Turkey: Farewell to the last Ataturkist

August 2007, MEMRI Blog

The 10th Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who is described as "the last Ataturkist" by many in the Turkish media, visited the mauseloum of Ataturk to bid farewell before he left office yesterday. A tearful Sezer wrote in the special book that he now completed his duty that he carried out in loyalty to the core principles of the Republic, to his oath and the Constitution, with full commitment to Ataturk's revolution.

Later in the day he handed over the presidency to Abdullah Gul in the presidential palace, without a ceremony.

When the Sezer couple left the palace on their way to their private home in Ankara, crowds of people waited outside the presidential palace with carnations in their hands, shouting “Turkey is secular and will remain secular”. Sezer got out of his car to talk to the applauding citizens, many of whom were crying.

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