Turkey marks centenary of Atatürk's arrival in Ankara

Turkey on Dec. 27 commemorated the centenary of the arrival of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, in the capital Ankara.

The commemoration events started at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk, with the attendance of top officials. Ankara Governor Vasip Sahin laid a wreath on Atatürk's tomb.

As part of the ceremonies, a run along 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) started in Ankara's Dikmen neighborhood, where Atatürk first stepped in Ankara.

Attending the traditional Atatürk Garrison Run, civilians, Turkish soldiers of various ranks and military students are running to reach the Ankara Train Station in the city center.

Atatürk's arrival was marked as a milestone in Turkish people's struggle in the country's War of Independence, which started on May 19, 1919.

The war led to a great victory on Sept. 9, 1922 and was crowned with the proclamation of the republic on Oct. 29, 1923.

Commemoration messages

Meanwhile, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy commemorated Atatürk and all Turkish martyrs on the occasion.

In his message, Ersoy stressed the responsibility to transfer every detail of the Independence War to the next generations, calling it the "most glorious struggle for the independence in the world history."

He said the nation will always recall that the war was "one of the turning points of our national struggle."

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), also remembered Atatürk's arrival in Ankara.

"I would like to express my gratitude to all our heroes who established our republic and gave us the opportunity to live in this land free and dignified," Kilicdaroglu said in a statement. 

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