Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaorğlu slammed the government over restrictions brought to Aug. 30 Victory Day celebrations due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“The republic was not established easily. There is pain and tears in every inch of it. How can the truth not be seen?” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters on Aug. 26 after a visit to Colonel Reşat Çiğiltepe’s tomb.
The colonel is a historically important figure in reflecting the mindset of the period of the National Struggle. He committed suicide hours after he failed to seize Çiğiltepe during the Battle of Dumlupınar.
“For this reason, we commemorated our commander today with love and respect. May his soul rest in peace,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Underlining the significance of Aug. 30 for Turkey’s success at the Lausanne Conference, Kılıçdaroğlu said that the day marks “the enemy being banished from Anatolia.”
“For this history, millions of people are still ready to sacrifice their lives, let alone the pandemic,” he said.
The CHP chief also accused the government of not knowing Turkey’s history. “I hope they will sit and read again about Veteran Mustafa Kemal and Colonel Reşat.”
“We need to make Turkey a respectable country again. We are already fighting for this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Last week, Turkey’s Interior Ministry sent a circular to the governor’s offices of all 81 provinces in the country, laying out measures for the upcoming Victory Day on Aug. 30.
After the ministry’s circular many took to social media to criticize the decision interpreting as “not allowing” any celebratory events for the Victory Day.
But the Interior Ministry on Aug. 23 refuted claims about any prohibition on the celebrations in a written statement.
The ministry’s statement underlined that the circular issued on Aug. 19 included precautionary measures to be taken due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and did not imply any ban on the events.
Hurriyet Daily News