The Republic of Turkey on Sunday turned 94, an occasion marked across the country. As with every Republic Day, ceremonies were held at city and municipal centers. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding president of the country, in Ankara early yesterday, laying a wreath.
Erdoğan led a delegation of senior officials, including Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chair Devlet Bahçeli, members of the cabinet, top commanders, after which official ceremonies began in the capital.
In the Anıtkabir Mausoleum book, Erdoğan wrote the Republic is as strong as it was the day it was founded 94 years ago, noting that the way the nation resisted the coup plotters on July 15, 2016 demonstrated this fact.
Erdoğan's letter, which was addressed to Atatürk, said the nation was grateful for the incredible will and determination displayed by the founders.
The day celebrates Oct. 29, 1923, when the Turkish Parliament amended the constitution to change the system of government to a republic. It concluded the four-year independence war against several countries, including Greece and officially marked the end of the Ottoman Empire. Atatürk was elected as the first president of the Republic. The day is celebrated since 1925.
Ceremonies in Istanbul took place at the central Vatan Avenue, with Governor Vasip Şahin overseeing the activities.
The president was scheduled to hold a reception yesterday evening at the Presidential Compound at Beştepe, Ankara. Among the guests will be executives from the private sector, almost all senior public officials, but also people selected from the ordinary public. Guests include Hamdu Sena Bilgin, an 11-year-old girl whose photo of her and her dog carrying a goat and its newborn babies in backpacks in heavy snow went viral on social media.
A group of miners who refused to sit on the seats of a public bus to avoid dirtying them with their clothes are among the other guests. Female entrepreneurs, a middle school student who designed a drone detecting buried explosives and a woman who dedicated her life to her handicapped nephew for four decades will be the other guests.