Turkish Republic celebrated its 100th anniversary, marking a century since its establishment as a modern, secular state following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The celebration was relatively subdued, featuring a firework and drone show in Istanbul and a procession of 100 naval ships. Notably, there was no grand gala reception.
The subdued atmosphere was influenced by recent events, including a devastating earthquake that claimed 50,000 lives and the Israeli-Hamas conflict that created turmoil in the Middle East.
Erdogan’s Observations and Speech
President Erdogan adhered to traditional protocol by laying a wreath at Ataturk’s mausoleum and engaging with ambassadors and officials. He also delivered a speech in honor of the republic’s proclamation year, expressing gratitude to Ataturk and emphasizing his own accomplishments during his 20-year rule.
Discontent and Concerns
Many in Turkey expressed dismay over the low-key celebrations, perceiving it as an attempt by President Erdogan’s government, rooted in Turkey’s Islamic movement, to undermine the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of the secular republic.
Here are some important facts about Turkey:
Location and Geography:
- Turkey is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion in southeastern Europe.
- It is bordered by eight countries, including Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
Capital and Largest City:
- Ankara is the capital of Turkey, while Istanbul is its largest city and economic hub
- Turkish is the official language of Turkey.
- Turkey has a long and complex history. It was the center of several ancient civilizations, including the Hittites and Byzantines. Later, it became the seat of the Ottoman Empire, which lasted for over 600 years.
- Turkey has a secular government and was founded as a modern, secular republic by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923, replacing the Ottoman Empire.
- The currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY).