Last week, Türkiye celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye. Türkiye was proclaimed a republic on 29th October, 1923 by the leadership of the Independent War.
During the parade in Ankara, leaders and government officials gathered in Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Leaders shared messages of celebration and the Turkish people enthusiastically took the street all over the country.
Erdoğan’s emphasis: “Century of Türkiye”
President Erdoğan, in his centenary speech, touched upon his party’s vision for the “Century of Türkiye” and the ongoing war in Gaza. He said the followings:
“Our Republic, which we declared on October 29, 1923, is completing its first century today and is setting sail towards its second century we call Century of Türkiye. I respectfully commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and all our heroes.
Today, as we celebrate our Republic reaching its 100th year, we do so with the pride of having a strong, rich, and deep-rooted heritage. We must not only learn from the past but also draw strength from it. Today, our Republic is a matter of both pride and a source of inspiration for us. As Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic, describes it: ‘The Republic was not gained for free. We shed blood to obtain it.
The Republic of Türkiye is not, and never has been, a rootless, historyless, ad hoc, and a newborn state. The Republic of Türkiye is a venerable treasure that has been passed from hand to hand, from heart-to-heart and from generation to generation for thousands of years.
Our Republic, which is a new link in our thousand-year-old state tradition, is not the first but the latest state we have founded in these lands.
From the Balkans to the Caucasus, from Karabakh to Africa, from Turkestan to Palestine, wherever there are oppressed, victimized and needy people, it is Türkiye that rushes to help them, take them by the hand, lift them up, and solve their problems. We have displayed this attitude before in Korea, Cyprus, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and most recently in Karabakh. Today, we show the same stance for Palestine and Gaza, about which Ghazi (Ataturk) said ‘no one can lay a hand on,’ and we are trying to help the people of Gaza. Our ‘Great Palestine’ rally was part of this.
We take a robust stance for Palestine and Gaza, where Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk described as ‘untouchable’, and we attempt to help Gazan people”. Republic of Türkiye, just as Ataturk wished, serves as a guardian for the forsaken in its region and in the world.
In 1927, our population was 13.6 million, and by 2022, it had reached 85 million. Inshallah, this year, we will be more than 86 million. Inshallah, in the future not so distant, we will all witness a Türkiye with a population of 100 million.”
President Erdoğan also stressed that no imperialist power would be able to prevent the Republic of Türkiye from being happy, successful, and victorious.
Emphasis on “democracy” by the opposition party
The leader of the main opposition party, Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, shared a written statement for the 100th year of the Republic. In his message CHP chairman said “Our duty is to crown our republic with democracy”:
“Today is a day that changed the fate of not only Türkiye but also all the oppressed nations of the world and encouraged the righteous, not the powerful. Today is the day when our nation, which gained its independence under the leadership of the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, took over the administration.
Today is the day when the principle of “Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation” was declared the Republic. Happy 100th anniversary of our beautiful Republic!
The breakthroughs made immediately after the establishment of the Republic crowned our victories on the battlefields with economic victories, and the Republic of Türkiye declared its independence in the full sense of the word.
We, who follow in the footsteps of Great Atatürk and his comrades who established national sovereignty 100 years ago, have an important duty. This is reconstructing the republic with all its institutions and then crowning it with perfect democracy.
Victories won on the battlefield for independence have later been reinforced with victories in the field of economy, which have brought about a fully independent nation, Kılıçdaroğlu stated, praising Atatürk, the founder of the republic, and other leaders.
Although the establishment of the republic is the most important step for reaching the democratic order, any regime that fails to do so won’t be able to provide national sovereignty.”
The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the main coalition partner of the government, Devlet Bahçeli, also released a congratulatory message. Bahçeli stressed the importance of struggle given for the establishment of the Republic:
“We established this Republic by fighting tooth and claw. We stood back to back in the face of treachery. We stood shoulder to shoulder, we did not break our unity. We worked, we produced, we did not get tired. We said ‘first Türkiye’. Thank Allah, we reached the 100th anniversary. Passionate for independence, ready for the future, with our determination for many more centuries… Happy 100th anniversary of the Republic to the great Turkish nation.”
Perinçek: “The first task of the new century is the Production Revolution”
The leader of the Vatan Partisi, Doğu Perinçek, has issued a message in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Republic. Perinçek stressed the need of “Production Revolution”:
“We celebrate the 100th year of our Republic with our heart and conscience. The source of our excitement and enthusiasm is the vivid impact of the Republic on our consciousness.
Let us list the factors that founded the Republic.
* First, the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, Atatürk.
* Second, the civilization and revolutionary accumulation of the Turkish nation.
* Third, the armed force of Turkish nation, “Mehmetçik” (a term used to refer to soldiers of the Turkish Army)
The leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was decisive. Atatürk is one of the distinguished leaders of our Independence War. What sets Atatürk apart from all others was that he was a revolutionary. Atatürk’s strategy was based on the leadership pf a national government and a national parliament which would ultimately led to the Republic. His every action in Samsun, Havza, Amasya, Erzurum, Sivas, and Ankara (the places Atatürk organized meetings to organize people for the Independence War), was a successive step towards a national government and a national parliament to be established in Anatolia. The Independence War was also a dual power process between Ankara, the center of the national government and Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Ultimately, Ankara emerged victorious.
Atatürk not only confronted Istanbul but also clashed with his closest friends. We can read about these debates in Atatürk’s Speech (“Nutuk” in Turkish). In many instances, Atatürk’s revolutionary stance was in the minority most of the times. However, in the end, the strategies and politics led by Atatürk came out to be decisive and succesful.
The historical and revolutionary accumulation of the Turkish nation made the Independence War and the Republic possible. This was also the very factor that made a leader like Atatürk himself possible. Without the great imperial experience from the Scythians to the Huns, from the Seljuks to the Ottomans, there would be no Turkish Revolution. Without a Turkish revolutionary experience that has been fighting imperialism for 200 years, from the Young Ottomans to the Young Turks, there would be no Turkish Revolution. Atatürk and the Republic would not exist.
The force that ensured the success of leadership and this accumulation was the armed force of Mehmetçik. The Republic could not have been established without that armed force. This armed power was necessary to defeat the imperialists and to crush the collaborators of imperialism who opposed Atatürk and the Republic.
Comprehending these three factors that established our Republic 100 years ago is essential to accurately determine today’s duties. Merely glorifying the past is not sufficient to fulfill our duties. Today, our duty is to complete Atatürk’s revolution. We can do that by relying on and inspiring from the historical and revolutionary accumulation of the Turkish nation. And today once again, this duty can only be accomplished with the armed force of Mehmetçik.
The first task of the new century is the Production Revolution.
We will carry the national economy and the national state program, based on producer classes, which we had built with the Independence War and the Republic Revolution, into the 21st century.
The debt-based economy that started under the banner of ‘integration with the world economy’ in the 1980s has bankcrupted. Türkiye can only overcome this bankcrupcy through a National Government of Producers, and it will.
In our 100th year, we call on our nation, our producer classes being in the first place, to succeed in first task of our new century.
“100 Ships for the 100th Year”
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Republic, the Turkish Navy conducted its largest-ever naval parade in the Bosporus in Istanbul with 100 ships. Warplanes and helicopters accompanied the ceremony and naval personnel saluted President Erdoğan.
Ships from the Naval Forces Command, including frigates, corvettes, mine-hunting ships, amphibious vessels, patrol ships, logistics ships, assault boats, and submarines, gathered in the islands’ region as part of the event “100 Ships for the 100th Year”.
After taking their formation called “Nizam Cumhuriyet” (Republic Formation), the ships entered the Bosphorus from the south at 05.00 p.m. for the official parade.
The aerobatic teams of the Turkish Air Force, Turkish Stars and SOLOTÜRK, performed prior to the parade in the strait, led by Naval Forces Commander Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu of the TCG Anadolu.
President Erdoğan, along with Defense Minister Yaşar Güler and the Turkish Armed Forces’ command structure, attended the ceremony. During the parade, accompanied by F-16 and F-4 aircraft from the Turkish Air Force, the Turkish Land Forces Command fired 101 blank shots from artillery.
Minister of National Defence Yaşar Güler and the command echelon of the Turkish Armed Forces also observed the parade with President Erdoğan.
101 artillery shots were fired by the Land Forces Command during the official parade, which was joined by F-16 and F-4 aircraft from the Air Forces Command.
On TCG Anadolu, there were helicopters from the Turkish Naval Forces, as well as the Bayraktar TB3, a UCAV that performed its first flight test and can land and take off on ships with short runways, and Türkiye’s first unmanned combat aircraft, Bayraktar Kızılelma.
The people embraces the Republic and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Millions of citizens across Türkiye took to the streets to celebrate the Republic Day, and over a million people visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to pay their respects.
The citizens attended with high numbers the orchlight processions and marches. During the events, slogans in support of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Republic were frequently chanted.
It was reported that even in small villages, citizens organized their own Republic Day celebrations with their own means.
Ambassador of Palestine at the Republic march
One notable event was the participation of the Palestinian Ambassador Faed Mustafa in one of the marches in Ankara.
Faed Mustafa made a speech at the march. He celebrated “the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye on behalf of the Palestinian people” and said, “Your happiness is our happiness.” Ambassador Mustafa stated Türkiye has set an example for the whole world with its Republic.
Faed Mustafa spoke about the current events in Palestine: “The world stands with the occupying state instead of standing with our people under occupation. This oppression will not last forever. One day, the oppressed Palestine will triumph over the oppressor.”
Ambassador Mustafa concluded his speech by thanking the Turkish people and said, “Long live Türkiye and long live Palestine! Long live the brotherhood and love between Türkiye and Palestine”.