Gül: Turkey will follow Atatürk’s peace motto
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Nationwide celebrations marked the Victory Day as an official parade took place on Istanbul’s Vatan Avenue. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELMarking a first at the presidential residence, President Abdullah Gül accepted greetings from senior civilian and military leaders as part of the Victory Day celebrations on Aug. 30, while vowing to continue on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s path of pursuing “peace at home and abroad.”
The 91st anniversary of the event started with Gül, chief commander, laying a wreath at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, as he was accompanied by high-level state officials. During his visit to mausoleum, Gül signed the Anıtkabir, a special notebook, in which state leaders traditionally write messages addressed to Atatürk for special occasions. “We will continue to work with all of our strength in order to elevate our country to the level of modern civilization and reach the goals you have set. Turkey will continue to go ahead with determination in line
with your ‘Peace at home, peace in the world’ doctrine, will always rise as a country active in the international arena, developed in every field, powerful and prosperous,” Gül wrote in the notebook.
Those who arrived at the presidential residence to greet Gül included Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, as well as members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Deputy President of the Constitutional Court Serruh Kaleli, President of the Supreme Court of Appeals Ali Alkan, President of the Council of State Zerrin Güngör, members of the Cabinet, top commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), Undersecretary of the Prime Ministry Efkan Ala, Ankara Gov. Alaaddin Yüksel and Chair of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) Sadi Güven, as well as senior civilian and military officials and foreign mission chiefs.
Later in the evening, Gül was set to host an official Victory Day reception in the company of his spouse, Hayrünnisa Gül, in the presidential residence, marking a first, due to an amendment to the regulation that governs national and official feasts, ceremonies and celebrations passed in May 2012. With the amendment, the responsibility to host the Victory Day reception was transferred from the Chief of General Staff to the president. Last year’s reception was canceled due to Gül’s recurring ear problem.
None of the opposition parties were to attend the Victory Day reception. The CHP is traditionally known to reject attending presidential receptions with the advent of Gül’s election into presidency in August 2007.
In Istanbul, an official parade took place on Vatan Avenue, drawing the participation of Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, 1st Army Commander Gen. Ahmet Turmuş and Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş. A wreath was also laid at Atatürk’s monument in Taksim Square in a ceremony. Victory Day marks the final battle in the War of Independence in 1922, ahead of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.