Erdoğan cites Kemalism on solving Kurdish issue
ANKARA- Hürriyet Daily News
The nation observes moment of silence across Turkey for the founder, Atatürk. DHA photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday reassured that Turkey would remain undivided on the path to a brighter future free from terror, as the country commemorated Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic, on the 73rd anniversary of his death. Quoting Atatürk’s speech from 1927, Erdoğan emphasized that Turkey would stand unified in the face of terror, and will only grow stronger through a new, more democratic and liberal constitution.
“No one should have doubts that the Republic is in the right hands,” vowed the prime minister.
“Every person in this country is a first-class citizen. We will not accept or allow any sort of separation, inequality or injustice,” said Erdoğan, speaking at a conference at the National Library.
“It is thus our greatest desire to create a constitution that brings the individual and their liberties to the forefront while fortifying the unity of the country,” he said. “This is the only way we can eliminate terror. As long as this nation continues to embrace each other in dialogue, friendship and sincerity, as it has done throughout history, terror and those who use it as a tool will once again be disappointed” he said. Atatürk’s words in his book titled “Nutuk” are significant at this point, added Erdoğan, reciting the quote; “Our nation, insisting on unity and ambitions, will make any proud and violating enemy regret their pride and violation.”
“As 74 million Turkish citizens, we will continue insisting,” said Erdoğan. “We will never compromise our freedoms, basic rights, and advanced democratic standards. We will not recognize factions and plots.”
President Abdullah Gül also referred to the new constitution in his speech at the National Library, promising that the new document would reinforce the core beliefs set out by Atatürk. “It is our main priority to bring to life the structural reforms that will carry the country to the future through this period. Creating a new and more liberal constitution in the direction of the expectations of the citizens will strengthen our country,” said Gül.
The first ceremony commemorating Atatürk was held at Anıtkabir in Ankara. State officials under the direction of President Abdullah Gül laid wreaths at Atatürk’s mausoleum at 9:05 a.m., the exact moment of his death in 1938, followed by two minutes of silence. As tradition, flags were lowered throughout the country, with traffic coming to a halt and citizens honked their horns to mark the moment.
Also in attendance at Anıtkabir were Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Prime Minister Erdoğan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Constitutional Court head Haşim Kılıç, Supreme Court of Appeals head Nazım Kaynak, State Council head Hüseyin Karakullukçu, commanders of the Armed Forces, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and Ankara Mayor Alaaddin Yüksel.