada and some friends celebrated in New Jersey, USA. Kids were happy, adults were proud, we sing songs, read poems, and everywhere red and white like back in 1970s when I was in the elementary school in Turkey. It's sad to see that Turkey is slipping away from democracy and republic. Turkey is running towards to mullah mentality in a fast pace that we can't keep up. Times are changing. ...in a bad way in a sad way....

ergun sen

10/29/2012 9:56:48 PM

mr. turk uzan!! i m laughing at your imagination of a terrorist attack durıing my celebration of this great day..let it happen and let me die on my way . and i advise you not to walk around in Ankara as it can be you whom one terrorist bomb may find one day!

Thessalonian

10/29/2012 9:35:38 PM

Yet another black eye on the face of democracy in Turkey. Mr. Erdogan should be brought down from power with a non-confidence motion in parliament. Regards

OZman Cometh

10/29/2012 9:06:48 PM

Normal official celebrations supported by AKP/MHP going on but these ragtag group of "opposition for oppositions" sake people who had to bus in others to try and bolster their numbers should be given credence ..WHY? Among them pro-Assad supporters ..damn right it is a security concern. I can't believe in this day and age there are still people in TR who want the "old" military back??

DutchTurk JANICAR

10/29/2012 8:15:52 PM

To all my fellow country men and women, happy Republican Day, NE MUTLU TURKUM DIYENE !! None can stop us.

turk oz

10/29/2012 8:08:36 PM

To all the Turks, Happy Republic Day!!! If you set your mind you can accomplish anything. Do not be afraid. You are a Turk after all. You are should be fearless all the time. Stop worrying about yourself worry about the Country called Turkey.

Hakan Salci

10/29/2012 6:28:33 PM

How dare they ban Republic Day Celebrations! Who do the AKP and Erdogan think they are? Spraying people with pepper gas simply because they want to celebrate the birth of the Republic?! Mark my words, they will pay for what they have done, the Turkish people will not let this one go by. All those so called liberals who argue democracy has blossomed during the reign of the AKP , how will they justify this? Disgusting, immoral, desperate, despotism, that is what this is. Ataturk will forever be.

Misses Ataturk

10/29/2012 5:38:55 PM

I can no longer proudly say ''Ne Mutlu Türküm Diyene!'' whilst being ruled by this government! Shame on AKP!
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