Celebrations for Oct 29 shadowed by rally

Celebrations for Oct 29 shadowed by rally

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is stroking tensions with the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the run up to Republic Day by throwing its support behind a rally planned for Oct. 29, despite an already announced ban on the rally.

Media reports said Oct. 19 that civil society organizations (CSOs) who wanted to arrange a rally called “People’s Meeting for the Country and the Republic” on Oct. 29, Republic Day, by gathering in front of the old Parliament building in Ankara were denied permission by the Ankara Governorate, which argued that the old Parliament was not an appropriate venue for gathering.

“In case of unpermitted meeting and rally, legal operations will be launched against participants in addition to the organizers of the meeting,” the governor’s office was quoted as saying.

CHP Deputy Chair Umut Oran, in a written statement released Oct. 20, referred to the Ankara Governorate’s response to the demand of around 20 CSOs.

“We all know that this decision to ban [the rally] came from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Minister of Internal Affairs [İdris Naim Şahin] who are inclined to dictatorship, but not from the governorship. The Governorate of Ankara will proceed against those who will attend to the Oct. 29 Republic rally. Let them do it,” Oran said.

“This nation will not allow you. Enough is enough, that Republic rally will be held, tens of thousands who will meet in the capital of Ankara and will march from the first Parliament building to Anıtkabir [the mausoleum of the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk]. The AK Party government will not succeed in preventing the people from claiming the Republic. All of us on Oct. 29, will be in front of the first Parliament building in Ulus where the will which established the Republic of Turkey will be assembled together. That Republic rally will be held,” he said.

Çankaya Palace

President Abdullah Gül’s office, is meanwhile preparing for celebrations as the presidential Çankaya Palace will be the only venue for celebrations unlike previous years during which Parliament also hosted celebrations on the Republic Day.

The first stop of the official celebrations for Oct. 29 will be the Çankaya Palace, with President Gül accepting congratulations at the palace instead of at Parliament, which was the venue for the same ritual in previous years.

In the evening of the Oct. 29, President Gül and his spouse Hayrünnisa Gül will host a reception to mark the anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey to which invitees are invited along with their spouses. It will mark a first if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and land commanders respond to this invitation accompanied by their spouses.