The founder of modern-day Turkey, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, was remembered 79 years after his death.

The 79th death anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey was marked in ceremonies throughout the country.
The 79th death anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey was marked in ceremonies throughout the country. (AA)

Turkey came to a halt for two minutes of contemplation on Friday, marking the 79th anniversary of the death of the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

At his mausoleum in Ankara, thousands flocked to pay their respects to the deeply revered first president of the republic.

Ataturk was born March 12, 1881, in Salonika, which was then known as part of the Ottoman Empire. Today his birthplace is known as Thessaloniki, in modern-day Greece.
Ataturk was born March 12, 1881, in Salonika, which was then known as part of the Ottoman Empire. Today his birthplace is known as Thessaloniki, in modern-day Greece. (AA)

Ataturk died on November 10, 1938, at the age of 57 in Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace. 

Every year on the same date, sirens are sounded at 09:05 am, the exact time of his death, while flags fly at half-mast.

Ataturk introduced free and compulsory primary education and thousands of new schools were built.
Ataturk introduced free and compulsory primary education and thousands of new schools were built. (AA)

Around the country, people stopped in the streets or stood silently at their workplaces to remember the leader.

He replaced the Arabic alphabet with a Latin one and introduced the Gregorian calendar to Turkey.
He replaced the Arabic alphabet with a Latin one and introduced the Gregorian calendar to Turkey. (AA)

At the Anitkabir mausoleum overlooking the capital, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among those who laid a wreath at Ataturk’s resting place.

Ataturk made Ankara the capital of Turkey.
Ataturk made Ankara the capital of Turkey. (AA)

“We are once again remembering our first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,” Erdogan wrote in a book of commemoration. 

“We are working day and night to bring Turkey to the level of contemporary civilisation. May his soul rest in peace.”

In 1935 he introduced surnames in Turkey.
In 1935 he introduced surnames in Turkey. (AA)

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, and Parliamentary Speaker Ismail Kahraman also took part in the annual ceremony alongside other senior politicians.

He never fathered his own children instead he adopted one son and seven daughters, including Sabiha Gokcen, who grew up to be the world's first female combat pilot.
He never fathered his own children instead he adopted one son and seven daughters, including Sabiha Gokcen, who grew up to be the world's first female combat pilot. (AA)

Ataturk was born in 1881 in Salonica, then a part of the Ottoman Empire.

He has a perfect military record which boasts victories and no defeats.
He has a perfect military record which boasts victories and no defeats. (AA)

His distinguished military career included repelling the Allied invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915 and then rallying Turkey to withstand the Allies’ attempt to carve up Turkey after World War I in the War of Independence.

As Turkey’s first president, he transformed the country through a wide-ranging series of modernising reforms.

Source: AA