Turkey marks 70th anniversary of Republic’s founder

Turks have been paying tribute to the founder of their republic on the 70th anniversary of his death. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk remains a revered figure for many and ceremonies have been taking place around the country.

Thousands are expected to visit his mausoleum in Ankara throughout the day. Ataturk is credited with transforming largely Muslim Turkey into a modern secular state. The military and much of the establishment remain fiercely protective of Turkey’s secular status.

But the nation is divided over Ataturk’s legacy, with supporters of the ruling AK Party pushing for more freedom to express their religion. A recent film on Ataturk’s life has caused controversy, portraying him, among other things, as a drinker wth a fondness for women.

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