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Ministry ‘allows’ laying wreaths on Nov 10

Written By THA on Saturday, 10 November 2012 | 00:30

This archieve photo shows students paying respects to Atatürk at Anıtkabir. DAILY NEWS photo

The representatives of political parties and NGOs will be allowed to lay wreaths at Atatürk monuments without official permission on Nov. 10, the 74th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, according to a circular from the Interior Ministry.

The circular, sent by the Interior Ministry to all 81 governorates in the country, underlined that it was obligatory for all district officials to lay wreaths at Atatürk monuments in the places where they are serving.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will not be attending the ceremonies in Ankara, as his return from the Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia has been delayed due to his surprise visit to Brunei. Erdoğan is expected to return to Turkey on Nov. 11.

According to the circular, contrary to past practices, the representatives of political parties and NGOs will not have to request official permission in order to lay wreaths at Atatürk monuments across the country. Those wishing to lay wreaths, however, will still have to inform the necessary district officials beforehand.

The circular also introduces new rules regarding public press statements. The Interior Ministry, citing public safety, has limited the length of press statements to two hours, and participants will not be allowed to use any sound devices other than handheld speakers.

Today’s anniversary ceremonies in the capital Ankara are set to be tension-filled. The General Staff has announced that ordinary citizens will be allowed entry to Anıtkabir, Atatürk’s mausoleum, only after 10.00 a.m., despite demands from NGOs that a minute of silence be observed in the area at 9.05 a.m., the exact moment that Atatürk passed away. (Hürriyet Daily News)
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