Your letters, Oct. 23

October 22, 2013 

Celebrating Turkey

On Oct. 29, over half a million Turkish Americans will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.

On that day in 1923, under the guidance of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Grand National Assembly proclaimed the Republic realizing the aspirations of Turkish people for freedom, peace and progress in their homeland. Through the ambitious reforms implementing Ataturk’s vision of modern statehood, Turkey transformed from its imperial past into the world’s first sustainable secular democracy with a predominantly Muslim population. Modern Turkey is also one of the fastest-growing emerging markets.

For over 60 years, Turkey has been a key partner in a vital region stretching from Eastern Europe and the Middle East to the Caucasus and Central Asia. Over 5,000 Turkish soldiers took part and over 700 of them fell fighting alongside the Americans in the 1950-53 Korean War. In the last two decades, Turkey considerably contributed to the NATO and U.S.-led missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan. With the unraveling crisis in Syria and turmoil in Egypt, Turkey’s role as an influential regional power and U.S. ally remains pivotal.

Meanwhile, within less than a century of immigration, Turkish Americans have left a unique imprint on America’s diverse cultural spectrum and have contributed to its advancement in the fields of business, science, medicine, technology and arts.

Ahead of this important anniversary for Turkish people, I join members of the Pax Turcica Institute to request a greeting proclamation or a legislative resolution recognizing Turkish Republic Day. Sample text is available at bit.ly/GYdg2O

Buket Aydemir

Durham

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