The founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, will be commemorated on November 10.
Turks all across the country will observe a minute of silence at 9:05 a.m., the time when Ataturk passed away on November 10, 1938.
Ataturk, born in 1881 in Thessaloniki, was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, and founder of Republic of Turkey as well as its first President.
Ataturk became known as an extremely capable military officer during World War I. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, he led the Turkish national movement in the Turkish War of Independence. Having established a provisional government in Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Allies. His successful military campaigns led to the liberation of the country and to the establishment of Turkey.
During his presidency, Ataturk embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms. An admirer of the Age of Enlightenment, he sought to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern, democratic, and secular nation-state. The principles of Ataturk's reforms, upon which modern Turkey was established, are referred to as Kemalism.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's mausoleum (Anitkabir) is located in Turkish capital province of Ankara and is visited by thousands of Turks and foreign tourists every year.
On November 10, daily life and traffic will stop at 9:05 a.m. for two minutes as sirens wailing and people observing two minutes of silence out of respect to Ataturk. Flags across the country will be flown at half-staff.
A total of 259,371 people visited Anitkabir on November 10, 2009. According to General Staff's web-site, 259,371 people including 785 foreigners visited Anitkabir.
On November 10, 2008, 232,177 people had visited Anitkabir.
First official statement regarding the serious health condition of Ataturk was released on March 31, 1938 by Turkish Presidency. Ataturk had his will made on September 15, 1938. Reports about his health condition were started to be announced on October 16, 1938.
As of the first days of November, 1938, people began to wait in front of Dolmabahce Palace --where Ataturk was resting-- every day to learn about his health condition.
Ataturk's last words were "what time is it?" at 6:30 p.m. on November 8, 1938. And he passed away at 9:05 a.m. on November 10. All institutions lowered their flags at half mast, and people were crying and sharing a national mourning.
Anadolu Agency announced the Turkish government's official statement from Istanbul on the day Ataturk passed away as:
"ISTANBUL (A.A) - Formal announcement of government of Republic of Turkey: Last report of treating and consultant doctors informs that Ataturk has passed away. With this painful event, Turkey lost its grand founder, Turkish people lost their Great Chief, and humanity lost a great child. With great suffering, we offer our deep condolences after this indefinable loss."
Ataturk's body was placed on a catafalque covered with Turkish flag in a hall at Dolmabahce Palace on November 16, 1938. Turkish people from all ages rushed the Palace to pay their respect for the last time.
Prof. Serafettin Yaltkaya performed the funeral prayer on November 19, and Ataturk's body was brought to Gulhane Park with a ceremony. Then, he was carried to Izmit town of the northwestern province of Kocaeli, and then to capital Ankara on November 20, 1938.
Ataturk's mausoleum had been in Etnografya Museum in Ankara for 15 years until construction of Anitkabir was completed. On the 15th year of his demise, November 10, 1953, he was carried to Anitkabir.
The centennial of Ataturk's birth was honored by the United Nations and UNESCO by declaring it "The Ataturk Year in the World". Ataturk is the only person to receive such recognition by UNESCO.