The founder of modern-day Turkey, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, was remembered 79 years after his death.
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 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.
Around the country, people stopped in the streets or stood silently at their workplaces to remember the leader.
At the Anitkabir mausoleum overlooking the capital, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among those who laid a wreath at Ataturk’s resting place.
“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.”
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.
Ataturk was born in 1881 in Salonica, then a part of the Ottoman Empire.
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.