10 November Tuesday

Istanbul Commemorates 82nd Anniversary of Atatürk's Passing

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Republic of Turkey was commemorated at the 82nd death anniversary early Tuesday with a ceremony held at the Taksim Republic Monument and the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul.

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 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commemorations in Istanbul took place at the 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.

Wearing masks and following the social distancing rule, people lined up in front of the venue to visit his room and place flowers on his bed. Thousands are expected to flock to the palace to pay tribute and decorate his bed with flowers.

After the ceremony ended in Taksim, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu inaugurated a photo exhibition titled, "The Story of Atatürk's Photographs" in Taksim Art Gallery in which Atatürk’s photos will be displayed until May 31, 2021.

"We have a leader whose photographs are shared at every moment, in our cities, our workplaces, in every environment," Mayor Imamoglu said, noting that display aimed at revealing the hidden narratives behind each of his photos.

After the ribbon-cutting celebration at Taksim Republic Art Gallery, 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.

Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu also shared a message on social media, saying “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk symbolizes a dignified past and a bright future. In loving, grateful, and respectful memory of Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey,” Imamoğlu wrote on his Twitter account.

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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