October 29, the birth of the Turkish Republic
Republic Day marks the creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. After Turkey’s victory in the War of Independence (1919-1923), the Turkish parliament proclaimed the new Turkish state as a republic. A new constitution, which the parliament adopted on October 29, 1923, replaced the constitution of the Ottoman Empire. The leader in the Turkish War of Independence, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, became the country’s first president on the same day. According to Atatürk, Republic Day is Turkey’s most important holiday.
Many people go to local stadiums on October 29 to watch performances dedicated to Republic Day in Turkey. Such performances usually consist of theater sketches, poetry readings and traditional Turkish dances. Many school children participate in school performances for parents and teachers. Parades may take place in some cities and politicians may give public speeches on this day. Many people also lay wreaths to Atatürk’s monuments or visit Atatürk’s mausoleum in the country’s capital, Ankara.
In the evening of October 29 many cities have traditional processions with flags and musical bands to commemorate Republic Day in Turkey. The processions usually end with fireworks, which begin after dark.