Nationwide celebrations mark centenary of Republic of Türkiye

Nationwide celebrations mark centenary of Republic of Türkiye

The 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Türkiye is being marked across the country by solemn and cheerful events, dedicated to the landmark date in Turkish history and its late founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.

Flags already adorned the streets, along with giant portraits of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as the nation prepares to mark the centenary of the Republic of Türkiye. Government institutions announced a series of events, with some already starting earlier this week, as tributes pour in for the republic’s founder and first president Atatürk.

The celebrations are set to culminate in major events on October 29, the day Atatürk formally announced the new regime of Türkiye, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the War of Independence led by the late leader.

Since early October, the Turkish Presidency and the government have been organizing events across the country and at diplomatic missions abroad as this year’s celebrations have a special meaning. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the longest-serving leader of the country (including his tenure as prime minister for 11 years) after Atatürk, views it as the start of the “Century of Türkiye,” a series of reforms in the spirit of the republic which brought major changes to the nation.

From fireworks and laser displays to giant screens set up at the squares of big cities showing accomplishments of the republic, the centenary will be celebrated across the country. A floating pier installed with a massively large screen will be on Istanbul’s Bosporus, screening videos about the history of Türkiye and the “Century of Türkiye” vision. Sports events sponsored by the government and local sports bodies are being held to mark the centenary, from marathons to tennis matches.

Events alternatively focus on the history and future of the republic, from exhibitions and panels focusing on heroes of the War of Independence that paved the way for the republic to potential future accomplishments of the republic. The Mint issued special banknotes while the country’s main postal authority issued stamps to mark the centenary.

Ministries also organized cultural events for the public and most will be held on Sunday, including concerts and performances of waltzes by dance companies, a dance popular in the early years of the republic, as well as the performance of the “zeybek” dance, a folk dance that was the favorite of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

On the Bosporus, 100 warships of Türkiye will perform a military parade, while similar parades are scheduled to be held on land.

October 29 Republic Day celebrates when Parliament amended the Constitution to change the system of government to a republic. It concluded the four-year War of Independence against several countries, including World War I allies Great Britain, France, Italy and Greece, and officially marked the end of the Ottoman Empire. Atatürk was elected as the first president and Republic Day has been celebrated since 1925.

Exhausted by war, the founding of the republic meant the end of more than a decade of violence for the country.

Atatürk was the de facto leader of Türkiye, or what was left of it after the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I, and it was he who led the War of Independence against the invading powers. Setting up an alternative government in Ankara, far from the Ottoman capital occupied by foreign forces, Atatürk sought to create a new regime.

“Gentlemen, we will proclaim the republic tomorrow!” he is famously quoted as telling his close circle one day before the proclamation on Oct. 29, 1923. A vote at the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye followed and Atatürk was elected the first president of the republic by unanimous vote. Building upon the legacy of a semi-parliamentarian system in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, the new republic introduced wider democracy to the country and Atatürk is hailed as the great statesman credited with rebuilding a devastated country with new ideals.