Commemoration ceremonies were held Wednesday across Europe to pay tribute to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, marking the 83rd anniversary of his demise.
Turkish embassies observed a minute of silence at 9.05 a.m., the exact time of Ataturk’s death, and laid flowers at his monuments as part of the ceremonies in European capitals.
During the ceremony at the Turkish embassy in Germany’s capital Berlin, Turkish Consul-General Olgun Yucekok said it is a duty to pass on Ataturk’s heritage, referring to the Republic of Turkey, to the generations to come.
“Looking at the geography where our country is located, I get a better understanding of from what Ataturk and his fellow fighters protected us,” he said. “Here, we commemorate with respect all the members of the Turkish nation who fought and worked with determination and who made us what we are today.”
“If we can talk about a Republic of Turkey today, we owe it to Ataturk,” Yucekok added.
Workers at the Turkish embassy and Turkish soldiers operating in international missions attended the ceremony in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Burak Akcapar, the Turkish envoy to Madrid, said the things Ataturk did and said for Turkey can be understood better with each passing day.
Turkey’s acting envoy to Hungary Meltem Guney and the representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) attended the ceremony held at Naphegy Square in the capital Budapest.
Representatives of Turkish institutions as well as many citizens also participated.
“Ataturk continues to be commemorated not only in Hungary but across the whole world with his intellect that overcame impossible situations. This is the most concrete proof that he holds an unforgettable place among the immortal leaders of world history,” Guney said.
The ceremony at the Turkish embassy in the Austrian capital Vienna was attended by Turkish envoy Ozan Ceyhun, the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN Vienna Office Ahmet Muhtar Gun, the Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Consul-General Asip Kaya and other guests.
Levent Ozan, a clerk at the embassy, said “Ataturk earned the whole world’s respect with his ideas and actions emphasizing peace and the common values of humanity, apart from what he did for his country.”
As part of the program held in Prague, the capital of Czechia, the first bust of Ataturk in the country was exhibited in the garden of the Turkish embassy.
Citizens of Turkey and workers of the Turkish embassy attended the program, where envoy Egemen Bagis expressed his pleasure over introducing the first Ataturk bust in Czechia.
In the Serbian capital Belgrade, Turkish institutions and citizens held a commemoration event at which a video summarizing the life of the leader was screened.
Turkish undersecretary Sibel Nur Celik and envoy to Serbia Hami Aksoy delivered speeches marking the anniversary of Ataturk’s passing.
“He was not only a great commander, statesman, leader, revolutionary and diplomatic genius, but he was also the chief architect of a grand project of civilization,” Aksoy said.
The ceremony in Kosovo’s capital Pristina was held with a limited number of participants due to coronavirus pandemic measures. Turkish envoy Cagri Sakar and Turkish political figure Fikrim Damka as well as members of the Kosovan parliament of Turkish origin attended the event.
The UK also hosted two commemoration ceremonies -- one in London and the other in Dublin.
In his speech during the ceremony, Turkish envoy to Ireland Mehmet Hakan Olcay commemorated the great leader with grace and gratitude, noting that Ataturk carried out a revolution to sustain the presence of the Republic of Turkey and bequeathed it to future generations.
*Writing by Dilan Pamuk in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.