Turkish president to take over Victory Day ceremony
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
President Abdullah Gül (R) is set to host this year’s Victory Day ceremony. Hürriyet photoTurkey’s president is replacing the chief of general staff as the host for Victory Day celebrations on August 30, according to a new regulation which would further curb the military’s profile.
Under the regulation, the president will both receive the official greetings and host the Victory Day reception in the evening. Both events have so far been led and hosted by the chief of staff at the military’s headquarters and guesthouses.
The new protocol for Victory Day, the principal holiday honoring the army, comes as part of a regulation drawn up following a series of meetings led by the presidency’s general-secretariat to review and update the way national holidays and commemorations are held. The meetings, attended by representatives of the prime ministry, the general staff and relevant ministries, were initiated after President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel agreed on the need for a revision last year.
The Victory Day protocol was amended slightly last year when Özel asked Gül, as commander-in-chief of the army, to replace him in receiving the greetings at the General Staff headquarters.
Other changes stipulated by the regulation include the fact that the presidency will be in charge of organizing the celebrations for Republic’s day on October 29. Festivities on April 23 would be divided into two programs devoted separately to the “national sovereignty” and “children’s day” themes that the holiday marks. The celebrations would be organized by the Education Ministry. The Youth and Sports Ministry, for its part, will be responsible for festivities on May 19, the day of youth and remembrance of Atatürk.