Ataturk exhibit opens today in Taipei

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - Page 5

A photography exhibition featuring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, will be launched today in Taipei to mark the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.

The exhibition is to run until Nov. 11 at the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and features 120 black-and-white photographs chronicling Ataturk’s life and achievements, according to the Turkish Trade Office in Taipei, which organized the exhibition with the hall.

A commemoration ceremony and lecture on Ataturk’s life and the Republican era in Turkey will also be held at the hall on Nov. 10, the office said.

Turkish Office Representative Ismet Erikan said that the number of Taiwanese tourists visiting Turkey has been increasing in recent years, adding that his office hopes the exhibition will help Taiwanese better understand the history of the Republic of Turkey, which was founded on Oct. 29, 1923.

Earlier this year, Turkey granted Taiwan visa facilitation by including the country in its e-visa system, under which Republic of China passport holders can apply for a single-entry visa for a stay of up to 30 days at a cost of US$20.

The exhibition’s venue is meaningful because it is commemorates Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), the founding father of the Republic of China, so holding the event there is like “bringing the two founding fathers together,” Erikan said.

Ataturk was a war-hero-turned-statesman and the first president of Turkey, where he is revered as a reformist whose political, social and economic reforms helped convert modern Turkey into a secular nation.

He believed Turkey had to Westernize if it was to become a modern nation, the office said.