Nation is the owner of the republic and its symbol is the presidential complex, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the capital Ankara Wednesday.
Erdogan made the remarks during the first public reception to mark Turkey’s Republic Day at the presidential complex.
More than 800 citizens from across 81 provinces had been invited to the reception, who were received by Erdogan and the First Lady, Emine Erdogan.
In his speech, the president said that the presidential complex was a symbol where the state meets its citizens.
“In the past, presidential authority became a place where one identity, one understanding and one lifestyle dominated and only those who had this format could enter,” Erdogan said.
He said that the presidential palace was now a place where citizens from every segment of society and across the country were hosted.
“From now on, the owner of the republic is the nation and its symbol is this presidential complex,” Erdogan said, adding that no one could allege that the republic was in danger.
Vesile Alyanak, mother of a martyred soldier, said that she could not believe that she was at the palace, which she had only seen on television.
“When I came here, I understood better how precious my Turkey was. We are all gathered here from 81 provinces… villagers, urbanites, this is a great thing,” Alyanak said.
Ilhan Citak, a national wrestler, said that he was happy to get invited. “We have now understood, here is a place where everyone can enter and be invited by the president,” Citak said.
In addition, in a written statement on the anniversary of the Republic Day, Erdogan said that the “jubilation of the celebration of the 92nd anniversary is jointly shared by the citizens”.
“It is our joint duty to protect the Republic, which is a joint artifact of our nation, to work for future of our country and nation, and to make sacrifices when needed,” the president said.
He called for remembering the same spirit of the past when the state and the nation hoped to get huge achievements through unity.
“We should own this heritage together in addition to other gains of our country in the next period,” Erdogan added.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also issued a message to mark the anniversary. “The anniversary is a great chance to express commitment to our country.”
“Unity and solidarity is the best answer to those who try to sow discord among us,” Davutoglu said.
Each year, Turkey marks the Republic Day on October 29, which is the commemoration of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
The official recognition of the Republic took place on October 29, 1923, by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. On that day, the new name of the nation and its status as a Republic was declared.
After the declaration and a vote in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Ataturk was unanimously elected as the first president of the Republic of Turkey.