ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has achieved great development since the establishment of the republic by its founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and today strives for becoming one of the most developed countries, the Turkish president said on Tuesday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a commemoration event held on the occasion of Ataturk’s 82nd demise in the capital Ankara, paid tribute to the founding father and commented on development stages Turkey has gone through since its foundation.

Turkey’s President Erdogan attends commemoration ceremony in Anitkabir

Erdogan said Turkey was subjected to a “deep and nefarious” siege as today the country is once again and more strongly fighting its War of Independence, which was launched a century ago.

He added that Turkey aims to be one of the world’s top 10 economies, and achieving so would be the greatest gift to Ataturk, who mobilized the Turkish nation against occupying forces and established the republic from scraps.

Ataturk became the first president of the republic until Nov. 10, 1938, when he passed away in Istanbul at the age of 57 due to cirrhosis disease.

As a tradition, Turkish people visit Ataturk’s mausoleum in Ankara every Nov. 10 and pay tributes to him, and the daily life stops at 9.05 a.m. local time, sirens wail to mark the exact moment of Ataturk’s passing, with millions of people across the country observing two minutes of silence.

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