The Turkish president on Tuesday commemorated the 82nd death anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Turkey’s President Erdogan attends commemoration ceremony in Anitkabir

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by ministers, leaders of political parties, and heads of higher judicial bodies and military commanders, paid a visit to Anitkabir, Ataturk’s mausoleum, in the capital Ankara.

“On the 82nd anniversary of his death, we commemorate the commander-in-chief of our war of independence, the founder of our republic and our first president, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, with mercy,” Erdogan wrote in the memorial book.

Ataturk and his fellow fighters emerged victorious, and created an independent and free country, he added.

The president said they will continue to work to leave a more prosperous, strong and prestigious Turkey for future generations.

A minute of silence was observed at 9.05 a.m. (0605GMT), the exact moment when Ataturk passed away at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul in 1938. He was 57.

The Turkish flag was lowered at half-mast, and the national anthem was sung.

Besides strict security measures, Anitkabir was disinfected due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After the completion of the official ceremony, the mausoleum will open for visitors at 4 p.m (1300GMT) to commemorate and pay their respects to their eternal leader.

Special events will be held in Istanbul and other cities as well.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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