Turkey is set to mark the 97th anniversary of its republic’s founding day on Oct. 29, with celebrations expected to take place across the country.
A ceremony took place in Anıtkabir, Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s maouseloum in the country’s capital, with Turkish officials paying respects.
Contrary to previous years, this year’s ceremony was held under COVID-19 measures, with officials wearing masks and abiding by social distancing.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, ministers, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener and dozens of other Turkish officials laid wreath in Anıtkabir.
Erdoğan is set to accept officials at the presidential palace later in the day.
A day earlier, Erdoğan released a statement to mark the day.
“I hail the October 29 Republic Day of all our citizens, living both at home and abroad,” he tweeted on Oct. 28.
Erdoğan went on to commemorate Atatürk, as well as “the heroes in our fight for independence, all the martyrs, and veterans that fought for the Republic of Turkey.”
“Our country will continue acting on its own vision and agenda regardless of what others say or do,” Erdoğan said.
The Republic Day is being celebrated in all provinces of Turkey and the country’s representations abroad.
The government ceremony in the capital Ankara will be joined by various events, including concerts, marches, and fireworks across the country.
On Oct. 29, 1923, Atatürk officially declared the name of the nation and proclaimed the country’s status as a republic.
A vote then took place in the Grand National Assembly, and Atatürk was elected the first president of the Republic of Turkey by unanimous vote.
Since then, Turkey celebrates the Republic Day every Oct. 29. The Republic is due to celebrate its centenary in 2023.