Out With The Old National Rituals

A major change: the end of the iconic Kemalist national displays and rituals that included stadiums of costumed and choreographed youth (sometimes wearing Ataturk masks), ten-story banners of Ataturk, military displays, and in some regional centers, “reenactments” of victories over “foreign forces” like Armenians that in one case featured young Turkish boys dressed as soldiers, splashed with fake blood and playing dead, their “bodies” partly wrapped in Turkish flags.

The government has significantly overhauled and scaled down official ceremonies on national holidays and commemoration days, removing the controversial reenactment demonstrations of Turkish victories over hostile forces and further curbing the profile of the military.

Under a regulation issued by the Cabinet and published in the Official Gazette over the weekend, only the Republic Day of Oct. 29 will be celebrated as a state event, under the patronage of the President, who will lead the ceremony at Atatürk’s mausoleum and host a reception in the evening at Çankaya Palace. The new regulation also confirmed the President’s takeover of the Victory Day celebrations on Aug. 30 from the chief of general staff, who had up to now always received the greetings and hosted the reception at military facilities. Victory Day will be the only national holiday to retain a military parade. However, the highest administrative official will lead provincial ceremonies, accompanied by the local commander and the mayor…

The celebration of National Sovereignty and Children’s Day on April 23 and The Day of Youth and Remembrance of Atatürk on May 19 will no longer include official ceremonies, parades and lavish shows at stadiums… (click here)

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