President Erdoğan to host Republic Day reception at new premises
Ak Saray was originally planned to be used as the new Prime Ministry premises. HÜRRİYET Photo / Selahattin SönmezThe country is marking the 91st anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey on Oct. 29 with celebrations at the newly built "Ak Saray," rather than the traditional Çankaya Palace.
The change in the venue this year is upon President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s preference to host the reception at the newly built presidential premises.
Erdoğan, elected as the head of the state in a popular vote on Aug. 10, has already hosted one state reception on Aug. 30, two days after taking office, marking Victory Day on the 92nd anniversary of the Turkish victory over Greek forces in the War of Independence. Unlike the Victory Day reception, however, he will host the Republic Day reception at the new Ak Saray (“White Palace” in Turkish).
As usual, celebrations will begin after Erdoğan pays homage to the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, at his tomb. He will later receive congratulations from top bureaucrats and diplomatic corps, as well as representatives of civil society and the business world.
However, both main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli have already announced they will not be attending the reception in a show of protest against Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
In the evening, the Ak Saray will host a reception with Erdoğan and his spouse, Emine Erdoğan, welcoming the guests.
Invitations to the reception have been sent to around 2,500 couples.
Meanwhile, Ak Saray, originally planned to be used as the new Prime Ministry premises, is subject to a proposal seeking a parliamentary inquiry into its legal certification by the main opposition CHP.