10 November Sunday

Turkey Commemorates Its Founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with Gratitude

On the 81st anniversary of his death, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was commemorated all across the country.

The first ceremony in Istanbul was held in Taksim Square, with wreaths laid at the Atatürk Monument by Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Istanbul Governor Ali  Yerlikaya, and First Army Commander General Musa Avsever.

As per the custom, daily life stopped in Istanbul and all across the country at 9:05 a.m. local time, with sirens wailing to mark the exact moment of Atatürk’s passing at the age of 57, and millions of citizens from all walks of life observing two minutes of silence to pay their respects.

The wreath-laying ceremony in Taksim Square was also attended by Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Istanbul Provincial Chair Ms. Canan Kaftancıoğlu; Good (İYİ) Party’s Istanbul Provincial Chair Mr. Buğra Kavuncu, Istanbul Bar Association, provincial branches of political parties and NGOs, as well as veterans’ associations.

Dolmabahçe Palace, where Atatürk spent his last days, was also at the center of the commemoration events. The room where the revered leader passed away was opened to visitors, as per the tradition, after a remembrance ceremony. Visitors, who formed a long line to see the room, left carnations in the color of the Turkish flag on Atatürk's bed.

After the ceremony ended in Taksim, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Governor Ali  Yerlikaya, and First Army Commander Gen. Musa Avsever left for Istanbul Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall (CRR) to attend the rest of the program.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: A Short Biography

Atatürk was born in 1881 in Thessaloniki, then part of the Ottoman Empire. His military education started in 1893 when he was enrolled in a military school in the city of his birth.

He continued his education in the Military Academy of Istanbul and then graduated as a second lieutenant in 1902.

With his extraordinary skills, Atatürk quickly climbed the military ranks, becoming a captain in 1905. He drew the attention of his superiors with his outstanding services following the start of the Balkan Wars in 1912.

After the outbreak of World War I, Atatürk and his fellow Turkish soldiers made history by showing an incredible resistance to the Allied Powers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Çanakkale.

Atatürk played an important part in the establishment of the Grand National Assembly, modern Turkey’s first parliament, and was elected as the head of the first government, which enabled him to adopt laws essential to beat the occupying forces.

The Turkish War of Independence started on May 15, 1919, when the first bullet against the occupying forces in Izmir was fired by Hasan Tahsin, a Turkish journalist who was killed shortly after his action.

The Turkish army, under the leadership of Atatürk, won incredible battles against the occupying forces, including the first and second Battles of İnönü, Sakarya, and the Great Offensive, until 1923 when the Lausanne Treaty was signed on July 24.

His incredible achievements on the battlefield led to Turkish independence, and the Republic of Turkey was founded on October 29, 1923.

Atatürk became the first President of the republic until November 10, 1938, when he lost his life in Istanbul at the age of 57 due to cirrhosis.

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