Turkey marks 93th anniversary of Republic Day
ISTANBULTurkey is set to officially mark the 93th anniversary of its republic’s founding day on Oct. 29, with celebrations for the day being excluded from a security-motivated ban on public events that the government imposed on the capital Ankara.
Republic Day will officially be celebrated as crowds in Ankara and other cities are expected to hit the streets after Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said the ban on public gatherings in Ankara and the southeastern province of Gaziantep would not affect the Oct. 29 events.
“Citizens who want to visit Anıtkabir can do so on Nov. 10,” Soylu told reporters, referring to the mausoleum of modern Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, adding that official ceremonies and events, including Oct. 29 Republic Day, were “separate cases.”
The ministry had introduced bans on public gatherings and marches in Ankara until Nov. 30 and in Gaziantep until Oct. 31, citing security concerns.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had announced that it would march to Anıtkabir to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey on Oct. 29, despite the ban.
President Recept Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar all issued statements on Oct. 28 to mark Republic Day.
Allies send messages
Turkey’s NATO ally the United States also released a statement to celebrate Republic Day on Oct. 28. It also issued a warning to its citizens to beware of the government ban on public gatherings, saying that “simply being at or near a public gathering could lead to your arrest or detention by Turkish authorities.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of Turkey on Oct. 28, recalling U.S. support to the country’s democratically elected government and institutions.
“On behalf of President [Barack] Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Turkey as you celebrate the 93rd anniversary of the founding of your republic on Oct. 29,” Kerry said in a written statement.
Israel also on Oct. 28 extended congratulations to the people and the government of Turkey for the anniversary of the day, expressing willingness to improve bilateral ties, particularly in the economic field.