Turkish president marks anniversary of Ataturk’s demise


The Turkish president commemorated on Sunday the 81st anniversary of the demise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

“Today is the 81st anniversary of demise of commander-in-chief of the War of Independence, our first president and founder of the republic, Veteran Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

“Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to Veteran Mustafa Kemal and all our heroes, veterans and martyrs who have reached the heavens,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in the capital Ankara.

Erdogan stressed that the Turkish history should be taken in context of thousands of years of continuity, not in a century.

“In our opinion, those who try to ignore our entire history to glorify the republic are ashamed of their own past,” he said.

Ataturk launched the War of Independence a century ago, and opened a new horizon for the Turkish nation, he said, adding that Ataturk is one of the most important values of the nation.

Erdogan also said the Justice and Development (AK) Party and the governments under his presidency made “the greatest contribution” to the Republic.

Those who wanted “to drown Turkey in blood and fire” by using the terrorist organizations have not succeeded, he added.

The president said there were also those who wanted to make Turkey return “to the old days” through a trap of “exchange rate, interest rate and inflation triangle”.

Within a short period of time, Turkey spoiled their game, taking necessary precautions and putting the economy back on track, he said.

Erdogan said Turkey has also created the basis for the return of the Syrians in areas it cleared of terrorists, adding: “As of now, 365,000 Syrians have returned to their homes and lands.”

He stressed Turkey would make the return of the Syrians to their homes and territories possible either by organizing an international donors meeting or through some model projects.

Ottoman Empire legacy

Erdogan said the Turkish republic was founded and grew on the “roots” of the Ottoman Empire.

“We established our republic on the legacy that we inherited from the Ottoman Empire,” he said.

Turkish president added that the republic was built on the existing administrative system taken over from the Ottoman Empire.

“Our history is our orbit. Just as a celestial body detached from orbit is doomed to get lost and possibly disappear into the infinite darkness, the same is true for societies,” he said.

So far, no one has succeeded in removing Turkish nation from its “history orbit,” he added.

“Our task is to turn the strengths of our ancestors into a light that illuminates our own future,” Erdogan stressed.
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