Turkey comes to halt for annual remembrance of Ataturk

Thousands flock to mausoleum in Ankara to remember founder of modern Turkey 

Turkey comes to halt for annual remembrance of Ataturk

World Bulletin / News Desk

People came to a halt for two minutes' contemplation on Friday as Turkey marked the 79th anniversary of the death of the country’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

At his mausoleum in Ankara, thousands flocked to pay their respects to the deeply revered first president of the republic.

At 9.05 a.m. (0605GMT) sirens wailed to mark the exact moment of his death at the age of 57 in Istanbul’s Dolmabache Palace.

Around the country, people stopped in the streets or stood silently at their workplaces to remember Ataturk.

At the Anitkabir mausoleum overlooking the capital, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among those to lay a wreath at Ataturk’s resting place.

“We are once again remembering our first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,” Erdogan wrote in a book of commemoration. “We are working day and night to bring Turkey to the level of contemporary civilization. May his soul rest in peace.”

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, and Parliamentary Speaker Ismail Kahraman also took part in the annual ceremony alongside other senior politicians.

Ataturk was born in 1881 in Salonica, then part of the Ottoman Empire.

His distinguished military career included repelling the Allied invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915 and then rallying Turkey to withstand the Allies’ attempt to carve up Turkey after World War I in the War of Independence.

As Turkey’s first president, he transformed the country through a wide-ranging series of modernizing reforms. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Kasım 2017, 11:32