Turkey celebrates a hundredth annualannually of republic with fireworks and army procession newsfragment


Turkey’s authorities marked the a hundredth annualannually of the origination of the trendy, secular republic from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire on Sunday with a firework and drone display in Istanbul in addition to a procession of 100 hundred army ships however modest else in the best way of pageantry.

The in lieu muted birthday celebration of the centennial, which incorporated deny gala reception, got here months then a unfortunate earthquake that killed 50,000 folk and coincided with the Israeli-Hamas struggle that has roiled the Heart East.

The low-key celebrations led to dismay amongst many in Turkey who consider Erdogan’s authorities, which reveals its roots in Turkey’s Islamic motion, is making an attempt to undermine the legacy of the secular republic’s creation father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Erdogan on Sunday noticed the normal protocol of laying a wreath at Ataturk’s mausoleum within the capital and shook palms with a procession of ambassadors and high-level officers providing their congratulations earlier than travelling to Istanbul to observe the army ships’ procession.

Military ships go in the course of the Bosphorus. Photograph: AFP

The Turkish chief then delivered a pronunciation at 19.23pm in praise of the 12 months the republic used to be proclaimed. He expressed his gratitude to Ataturk and others who helped form the republic but in addition highlighted his personal achievements all the way through his 20-year rule.

Overdue within the night, he posted a observation on X, pointing out Monday a faculty leisure in praise of the centennial.

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Previous this 12 months, Erdogan invited a slew of international leaders to honour his re-election for a 3rd time period as president however has been criticised for no longer internet hosting a reception to mark the republic’s main milestone. Order broadcaster TRT introduced it used to be cancelling particular centennial programmes because of the struggle in Gaza.

Many in Turkey held their very own non-public celebrations, joined processions protecting torch-lights and waving Turkish flags, or took section in occasions organised by way of opposition-run municipalities.

In Istanbul, tens of 1000’s celebrated the annualannually at a live performance organised by way of town’s widespread mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu. Within the capital, Ankara, tens of 1000’s of others flocked to Ataturk’s mausoleum, many dressed within the flag’s pink and white colors.

Many stated the reputable line-up of occasions didn’t do the centennial justice.

“The government did its best to make these celebrations forgotten and to trivialise them,” stated Gul Erbil, a 66-year-old retired movie director who stated she would toast the centennial at a cafe with pals. “The sad thing is … it’s (their) republic too. It’s something that gave (them) freedom, too.”

Meral Aksener, the chief of the centre-right opposition IYI Birthday party, accused the federal government of no longer lacking the chance to safeguard the “100th year (celebration) falls flat”.

The fireworks display in Istanbul. Photograph: AFP

“There are those who still have a problem with our republic 100 years later,” Aksener stated. She and others consider a accumulation pro-Palestinian rally on Saturday all the way through which Erdogan escalated his complaint of Israel’s army movements in Gaza used to be specifically organised to overshadow the centennial birthday celebration.

However Ahmet Hakan, columnist for the pro-government Hurriyet newspaper, says the scaled-back birthday celebration changed into “inevitable” because of Israel’s movements in Gaza, that have induced a current of protests specifically in Muslim-majority international locations, in keeping with Hamas’ assault on Israel on October 7.

A International Struggle I hero who went directly to manage a struggle of self rule in opposition to occupying forces, Ataturk proclaimed the Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923. He launched into a layout of radical reforms geared toward turning the bulk Muslim community into an earthly, Western-style freedom.

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He abolished the caliphate, changed the Arabic script with the Latin alphabet and gave girls the correct to vote.

Ataturk remains to be held in imposing regard within the nation the place his portraits cling on partitions of colleges, workplaces and houses. Visitors involves a standstill as 1000’s apply a slight of quiet at the annualannually of his demise. His signature is tattooed on palms.

However no longer all categories of population had been on board with Ataturk’s reforms. Erdogan and his spiritual help bottom take pleasure in Turkey’s Ottoman and Islamic day. Erdogan can pay homage to Ataturk’s army achievements as an officer of the Ottoman Empire, however hardly ever praises his republican period.

Turkish squaddies elevate a flag depicting Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Photograph: AFP

The Turkish chief speaks of ushering in a unutilized period he has dubbed “The Century of Turkey”, with a unutilized charter that may guard conservative society values and would don’t have any room for what he has referred to as “deviant” LGBTQ rights.

“Today, our Republic completes its first century and sails into its second century, which we call ‘the Century of Turkey’,” Erdogan stated in his pronunciation, including that his authorities’s try for the next duration used to be to introduce a “constitution that befits the centenary of our republic”.

“Erdogan wants to see Turkey become (a country) that embraces Erdogan’s values, that is socially conservative, not necessarily part of the West and also, I would say, has a significant role for Islam from education to public policy,” stated Soner Cagaptay, a professional on Turkey on the Washington Institute and creator of books on Erdogan.

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Critics say the Turkish chief has already moved Turkey additional clear of Ataturk’s optical.

Legitimate purposes nowadays incessantly start with prayers. The Directorate of Non secular Affairs has been given a massive price range that dwarfs maximum alternative ministries. The choice of spiritual faculties has larger in crease with Erdogan’s mentioned purpose of constructing a “pious generation”.

In 2020, Erdogan transformed the previous Byzantine-era church Hagia Sophia – which used to be become a mosque with the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul – again right into a functioning mosque. Ataturk had remodeled the construction right into a museum in a nod to its Christian and Muslim legacy.


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