The Turkish presidency posted video footage on its website, which showed citizens cheering President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his visit to Anıtkabir marking the 98th anniversary of Victory Day.
It is customary for the Turkish head of state to visit Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Turkey’s secular founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, on Victory Day. Victory Day marks the 1922 battle of Dumlupınar, which saw Turkish forces defeat Greek troops in western Anatolia. By the end of 1922, foreign occupying forces had left the territories that would become the Republic of Turkey in 1923.
Citizens who were seen to have been accepted into a limited number of areas during the ceremony cheered on Erdoğan with a distorted cheering rhythm.
Muharrem İnce, a senior figure in Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the party’s 2018 presidential candidate, called the cheering “disgraceful and disrespectful”.
“It is disgraceful, disrespectful that the cheerleaders brought to Anıtkabir shout slogans there in an organized manner,” İnce said on Twitter.
“In Anıtkabir, there are no slogans or shows. Only Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the saviour of these lands and the founder of our country, is respected, thanked and prayed for.”