Turkish photojournalist Serkan Gurbuz shares photos of Turkey’s Republic Day in Ankara, the country’s capital.
I took these at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular Republic of Turkey. At least a couple hundred thousand people, the majority of whom are critical of the policies of Turkey’s current Islamist-rooted AKP government, marched to Anitkabir to show their appreciation and respect for founding our secular democracy and introducing rights, which were beyond the imagination in 1920′s. For instance, Ataturk brought about women’s suffrage to Turkey before Spain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and many others. The society is divided almost in half over the current Erdogan administration’s attempts to dilute Turkish secularism and silence critics. According to a report released on Oct. 22 by the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey now has more imprisoned journalists than any other country, by a factor of just less than two. Iran comes second, with 42 incarcerations; Eritrea third, with 28; and China, a communist dictatorship with a population of 1.35 billion, comes fourth at 27.
See more of Serkan’s work on his website.