The Turkish Embassy in Singapore commemorated the centennial of the Republic of Turkiye on Thursday with a special event at the iconic Gardens by the Bay. 

The remarkable Singaporean landmark served as the perfect backdrop for a grand celebration, bringing together Turkish citizens, diplomats, and distinguished guests for the occasion. 

The country’s national day commemorates the founding of the Republic of Turkiye on October 29, 1923, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The day marks the official end of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of a new era in Turkish history. 

Turkiye’s century

The event was graciously hosted by His Excellency Mehmet Burcin Gonenli, the Turkish ambassador to Singapore. 

Gonenli began by extending his greetings to the Singaporean authorities in attendance, followed by a brief reflection on the historical milestones that culminated in Turkiye’s establishment a century ago. 

He emphasized that modern Turkiye owes its existence to the collective efforts of countless individuals who contributed to the building of the Turkish nation. Today, Turkiye stands as a nation dedicated to promoting peace, with the president’s unwavering commitment to shaping the next hundred years as Turkiye’s century. 

The ambassador also highlighted the resilience of the bilateral relationship between Turkiye and Singapore, with a special mention of Singapore’s significant support during a recent earthquake. 

He commended the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s task unit for their invaluable assistance in the rescue efforts, describing their actions as a remarkable display of humanity. 

Gonenli expressed his gratitude to the sponsors, particularly acknowledging their generous support, which included a delectable Turkish buffet.  

He concluded his remarks by expressing his optimism for the promising future of Turkiye’s bilateral relations with Singapore. 

Shoulder to shoulder

Representing the Singaporean government, Minister of State for National Development of Singapore Tan Kiat How delivered a speech in which he conveyed his country’s support for Turkiye during a recent natural disaster that claimed thousands of lives and resulted in substantial losses. 

He also underscored the shared cultural values between both nations and applauded the collaborative efforts in education, trade, and investment. Tan congratulated the embassy for its Tulipmania initiative, held at Gardens by the Bay in 2023, and reminded everyone of the inspiration drawn from the commonalities shared by both nations. 

Following the speeches, the evening continued with a delightful feast and live music, adding a splendid finale to an evening adorned with red and white balloons suspended from the Flower Hall’s ceiling, symbolizing the colours of the Turkish flag.