UPDATE – World congratulates Turkey on 97th Republic Day


By Havva Kara Aydin and Diana Shalhoub

ANKARA (AA) – Countless world leaders and countries congratulated Turkey on Thursday as the nation marked the 97th anniversary of its transition into a republic.

On Oct. 29, 1923, commander of the War of Independence Mustafa Kemal Ataturk officially proclaimed Turkey's status as a republic, and got elected as its first president.

While Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev extended "heartfelt congratulations and best wishes" to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish people and the government, Pakistani leaders also sent felicitations.

President Arif Alvi said the fraternal relations between the people of Pakistan and Turkey go back centuries, and are embedded in a common religion, shared culture, linguistic and spiritual heritage.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s historical solidarity with Turkey, and said the two brotherly countries will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in the years to come.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said, "We are proud of the support that our ancestors extended during the Turkish War of Independence," and assured that his country would further deepen its strategic partnership with Turkey.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, and speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser also sent their congratulatory letters to the Turkish president.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Deputy Emir Abdullah bin Hamad, and Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa also sent separate congratulatory messages to the Turkish head of state.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also wished the Turkish leader and nation peace and prosperity.

The head of the EU-Turkey Friendship Group in the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki, released a special video message in Turkish language.

“Dear friends of the EU-Turkey. Happy 29 Oct. Republic Day of Turkey, approaching its centenary. It made the Turkish people equal citizens, Turkish women voters,” said the Polish lawmaker.

The Foreign Ministry of Kosovo, in its congratulatory note, said, "Turkey has supported Kosovo in all state-building processes, particularly the strengthening of our international subjectivity."

Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci said "Kosovo is proud to celebrate Turkey as a close friend and ally."

NATO also marked the 97th proclamation of the republic, which replaced the Ottoman Empire. "Retweet to join us in celebrating our Ally Turkey on Republic Day," it wrote on Twitter, with hashtags #Oct 29, #RepublicDay, and #WeareNATO.

Officials and foreign ministries of Iran, Afghanistan, Maldives, Albania, Lithuania, Latvia, Sri Lanka and Romania also sent warm felicitations and best wishes on behalf of their governments and the people.

Celebrations this year were limited to small-scale wreath-laying ceremonies and parades in memory of the republic’s founders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Erdogan, accompanied by ministers and opposition leaders, paid a visit to Anıtkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum, in the capital Ankara. He also hosted officials at the Presidential Complex.

Local administrations also organized separate events to mark the day.