Fethiye Photo: A New Atatürk Statue For The New Town Square

Today, is the anniversary of the death of founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk passed away in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul at 9:05 am on November 10th, 1938. Every year, at 9:05 am, a minute’s silence is observed by people all over Turkey. In some towns and cities, even the traffic will come to a standstill.

In Fethiye, a new town square has been constructed over recent months and, at the head of the square, a new statue of Atatürk has been erected.

Beşkaza Meydanı, Fethiye

A statue of Atatürk for the new town square, Beşkaza Meydanı

Fethiye does already have a statue of Atatürk (as do all of Turkey’s towns and cities) but, because of the way the town has developed, it’s no longer in a very prominent position. No danger of that with the new statue. A vast marble square on the edge of Fethiye harbour is the new home for official gatherings in front of the statue. At 8:30 this morning, people gathered here to commemorate the anniversary of Atatürk’s death.

Fethiye’s new Atatürk statue features Atatürk with a child. Each part of the statue and plinth has symbolic meaning and information boards at either side of the statue explain the meanings. They’re written in Turkish and English for those who are interested. We read the boards because the design is so different to any other Atatürk statues we’ve seen so we were curious.

The little girl, for example, symbolises the future of Turkey. Atatürk placed great importance on teachers (Turkey has a much celebrated National Teachers’ Day) for educating the youth. Atatürk’s clothes are a mixture of military and civilian, symbolising both his military career and his time as a reformist leader.

As well as the statue of Atatürk, Fethiye’s new town square and adjoining Uğur Mumcu Park boasts seating areas, clock tower, kiosks and fountains with mutli-coloured lighting. We’ll do a full feature post on the whole area as soon as everything is completed.

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  1. very interesting. it is a pleasure to see a country praises it’s teachers.

  2. @ Jaz: Yes, the teachers get a lot of praise in Turkey. They still deserve more wages than they get though, just like all the other teachers of the world. 🙂

  3. . . nice to see a bit more imagination being shown. Well done, Fethiye!

  4. @ Alan: Certainly a very different statue of Atatürk. Even the pillars and the steps have symbolic meaning, too. We got a bit lost with some of the bits of history we’re not familiar with but love the design.

  5. This is a lovely statue. We have just returned from Turkey and love the new park area in Fethiye. Why, on the dates on this statue, is the one number 8 on its side? Is there a reason for this – it can’t possibly be a mistake?

  6. @ julesbob0303: Great statue, isn’t it? You’ll see t-shirts and cups etc with the 8 on its side, too. It’s common branding for his date of death and a number 8 on its side is the mathematical symbol for infinity, so we guess it symbolises that his memory and the Turkish Republic will live on.

  7. thanks for the reply julia, very interesting! we knew it couldnt possibly be a mistake!!!

  8. @ julesbob0303: You’re welcome. Barry’s the mathematician in the household. He’s the one who knew about the infinity symbol. Made sense after that. 🙂

  9. it is an amazing statue and a great monument for turkish people. Something to be proud of. Thank you Fethiye

  10. @ M: Vural: Yes it is an amazing statue and a great asset to Fethiye. we’ve already seen group from different places in Muğla coming to have their photos taken in front of it.

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