Marking the 97th Republic Day, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country's historical legacy is its biggest strength.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) visits Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, for the 97th anniversary of the Republic Day in Ankara on October 29, 2020.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) visits Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, for the 97th anniversary of the Republic Day in Ankara on October 29, 2020. (AFP)

Marking the 97th anniversary of the Republic Day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the country's historical legacy is its biggest strength.

"Our greatest strength is our historical legacy. Without preserving this legacy, neither the July 15 [coup attempt] nor the value of our republic can be understood," Erdogan said on Thursday at the opening of the National Struggle Exhibition at the Nation's Library in the capital Ankara.

FETO and its US-based leader, Fetullah Gulen, orchestrated a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, leaving 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured. They are also accused of extensive infiltration of state institutions.

Erdogan went on to say, "Our past experiences show that the quest for an independent Turkish nation will not end until the homeland, flag and adhan [call to prayer] is protected."

READ MORE: What if the July 15 coup attempt had succeeded?

Limited celebrations due to pandemic

Ahead of the opening ceremony, Erdogan visited Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

He later received greetings at the presidential complex on the occasion of Republic Day.

On October 29, 1923, then-commander of the War of Independence Ataturk officially proclaimed Turkey's status as a republic, and was elected as its first president.

Celebrations this year were limited to small-scale wreath-laying ceremonies and parades in memory of the republic’s founders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Local administrations also organised separate events to mark the day.

READ MORE: Turkey's President Erdogan marks Youth and Sports Day

World leaders congratulate Turkey

Countless world leaders and countries congratulated Turkey.

Pakistani President Arif Alvi said the fraternal relations between the people of Pakistan and Turkey go back centuries, and are embedded in a common religion, shared culture, linguistic and spiritual heritage.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s historical solidarity with Turkey and said the two countries will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in the years to come.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said, "We are proud of the support that our ancestors extended during the Turkish War of Independence," and assured that his country would further deepen its strategic partnership with Turkey.

READ MORE: Imran Khan pays respects to Turkey's founding leader in Ankara

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev extended "heartfelt congratulations and best wishes" to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish people and the government.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, Deputy Emir Abdullah bin Hamad, and Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa also sent separate congratulatory messages to the Turkish head of state.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev wished the Turkish leader and nation peace and prosperity.

READ MORE: Turkey says it will send troops to help Azerbaijan if requested

'Turkey as a close friend and ally'

The head of the EU-Turkey Friendship Group in the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki, released a special video message in Turkish.

“Dear friends of the EU-Turkey. Happy 29 Oct. Republic Day of Turkey, approaching its centenary. It made the Turkish people equal citizens, Turkish women voters,” said the Polish lawmaker.

The Foreign Ministry of Kosovo, in its congratulatory note, said, "Turkey has supported Kosovo in all state-building processes, particularly the strengthening of our international subjectivity."

Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci said "Kosovo is proud to celebrate Turkey as a close friend and ally."

READ MORE: Turkey sends aid to nearly 30 countries in fight against Covid-19


NATO also marked the 97th proclamation of the republic, which replaced the Ottoman Empire. "Retweet to join us in celebrating our Ally Turkey on Republic Day," it wrote on Twitter, with hashtags #Oct 29, #RepublicDay, and #WeareNATO.

Officials and foreign ministries of Iran, Afghanistan, Maldives, Albania, Lithuania, Latvia, Sri Lanka and Romania also sent their wishes on behalf of their governments and the people.

READ MORE: Erdogan warns of Europe's self-destructive Islamophobia

Source: AA