Turkey marked Republic Day with joy, ‘soul of resistance’
The 96th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey was celebrated across the country on Oct. 29.
Marking the day, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in the capital Ankara. He was accompanied by parliament speaker Mustafa Şentop, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener, representatives of the higher judicial bodies, top brass of the army and other senior state officials.
After laying a wreath at the mausoleum and observing a minute of silence, Erdoğan and other attendees walked to the Misak-ı Milli (National Pact) Tower.
“In a period when attacks on our independence and national survival have increased, we have been persevering our struggle at home and abroad with the same resistance soul which carried our War of Independence to victory,” he wrote in the Anıtkabir memorial book.
“We have shown our determination to the whole world by disbanding the terror corridor purposed to be founded on our southern border, with the ‘Operation Peace Spring’ which was launched on Oct. 9 and has gained huge success in a short while,” he added.
On Oct. 29, 1923, Atatürk officially declared the name of the nation and proclaimed the country’s status as a republic.
A vote then took place in the Grand National Assembly, and Atatürk, a revolutionary statesman, was elected the first president of the Republic of Turkey by unanimous vote.
Since then, Turkey celebrates the Republic Day every Oct. 29.
Republic Day was celebrated in every one of the 81 provinces of Turkey and the country’s representations abroad.
A government ceremony in the capital Ankara, art events and fireworks in Istanbul, concerts and torchlight processions in the Aegean province of İzmir were among the symbols of Republic Day celebrations in Turkey.
Huge crowds gathered in the evening on Oct. 28 at the historical Sultanahmet Square at the heart of Istanbul’s old city.
“We have been a free and independent nation for 96 years. Every one of us is different. We are a multi-voiced and multi-colored country. But we chose to unite around the values of the republic instead of being separated. That is why we are so nice. That is why we are so strong,” Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said in his address.
Tens of members of a classic car club drove their vehicles from the celebration site on Bağdat Avenue on the Asian side of Istanbul to Dolmabahçe Palace on the European side over the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge. The convoy attracted huge attention and cheers from locals and tourists.
Some 2,000 people danced the zeybek, a traditional folk dance, in İzmir’s Ödemiş district.
“Everyone young and old alike joined the crowd in Ödemiş, which is the land of zeybek. We’re aiming at repeating this with higher participation,” said Mehmet Bakırlı, the head of public center.
Meanwhile, NATO also marked the 96th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.
“Retweet to join us in celebrating our Ally Turkey on Republic Day,” NATO wrote on Twitter, with the hashtags “Republic Day” and “We are NATO.”
NATO also shared a video, telling the story of a diver in the Turkish navy, who took part in one of NATO’s major underwater rescue exercises.