World Bulletin / News Desk
Celebrations commemorating the 731st anniversary of the death of Ertuğrul Gazi, the father of Osman Gazi, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Söğüt Yörük Festival, were held in Söğüt, a town in Bilecik province, where the foundation of the Ottoman Empire is believed to have been laid.
Speaking at the celebrations on Sunday, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek emphasized the need for Turks to be united and strong if Turkey is to become a major country.
“Problems we will have. But the way to surmount the problems is to be united,” Çiçek said, noting that it was thanks to unity that Turks set up the Ottoman Empire in the past.
Describing Söğüt as a sacred place where Turks go to meet their past, Çiçek said, “We come here to revive our faith and belief we had at the foundation [of the Ottoman Empire].” He noted that the Ottoman Empire moved forward on the principles introduced by Sheikh Edebali and Ertuğrul Gazi. “This land is our homeland for eternity. No one should have any doubt about this,” Çiçek said, highlighting that Turks have been in Anatolia for at least 1,000 years.
Another high-level political figure at the celebrations was Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Stressing that Anatolia is a homeland for Turks, he said, “That's not something that can be negotiated.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), Mustafa Destici, said Turkey was going through a tough time, adding, “The global powers which are keen on getting their revenge for the past want to make Turkey smaller, and dependent on them.”