Atatürk commemorated on 75th anniversary of death

Atatürk commemorated on 75th anniversary of death

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Atatürk commemorated on 75th anniversary of death

Many people filled Atatürk’s mausoleum at Anıtkabir in Ankara Nov 10. DAILY NEWS photo, Selehattin SÖNMEZ

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was commemorated Nov. 10 on the 75th anniversary of his passing with official and unofficial ceremonies across the country.

“At a time when authoritarian regimes have gained strength, the foundation of the republic based upon national sovereignty demonstrated the trust Atatürk and the Parliament put in democracy,” said President Abdullah Gül in a statement released on the presidency’s website on Nov. 9. “The republic’s dynamic structure that rests upon the people provided the implementation of all the principles and rules of democracy. Through the republic, the foundations of the transition toward democracy were laid,” he added.

“We will continue to do our best to make Turkey a country among the world’s strongest countries. This is our biggest responsibility to Atatürk and our ancestors, all of whom left this beautiful land to us,” said Gül.

Atatürk died on Nov. 10, 1938, at the age of 58 due to health problems. Sirens are sounded at 9:05, the time of his death, every Nov. 10.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meanwhile, said Atatürk could not be a means for polarization, during a commemoration ceremony organized by the Atatürk Higher Institution of Culture, Language and History.

“There is no separate Atatürk for everyone. Veteran Mustafa Kemal is the last person that can be a cause for separation,” said Erdoğan, addressing the ceremony held in the National Library conference room.

Erdoğan praised Atatürk’s efforts at founding the Republic and said Atatürk had achieved a great revolution by preparing the country for a democratic republic that differed from the other republics of his time.

Erdoğan recalled Atatürk’s efforts for the foundation of a second party in the Turkish Parliament at that time and said this attempt was unfortunately unsuccessful despite Atatürk’s full support of the process.
Erdoğan also said many ideologies that emerged soon after the death of Atatürk had no relations to Atatürk’s ideas, ideals and targets.

The prime minister also said the ideologies of Atatürkism and Kemalism had largely distorted Atatürk’s ideals and accused the purveyors of these ideologies of looking down on the people or attempting to design or pressure the people.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said Nov. 10 must be seen as a time when Atatürk’s ideas were remembered and shared rather than as a mourning day.

Many people filled Atatürk’s mausoleum at Anıtkabir in Ankara Nov. 10 in addition to government and opposition party leaders who attended the official ceremony there.

Many also stopped for a minute at 9:05 a.m. across the country to remember Atatürk. Locals in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district made a human chain along the coast holding flags and Atatürk posters. Balloons in Cappadocia also flew the Turkish flag, not for touristic reasons, but to remember the republican founder.