Republic Day, which marks the foundation of the Turkish Republic on Oct. 29, 1923, is being feted across the country with colorful celebrations and ceremonies Today`s Zaman reported.
President Abdullah Gul congratulated the people of Turkey, saying he is certain that without a doubt all the country's problems will be solved with democratic maturity, in a peaceful and courageous way. "Each nation has its ups and downs in different stages of its history. Though the democratic process has been interrupted and economic problems have had a negative impact on the development of our country, Turkey has always turned its face forward and has never lost its will to solve its problems," he said on Monday.
Celebrations started earlier in some areas of Turkey; the official festivities did not kick off until the wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, in Adana on Monday. The ceremony was attended by heads of different political parties and other officials, who extended their greetings and holiday wishes to the people.
"Republic Day is the reinvigoration of a country coming out of war and dead-tired of combat and being down and out. Republic Day has brought our nation a new soul and dynamism and has put new goals in front of us to help us succeed in the nation's struggle for existence," said Governor Fatih Genel in Canakkale on Monday.
Later, paying tribute to Turkish soldiers and Ataturk, politicians, officials and attendees observed a minute of silence as the national anthem was sung.
A traffic jam is expected across the city of ?stanbul due to continuing Republic Day celebrations.
There was a brief moment of tension between local administrators during an early Oct. 29 celebration in Adana. Governor Huseyin Avni Cos got angry when Vice Mayor Zihni Ald?rmaz distributed badges bearing his name together with Turkish flags during a wreath-laying ceremony to mark Republic Day. Cos accused Ald?rmaz of using the Turkish flag for self-promotion because he was passing them out along with the badges. The deputy mayor responded with sarcasm: "I will seek permission from the governor's office from now on when I distribute Turkish flags." The duo's angry exchanged lasted for some time.
In another Republic Day event, a Republican Race was held in Diyarbak?r in which 434 athletes participated in eight different categories. Governor Mustafa Cahit K?rac, Deputy Governor Mehmet Demir and head of the local sports directorate Abdullatif Umut also attended the event. The winners received their medals from the governor after the event.