Turkey is set to mark the 96th anniversary of its republic’s founding day on Oct. 29, with celebrations expected to take place across the country.
A ceremony took place in Anıtkabir, Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s resting place in the country’s capital, with Turkish officials and thousands of people flocking to the mausoleum to pay their respects.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener and dozens of other Turkish officials laid wreath in Anıtkabir.
A day earlier, Erdoğan has released a message to mark the day, saying, “as a nation and as a state, we have been in a historic struggle again in recent years in order to protect our existence and our future.”
In his message, the president mentioned July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, as well as three cross-border operations in Syria that were conducted in the last three years.
“All the events we have experienced such as the attacks of terrorist organizations, the treacherous coup attempt of July 15th and others are manifestations of this historical struggle. Operation Euphrates Shield, Operation Olive Branch and Operation Peace Spring, which we have conducted in Syria, are also parts of this struggle,” he said.
“We are conducting a struggle similar to our Independence War, which we started a century ago and crowned by establishing our new Republic, with different images and methods,” he added.
Saying that “all kinds of plots and mischief aimed at disrupting our national unity and solidarity are displayed,” Erdoğan noted that the country is under “multi-faceted attacks.”
“Turkey, with its long history, its deeply rooted governing experience and almost century-long accumulations as a Republic, has the power, capability and determination to overcome all these problems,” he added.
The official proclamation of the Turkish Republic by Atatürk took place on Oct. 29, 1923 when the name of the nation and its status as a republic were declared.
A vote then took place in the Grand National Assembly and Atatürk was elected first president of the Republic of Turkey by a unanimous vote. Since then, Turkey celebrates Republic Day every year on Oct. 29.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, meanwhile, emphasized women’s role in the founding of the Republic in a tweet on Oct. 29.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, meanwhile, attended a ceremony in front of the Republic Monument in Istanbul’s Taksim Square early on Oct. 29.
Later in the day, İmamoğlu also attended celebrations in Istanbul’s Vatan Street, where thousands of people carrying Turkish flags flocked to.
A day earlier, the mayor and his wife Dilek İmamoğlu addressed a massive crowd in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square during an event organized by the city’s municipality to mark Republic Day.
İmamoğlu is set to attend celebrations in Üsküdar Square later on Oct. 29.