Erdoğan vows to move Turkey up into world’s top league
The best way to understand and commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding leader of the modern Turkey, is by making Turkey one of the top countries in the world, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, citing his government’s 17-year rule as the best example to it.
“We are working day and night to protect the republic and respect those who have left the republic to us. We are committed to moving up our country to the world’s top league in line with our 2023 goals. As I always put, commemorating and understanding Atatürk should be done through deeds not words,” Erdoğan said at a special meeting at the Presidency to commemorate Atatürk on Nov. 10.
The republic cannot be strengthened by just talking about it but by serving it, Erdoğan stressed.
“One cannot protect Atatürk’s legacy by just talking about him. The republic cannot be strengthened by just talking about it. The greatest contribution to the republic, which we celebratewith its 96th anniversary, has been made by the governments under my leadership,” he said.
“We have not exploited this concept, but we have just tried to make the best of it.”
Describing Atatürk as one of the most important values of the Turkish nation whose place in the hearts of the people will never change,
Erdoğan said, “In this critical period, our country is passing through, the biggest contribution to Atatürk and our republic would be to adhere strictly to our unity, our togetherness and our 2023 goals.”
Erdoğan slammed some groups for continuing to exploit Atatürk and all the republican values and for defaming the Ottoman era.
“Those who try to ignore our history for glorifying the republic are the ones who are ashamed of their own past,” he said. “We have never left Atatürk and the republic to the minds of these exploiters.”
The Ottoman and Seljuk eras of the Turkish history should never be ignored and should be glorified as the basis on which the modern republic was founded, the president said.
“We have established our republic on the legacy of the Ottoman. Would there be a tree without a root? No. We have risen on it. This legacy is not only about the lands but our institutions and traditions,” he added.
365,000 Syrians returned to their homeland: Turkey
Erdoğan also said 365,000 refugees have returned to their homeland in northern Syria.
Syrian refugees returned to the regions that Turkey has made safe through its anti-terror operations, Erdoğan added.
The president also stressed that Turkey would make the return of more Syrian refugees possible either by organizing an international donors meeting or through some model projects.
Turkey has made an area of over 8,100 square kilometers (around 3,130 square miles) in northern Syria safe for their return, the president added.
He said this was achieved through three cross-border military operations Turkey conducted in Syria, referring to Operations Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring.
In those operations, Turkey neutralized 3,500 ISIL terrorists and arrested 5,500.