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NEWS Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's greatest achievement, the Republic of Turkey, turns 100 years old today

29 Oct 2023

The Republic torch lit by Atatürk has been illuminating Turkey’s path for a century. Today, 81 million people will celebrate the anniversary of the march from independence to the future.


Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades in arms defeated seven nations during the War of Independence, and it was time to bring the country into a modern regime. The name of this great revolution was "the Republic." Atatürk transformed a fragmented and impoverished empire into a modern state respected by the whole world. The road to the Republic was filled with difficulties, but they did not waver. The milestones on that road were as follows:

Anatolia was under occupation. Mustafa Kemal set foot in Samsun on May 19, 1919, and lit the torch of liberation. While achieving victory after victory, he also laid the foundation for the Republic. The first step was the opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on April 23, 1920. A new constitution was prepared. In 1923, it was time to declare the Republic.

On October 28, 1923, Mustafa Kemal invited İsmet İnönü, Fethi Okyar, and Kazım Özalp (his colleagues) to dinner at the Çankaya Mansion. He said, "Gentlemen, we will declare the Republic tomorrow." That night, İsmet İnönü and Mustafa Kemal worked on the draft to be presented to the Assembly until morning. The two friends worked together for the Republic. The fate and form of governance of Turkey were shaped... Atatürk wrote the following in the first article of the draft: "The form of government of the Turkish state is a Republic."


On October 29, 1923, the Assembly convened at 18:00. There were 158 deputies in the General Assembly seats. İnönü proposed changing the first article of the Constitution to 'Republic.' The proposal was unanimously accepted. All deputies stood up and shouted "Long live the Republic" three times... Falih Rıfkı Atay would later describe the excitement in the Assembly, saying, "I remember the Minister of the Interior of the Ottoman Empire, Hazım Bey, who was sitting next to me during the vote. When asked, 'Those in favour,' he raised both of his hands."


The Republic was now declared. It was time to elect the first President of the Republic of Turkey. There was only one name on the minds of the 158 deputies: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk...

After the vote, Atatürk was elected President with 158 votes. He took the podium amidst applause, and in his first speech, he said, "We will always move forward, relying on the love and trust of our people. The Republic of Turkey will be happy, successful, and victorious."


There was joy in the streets. The citizens gathered in front of the Assembly and welcomed Mustafa Kemal with shows of affection. One hundred and one cannon shots were fired all over the country. The symbol of independence, the Republic, became the nation's greatest holiday. Despite all efforts to forget and restrictions, Republic Day on October 29 continues to be celebrated with increasing enthusiasm every year.

Today, Republic Day on October 29 continues to be celebrated with official ceremonies and the enthusiastic participation of the public throughout the country.

Especially in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, there are large-scale celebrations full of enthusiasm. Of course, other cities also participate in this significant day in a manner befitting its importance.

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