Mustafa Kemal – who was granted the title “Ataturk,” father of the Turks – founder of modern Turkey, was commemorated today by Turks across the world. The Turkish leader of the early 20th century passed away at the age of 57 on November 10, 1938, of liver cirrhosis and today, more than 3,000 of his compatriots traveled to Thessaloniki, Greece, to visit his birthplace and the house in which he was born in 1881.
The Turkish visitors gathered at noon outside Ataturk’s house, on 24 Apostolou Pavlou Street, next to the Turkish Consulate, where they attended the commemoration ceremony held due to the 76th anniversary of his death. According to Turkish news, the majority of them were students from schools across Turkey. At around 1:30pm, Agiou Dimitriou street in downtown Thessaloniki was blocked as the ceremony started, while after its completion, the visitors toured the interior of his first residence, which today operates as the “Ataturk Museum.”
At the same day last year, the visiting Turks were no more than 2,500 and, according to local authorities, this increase is due to the fact that Ataturk’s death commemoration day is on a Monday this year, which helped many of them to spend the weekend in Thessaloniki and the surrounding areas, while today, they attended the ceremony, before their return to their country after a three-day holiday in Greece.