By Diyar Guldogan
The Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
In remarks made during a commemoration ceremony to mark the centenary of the death of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II at the Yildiz Palace in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “The Republic of Turkey, just like our previous states that are a continuation of one another, is also a continuation of the Ottomans.
"Of course, the borders have changed. Forms of government have changed... But the essence is the same, soul is the same, even many institutions are the same."
Erdogan added this is why Sultan Abdulhamid is one of the "most important, most visionary and most strategic minded" individual that made his mark in recent 150 years.
Sultan Abdulhamid II, the son of Sultan Abdulmecid, died in 1918, and was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
Erdogan criticized those with "bigoted" viewpoints about Sultan Abdulhamid.
"Some people insistently try to start this country's history from 1923. Some unrelentingly try to break us from our roots and ancient values," he added.
The official proclamation of the Turkish Republic by founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk took place on Oct. 29, 1923, when the name of the nation and its status as a republic were declared.
Erdogan said the big picture brings character and memory to a nation.
"We take pride in our history without making discrimination."