President Erdogan praises Ataturk on Republic Day


The Turkish authorities have been celebrating Republic Day, which marks the 98th anniversary of the secular Turkish Republic which replaced the Islamic caliphate.

“I congratulate our citizens, living at home and abroad, and all our friends, who share our pride on this day, which is one of the golden links of our glorious history, on the occasion of 29 October, Republic Day,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a video message.

The president also praised Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the republic.

“I remember with gratitude Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of our Republic, and his gallant brothers in arms on the 98th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey,” Erdogan said.

Republic Day is a national holiday commemorating Ataturk’s proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on Oct. 29, 1923.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Editorial credit: Siarhei Liudkevich /

Erdogan added: “While the centennial of our Republic (in 2023) has now been clearly sighted on the horizon, we will not allow any power, any dirty scenario or any insidious attack, which seeks Turkey stumbling, to deter us from our path.

“We, as a nation, will firmly hold onto our unity, solidarity and brotherhood, which are our biggest assurances, and endeavour to achieve our cause of a great and strong Turkey. The steely will, which carried the national struggle to victory and brought our Republic into existence, shall continue to be our guide in this sacred struggle we have been putting up for the last 98 years.”

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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, is considered a national hero by secular Turks, but others revile him as the man who attempted to permanently erase the nation’s Islamic orientation.

A cult of personality has been built around Mustafa Kemal Ataturk since the foundation of the secular Turkish Republic in 1923. Statues and pictures of him are to be found all over the country and it is illegal to even criticise him.

But in modern day Turkey many secularists feel Ataturk’s legacy is slowly being eroded by Islamic-oriented Turks, chief among them President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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