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How did you celebrate Ataturk’s 72nd Deathday?

November 10, 2010

I certainly hope it included the traditional moment of silence at 9:05 a.m. and several stirring renditions of the Istiklal Marsi. November 10 marked 72 years since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, passed away six months after being diagnosed with cirrhosis. During his last six months, he lived on the Savarona (subject of a recent scandal! Connect a Russian prostitution racket to Ataturk in two easy steps!) before moving in to Dolmabahce Palace. Today, tours of the Dolmabahce harem include the room where Ataturk died. You have the option of taking the tour in English or Turkish, and I highly recommend the Turkish tour if you have any Turkish at all, for the reactions of your fellow tour-takers. Also, the bed has a giant Turkish flag bedspread, because why wouldn’t Ataturk be tucked in under the flag of the country he formed?

But of course the real celebrations went down in Ankara this morning, centered at Anitkabir, Ataturk’s Mausoleum, where the political who’s who paid tribute at 9:05 a.m. There was also the traditional traffic-stopping-on-the-Bosporus-Bridge at 9:05 a.m. in Istanbul, and I’m sure all our readers in Istanbul heard the car horns at that time as well. Everyone stops for Ataturk. I’m going to end this post with a few pictures from a gorgeous photo slideshow up on Milliyet of Ataturk’s funeral procession; I highly recommend taking the time to go through the whole thing, although here’s a few highlights:

Ataturk's death notice

Funeral procession

Mourners line up to view the casket as it goes by

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