Republic Day of Turkiye – 29 October
Cumhuriyet Bayram (Republic Day) is celebrated on the 29 October every year. It is a national holiday and all government offices are closed. It is observed every year to pay respect to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the republic’s founder, and to remember the struggles he and the martyrs faced to gain independence for their country. It is a very important day for Türkiye and most Turkish people. The word ‘most’ is used as not all Turkish people commend Mustafa Kemal Atatürk but the majority do.
A little bit of the history
Turkey had in effect been a republic since 23 April 1920, the date of the establishment of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, but the official confirmation of this fact came three and a half years later. The Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allied Powers resulted in the abolition of the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24 1923. The status of the nation as a republic was declared on 29 October 1923 and its official name was proclaimed to be Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (“the Republic of Turkey”), formally ending the reign of the Ottoman Empire. On the same day the Grand National Assembly elected Mustafa Kemal, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence, as the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa Kemal afterwards became known as ‘Atatürk’ (father of Turks).
What happens on Republic Day?
The celebrations begin at noon on October 28th and last until the next day. Hundreds of patriotic displays including, concerts, exhibitions, culture and art activities are organised in cities across the country . It can be an interesting experience for visitors to experience. There are lots and lots of Turkish flags displayed and waved. Decorations such as streamers and balloons along with clothing are generally coloured red and white, the colours of the Turkish flag. This year marks the 99th anniversary of the holiday celebration so expect even bigger celebrations next year!
Celebrations in Fethiye
In Fethiye there will be a concert held on both the 28 & 29 October in Beşkaza Square (the large open area in front of the large Atatürk statue and Turkish Flag – near to Starbucks on the harbour). On Saturday 29 October there will also be a walking procession to Beşkaza Square which will start at 19:30 from the park which hosts the Özgecan monument (opposite Marine Cafe & Bistro on the Kordon).
Park with the Özgecan monument