Yunus Emre Institute Celebrates the 98th Anniversary of the Republic of Turkey

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Yunus Emre Institute celebrated the 98th Anniversary of the Republic of Turkey in a series of events in Northern Macedonia between October 29-30, 2021. The program called "Towards the 100th Anniversary of the Republic" was held under the patronage of the Turkish Embassy in Skopje and with the Skopje Yunus Emre Institute as the host.

The events started with the October 29 program held at the Tefeyyüz Primary School, the century-old tree of Turkish education in Skopje. The audience had emotional moments during the ceremony held at the school, which was opened by the Ottoman Empire in Skopje in 1884 under the name "Tefeyyüz Iptidai Mektebi". During the program that attracted great interest from the Turkish and Macedonian presses, the show and folk dance organized by the students of Tefeyyüz Primary School as well as the poems read demonstrated once again how valuable and meaningful was the date of October 29, 1923 also outside the borders of the Republic of Turkey.

After the celebration at the Tefeyyüz Primary School, the guests moved to the Museum of National Struggle for the "Revolutions and the Republic" conference and the "Atatürk and the Republic" exhibition. The program at the museum started with the opening speech of Prof. Şeref Ateş, President of Yunus Emre Institute. Prof. Ateş emphasized the purpose of the event as follows::

"We wanted to organize a conference for our intellectual development in the 98th anniversary of our Republic and a photography exhibition to catch the moment in history and to acquire a different perspective on history. However, we wanted to organize a concert, cuisine activities and several visits for the purposes of discussing Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as a person who was raised on these lands, discovering the course, primarily Bitola, in which he received education during his childhood and younger years, and which created his culture and mind world, and evaluating the founder of the Republic of Turkey not only through historical events and his leadership but also as a human being.

Prof. Ateş ended his remarks as follows:

"We want to pursue the entrepreneurship, courage and especially personal qualities acquired by Atatürk in this geography as a human being besides him being a great commander, a great statesman and a strategist so that there can be hope for future generations and the youth. Therefore, we want to understand, explain and re-interpret Atatürk during the activities that we will carry out today and tomorrow."

Prof. Yasemin Doğaner, lecturer at Hacettepe University and a Member of Scientific Board at the Atatürk Research Center, took the stage after the opening speech and delivered a conference entitled "Revolutions of Atatürk and Achievements of the Republic". Prof. Doğaner started her speech with the issue of national sovereignty and the fundamental dynamics of Atatürk's revolutions and thoroughly explained to the audience the enterprises of the young republic under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from education to social life and from science to industry, its historical process, the transformation of Turkey, and the principles of Atatürk. Besides the researchers and scholars, Northern Macedonian General Staff officials also showed great interest in the conference in Northern Macedonia, where many studies are carried out and dissertations and books are written about the history of Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey.


After the conference, the guests had to chance to visit the "From Atatürk to the Republic Photography Exhibition", where 57 photographs acquired from the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Defense Archives were exhibited. The exhibition that included many unknown photographs of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was organized at the main hall where the famous stained-glass dome of the Museum of National Struggle is located. The guests who visited the exhibition that was organized in a layout that represented the star in the Turkish flag observed the documents of the revolutions and enterprises carried out in every field that started with the foundation of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on April 23, 1920 and continued after the proclamation of the Republic on October 29, 1923, and the achievements of the young republic in a short period of time via the photographs. The guests were also gifted an exhibition catalogue in which the said 57 photographs and their detail descriptions can be found.


The "Towards the 100th Anniversary of the Republic" program continued with the "Atatürk's Favorite Rumelian Songs Concert" at the most prestigious concert hall of the country, North Macedonia Philharmonic. After the national anthems of the two countries were sang, the concert program started with the opening speech of the Republic of Turkey's Ambassador in Skopje Hasan Mehmet Sekizkök and his delivery of the October 29 Republic Day message of the Republic of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The program was attended by the Northern Macedonia's President Stevo Pendarovski, Chief of Staff Metodiya Velickovski and many ambassadors.

Atatürk's favorite Rumelian songs voiced by Elena Hristova, the famous Macedonian artist, both in Turkish and Macedonian, won the recognition of the art lovers together with the Baklava band. The guests had emotional moments during the night in which Yusuf Emin, the host of the concert, told the stories behind the songs.



The final program of the night was the cuisine event which included the presentation and tasting of Atatürk's favorite Rumelian foods. The menu prepared specifically for the event included olive oil beans, bulgur pilaf, spinach Thessaloniki börek, semolina halva, and rose jam. Chef Ali Açıkgül, the famous flavorist of Turkey and the author of the Forgotten Tastes book, prepared the favorite foods of Atatürk and provided detailed information to the guests about the eating habits of Atatürk, the foods offered to Atatürk during his domestic visits, and the table culture of Atatürk.

The "Towards the Centennial of the Republic" events carried out in Northern Macedonia within the scope of October 29 Republic Day celebrations continued with the visits to Atatürk Memorial House and Atatürk Memorial Room within the scope of Kodžadžik, Ohrid, Bitola and Veles trips on October 30.

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