Turkey declares three days of national mourning for Demirel

Turkey declares three days of national mourning for Demirel

Turkey declares three days of national mourning for Demirel

AFP Photo

Turkey has declared three days of national mourning over the passing of former President Süleyman Demirel, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have expressed deep sorrow.

In their statements, Erdoğan and Davutoğlu praised the veteran statesman’s services to his country as one of the dominant figures in Turkey’s political scene for the past half-century.

“Süleyman Demirel, who left a deep mark on Turkish political history and contributed to the development process of our country, is among the prominent figures of our political history as a politician and a statesman,” Erdoğan said in an official condolence message posted on the presidential office’s website on June 17.

“Süleyman Demirel will be remembered in the future too with tasks he undertook, the services he executed and his role in politics by our dear nation,” Erdoğan said.

Davutoğlu’s condolence message for Demirel was posted on his official Twitter account on the same day.

Davutoğlu noted that Demirel left a “deep mark” on Turkish political history. 

“I express my condolences to those that loved him, his relatives and our nation. He was a politician who will be remembered always for his idiosyncratic tone and for the services he provided to our country during his long political life,” Davutoğlu said.

Shortly afterward, Davutoğlu spoke to journalists and announced that Turkey had declared three days of national mourning starting on June 17.

The opposition leaders have also expressed their sorrow.

“We have lost a very important and precious member of Turkish politics. He was a statesman who left his mark over more than 40 years of Turkish politics. He was irreplaceable with his genuine style and his way with words, as well as his tolerance, ambition, and democratic personality. I wish him God’s blessings. I also express my condolences to our country and all those who loved him,” the main opposition People's Republican Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“There is no doubt that Mr. Demirel made great services and contributions to the Turkish Republic’s struggle for development and progress. Mr. Demirel, who has passed away leaving many traces, memories and achievements behind, will always be remembered with gratitude and respect, and his years-long struggle for democracy will be remembered with envy. I wish the blessings of Allah for the late Demirel and condolences for his family and our beloved people,” said the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.

Demirel's state funeral will be held in Ankara on June 19.