the Time Out Istanbul in English blog: never miss a beat

Missing Ataturk

Posted at 18:06 November 9, 2012 in City

There’s a good chance you were awakened by a loud siren precisely at 09.05 a.m. this Saturday. The reason traffic stopped, people got out of their cars and began honking; the reason everyone on the streets froze and stood at attention for a full minute was to pay their respects to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on the anniversary of his passing 74 years ago. The remembrance of Ataturk is not merely state business, a formal commemoration, just another day on the calendar in Turkey, but as evidenced by this dignified gesture of millions and by the tears in their eyes, a very personal business. The world has yet to see a leader as smart, competent and visionary as he was in all aspects of running a country. We revere and love him for fighting off the enemy and for our metamorphosis into a modern republic; we love him for his interest in fine arts, for his commitment to rational and positive thought, to education, to women’s rights, to a million other things that’s made our life today possible. We’re eternally grateful, and we truly, truly miss him.

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