Ambassador Oktay said this National Day was being celebrated with joy and pride. "The centenary in 2023 is only four years away," he said. "In the hectic pace of modern life, time indeed appears to fly."

The ambassador said modern Turkey is the creation of its visionary leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was able to rally his nation behind the ideals of freedom, independence and national sovereignty, under extremely unfavourable conditions. "He was not only a great commander on the battlefield but also a great statesman who, after winning the War of Liberation, took off his military uniform and placed his nation on an irreversible path of reform, renewal and modernisation."

As the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Kemal Atatürk served as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938.

"Whatever Turkey has accomplished in the past 96 years in terms of economic, social, political and cultural development, we owe it to the sound principles and foundations upon which he established the Turkish Republic," Ambassador Oktay said. "That is why year after year, our nation's respect and love for him grow even stronger. And on November 10, we will commemorate him on the 81st anniversary of his passing by reaffirming our determination to defend and cherish the land he bequeathed to us.

"Our state in its present form may be relatively young but the history of the Turks and Turkey goes back thousands of years. We are blessed to be living in a homeland richly endowed with the remnants of many ancient civilisations.

"In Turkey, the current year was designated as the Year of Göbeklitepe, the site of the oldest temple in the world which is located near Şanlıurfa, one of the historic cities in Southeast Anatolia. Therefore, Göbeklitepe is the main theme of our reception. We hope the videos being shown and the small exhibition we are staging here will provide some insight into this 12,000-year-old landmark which was also included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2018."

The ambassador said history is also one of the defining features of Turkey's current friendship with Hungary. "The roots of our respective nations can be traced back to the same origins in Asia. That was one of the reasons Hungary became an observer member to the Turkic Council, where it was warmly welcomed.

"Today Turkey and Hungary enjoy solid and mutually beneficial cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields. We are confident that the upcoming official visit of His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, to Hungary, will give a new impetus to our strategic partnership and make it even stronger."

The President's message

President Erdoğan delivered his annual message on the October 29 celebration, saying he would like to congratulate the Republic Day of Turkey's citizens, who live in 81 provinces of the country and abroad.

"I thank to all our friends who share the joy of this very important milestone of our history with us," President Erdoğan said. "Happy 96th anniversary for the proclamation of our Republic. I remember with respect all our heroes, to start with Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who contributed to the victory in our Independence War with a century-old glorious past and to the foundation of our new state.

"Turkey is a country that has maintained its struggle for independence from beginning till the end through the National Assembly, which represents the national will.

"I would like to express my gratitude to all the deputies who have worked for the development, strengthening and progress of our country so far from our Grand National Assembly, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

"I wish Allah's mercy upon our martyrs who paid the price so that we could live in the most favourite and disputed geographical area of the world for a thousand years."

President Erdoğan said that as a nation and as a state, Turkey has been in a historic struggle again in recent years in order to protect its existence and future. All the events the country had experienced such as the attacks of terrorist organisations, the treacherous coup attempt of July 15, 2016 and others are manifestations of this historical struggle, he said.

"Operation Euphrates Shield, Operation Olive Branch and Operation Peace Spring, which we have conducted in Syria, are also parts of this struggle.

"We are conducting a struggle similar to our Independence War, which we started a century ago and crowned by establishing our new Republic, with different images and methods.

"All kinds of plots and mischief aimed at disrupting our national unity and solidarity are displayed.

The security of our borders, our economy and similar important issues are under multi-faceted attacks which target our sovereignty and continue uninterrupted."

He said that Turkey, with its long history, its deeply rooted governing experience and almost century-long accumulations as a Republic, has the power, capability and determination to overcome all these problems.

"As a matter of fact, with the help of Allah, with the support of our nation, we foiled all the traps set against our country one by one.

"I sincerely believe that we will successfully conclude this important process as well, in accordance with the vision of those who left our Republic to us as a legacy.

"By bringing our country to its 2023 goals, we will give the next generations the opportunity to fulfil their 2053 and 2071 visions.

"Hopefully, we will move our Republic forward in a much stronger and more prosperous manner.

May Allah's compassion and mercy be upon us."

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