Thousands of people on Tuesday flocked to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Ankara to commemorate the founding father of Republic of Turkey who passed away 77 years ago. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker Ismet Yilmaz and other senior political figures also attended the commemoration ceremony at the mausoleum, known as Anitkabir.
Erdoğan signed the official Anitkabir memorial book at the Misak-ı Milli (National Pact) Tower and wrote: "We are continuing to work tirelessly towards the goal you set of 'reaching the and going beyond the level of contemporary civilization'. Despite internal and external enemies, we will have fulfilled your will by reaching the targets we have set for 2023, which is the centenary of our Republic."
Daily life stopped for two minutes, beginning at 9.05 a.m., local time the time of Ataturk's death. Sirens wailed throughout Turkey, and people observed two minutes of silence.
Ataturk was born in 1881 in Thessaloniki in what was then the Ottoman Empire. He made his mark in the military in 1915 when he led forces to repel the allied invasion in Canakkale, known in the West as the Dardanelles.
Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, Ataturk led the Turkish War of Independence, which defeated European powers. When he became president, Ataturk transformed the former empire into a modern and secular country.
Ataturk passed away on November 10, 1938, at the age of 57.