Many Turkish citizens arrived today in Thessaloniki to commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on the 75th anniversary of his death and pay their respects outside the house he was born in, in 1881. Mehmet Müezzinoğlu-–Minister of Health–was also attending and he spoke of Atatürk’s influence over the Turkish nation, his humanity and his dream of peace and national independence.
According to an article published in the Turkish newspaper Milliyet, entitled “Scandal on the train to Thessaloniki,” the group of Turkish citizens stopped the train on Greek soil at exactly 9:05 am and chanted the Turkish National Anthem. The anthem was sung to honor the greatly respected figure at his time of death, although the article in Milliyet stated, it happened in protest against the Greek authorities who were thought to purposely delay the train. The exact happenings remain unclear.
The same article, on the newspaper’s website, mentions that it all started on the Greek-Turkish borders when the Greek authorities took too long to check the passengers’ passports. Mr. Müezzinoğlu came into contact with the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and when he could not find a solution, he took a car to Thessaloniki in order to be in front of Atatürk’s birthplace at exactly 9:05 am, the exact time of his death.