Main opposition party to defy Turkey's 'Republic Day' ban
Deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Muherrem İnce speaks to reporters. AA PhotoDeputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Muherrem İnce has told reporters that there is increasing pressure with regard to national holidays such as Oct. 29 “Republic Day” and Aug. 30 “Victory Day.”
The CHP will insist on marking the day in front of Turkey’s first Parliament building in Ankara, despite a decision from the governor banning any rallies at the location, İnce said, adding that if anyone interfered in the people celebrating Republic Day they would receive a response.
If police uses tear gas during the celebrations, “we will do the same to the Interior Minister [İdris Naim Şahin] at Parliament,” he said. “Nobody can ban the Republic Day.”
Meanwhile, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will skip an official evening ceremony marking Oct. 29 Republic Day at the presidential palace.
Kılıçdaroğlu will attend a morning ceremony at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of republican founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Ankara, before attending a reception hosted by President Abdullah Gül to mark the day at Çankaya Palace.
The CHP leader, however, will depart before the evening reception at the palace, in time to attend the event in Kadıköy.
For the first time this year, the venue for celebrations will be Çankaya Palace, unlike previous years in which Parliament also hosted celebrations on Republic Day. On the evening of Oct. 29, Gül and his spouse, Hayrünnisa Gül, will host a reception to which guests are invited along with their spouses. The reception could mark the first time Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and senior military commanders come to the event with their spouses.