Turkey mourns founder Ataturk’s 83rd death anniversary

Turkey mourned on Wednesday the 83rd death anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, with a series of events.

Tens of thousands of Turkish people flocked to the streets in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul to observe two minutes of silence at 9:05 a.m. local time when the Turkish leader died.

Sirens blared, traffic stopped, and people stood still wherever they were, including the busiest “15 July Martyrs Bridge” over the Bosphorus Strait, connecting the Asian and European parts of the city.

Carrying the photos of Ataturk, thousands of citizens gathered at the Dolmabahce Palace along the shores of Bosphorus in the Besiktas district, where Ataturk lost his life.

A man in his 80s said such a commemoration filled with intense grief is not seen anywhere, while a young woman pointed out that Ataturk’s ideas are still alive and will not die.

Ataturk declared the republic in 1923, ending the rule of the Ottoman Empire after the Independence War, and served as the first president until 1938, when he died at the age of 57.

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