This will be my 100th entry!
Sun., Oct. 29 is Republic's Day, which is the closest equivalent to the 4th of July.
Turkey did not become an independent country perse on Oct. 29, 1923, but it was the date that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk formally founded the Republic of Turkey. Previously, Turkey was the Ottoman Empire. Though, Turkey has remained a strong democracy, the trappings of geography and a controversial history continue to cause perplexing problems across all sectors of the at-times politically and socially divided country.
As a Turkish-American, I look forward to this day each year and I feel fortunate that it has fallen a weekend this year. There is always a dinner at the Turkish embassy in Washington DC, as well as many local events. In our region, ATA-NC is hosting a day-long event at the University of North Carolina which will consist of discussions and folk dances. The Turkish students at Virginia Tech, who I have always been supportive of having attended college at nearby Radford University, are hosting a evening dinner at More Than Coffee in downtown Blacksburg.
Turkey continues to face many challenges ahead especially with the complicated situation in Iraq, which has alas caused political complications with the United States. But, I am hopeful that these problems will be resolved soon and even though I am highly poltically opposed to both George W. Bush and Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan, I am glad they have a cordial relationship given the present circumstances involved.
To find out more about Turkey, I recommend the following site: