Turkish Republic marks 86th year

October 29, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Turkish Republic marks 86th year

ANKARA Hürriyet Daily News
Thursday, October 29, 2009

 The 86th anniversary of the Turkish Republic was celebrated Thursday across the country as well as in northern Cyprus and at several of Turkey’s international outposts.

The first ceremony led by President Abdullah Gül took place at the Atatürk Mausoleum in Anıtkabir. Gül led a delegation of the country’s top officials to the tomb of the Republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, where he placed a wreath of red and white carnations. The group paid homage to Atatürk and sang the Turkish national anthem. The ceremony concluded with Gül signing the Anıtkabir visitors’ book.

Gül wrote: “Great Atatürk. We are proud to celebrate the 86th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. The Republic announced to the world that our nation would not make concessions on the road to its independence and freedom. It has also become an indication of our determination to achieve our rightful place in the contemporary world.

“We are determined to strengthen the Republic with progress, continue our democracy and leave a stronger and a more prosperous country to the next generations.”

After the ceremony, citizens applauded the military members, who responded by greeting the crowd.

Celebrations at Parliament

Following the ceremony, Gül accepted celebratory messages in Parliament. 

The opposition leaders and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan remained distant at the ceremony and only Republican People’s Party, or CHP, leader Deniz Baykal and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Başbuğ Başbuğ shook hands.

Two separate receptions were scheduled at the Çankaya Presidency in the morning and evening in Ankara.

DTP mayors shake hands with commanders

While the official celebrations were held on Vatan Street in Istanbul, the celebrations in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır and Hakkari, where the Kurdish population is quite dense, witnessed interesting images.

Osman Baydemir, the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s DTP Mayor, shook hands with commanders who participated in the celebrations. Baydemir also sang the Turkish national anthem. 

At celebrations in Hakkari, Fadıl Bedirhanoğlu, Hakkari’s DTP mayor, and the Brig. Gen. Lokman Ekinci shook hands.

The military had reacted to the warm welcome led by the DTP that greeted eight PKK members and 26 refugees who returned from northern Iraq last week.

On Oct. 29, 1923, the Turkish Parliament amended the constitution and officially declared the country a Republic. Mustafa Kemal was unanimously voted to be first President. Republic Day is celebrated throughout the country every year.

Attending the ceremony was Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Şahin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Başbuğ and ambassadors of several countries. While the Democratic Society’s Party, or DTP, leader Ahmet Türk did not participate in the ceremony, a group of DTP deputies including DTP’s Sırrı Sakık and Hasip Kaplan attended the ceremony.

Meanwhile, the 86th anniversary was also celebrated in many foreign countries with various activities. Hulusi Kılıç, Turkey’s Ambassador in Baku, attended the ceremony that took place in Turkish Martyrdom, which was founded in the memory of Turkish soldiers who died while saving Azerbaijan from Armenian and Russian forces in 1918. The anniversary was also celebrated in Uzbek capital of Tashkent and Turkmen capital city of Ashkabat.

Kemal Asya, Turkish Ambassador in Uzbekistan, hosted a reception. Various Uzbek executives attended the reception. Hüseyin Avnı Bıçaklı, Turkish Ambassador in Turkmenistan, attended the ceremonies in Askhabad Anadolu Primary School.

Republic Day was also marked in ceremonies in private Turkish schools acting in the country.

In Turkish Cyprus, President Mehmet Ali Talat, Parliament Speaker Hasan Bozer, Prime Minister Dervis Eroğlu, northern island’s first President Rauf Denktas, Ambassador Şakir Fakılı, high ranking commanders, politicians, university rectors, students as well as representatives of various organizations and institutions attended the ceremony at Lefkoşa Atatürk Monument.

© 2009 Hurriyet Daily News
URL: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=86-years-of-republic-marked-in-turkey-2009-10-29

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