Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions celebrated the 100th anniversary of our Republic with a ceremony at the Darüşşafaka Ayhan Şahenk Sports Hall on Sunday, October 29th.
The 100th anniversary of our Republic was celebrated with enthusiasm at a ceremony attended by Oğuz Güleç, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Darüşşafaka Society; Zekeriya Yıldırım, Former Chairman of the Board of Directors and Member of the High Advisory Board; Zeynep Necipoğlu, Mustafa Uğur Demirci and Erman Süsler, Vice Chairpersons of the Board of Directors; Ambassador P. Nesrin Bayazıt, Prof. Dr. Feryal Çam Çelikel, Eşref Biryıldız, Secretary General Suat Çetin, executives of the Society, and students, teachers and employees of Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions.
"The Republic symbolized freedom and peace. It was the name of existence for hundreds and thousands of years," said Ebru Arpacı, General Manager of Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions.
The ceremony, hosted by Darüşşafaka High School students Nehir Selvi Ersoy and Yusuf Emir Korkmaz, started with a moment of silence, the National Anthem, and the Darüşşafaka Anthem. In the opening speech of the ceremony, Ebru Arpacı, General Manager of Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions, said:
"Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our Republic with enthusiasm, pride and hope. Atatürk declared the great secret that he said he carried in his conscience to the whole world 100 years ago with his speech at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The Republic became hope. All the victories won were crowned with the Republic. The Republic was the name of freedom and peace. The Republic was the name of existence for hundreds and thousands of years."
Ebru Arpacı addressed Darüşşafaka students in her speech, which was followed by applause, as follows:
"In the last century, we have accomplished great things and won wars, but in the new century, neither wars nor achievements will be won by the strength of fists or by trench warfare. If we want to protect our existence, our freedom and achieve even greater success, you must put your signature on Turkey's sustainability. You must complete the renewable energy and digital transformation and strengthen the infrastructure that uses clean energy. You must move to production based on advanced technology both in agriculture and industry. You must create an environmentalist and digital culture, promote digital citizenship awareness, and develop virtual cooperation networks for a fairer world. You should follow scientific and technological innovations and turn our country into a science and technology centre. You should specialize in fields such as artificial intelligence, genetics, space and agriculture, and gain a competitive advantage. This is what it means to follow the path opened by our Atatürk. To produce and get ahead, to think and be scientific..."
After Ebru Arpacı's speech, Secondary School Student Council President Petek Melek Arı took the floor and said, "Dear Darüşşafaka Family, I ran for the Secondary School Council Presidency this year and two days ago I learned that I won the presidency. I cannot describe my happiness. Since the moment we learned it, my committee members and I have been experiencing the joy of being rewarded for our hard work. As soon as I learned that I was elected as the president, I looked at the photograph of Atatürk in our vice principal's room and said, "I am glad I am in this school, I am glad I am studying in this democratic school. And once again, I was proud to be here.”
After the speech of Petek Melek Arı, Simay Nas, President of the High School Student Council, said:
"Friends, the way to make sense of today and to show the necessary care is not to reiterate the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk or to praise him. On the contrary, it is necessary to think like Mustafa Kemal, work like Mustafa Kemal, not lose hope like Mustafa Kemal and live like Mustafa Kemal. If we, as the Turkish youth, do not protect Mustafa Kemal's legacy, if we cannot understand him, we cannot be the true heirs of our Republic that he entrusted to us. For this reason, we must follow Mustafa Kemal's path and work with determination to raise our paradise homeland above the level of contemporary civilizations."
Ebru Arpacı, General Manager of Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions, presented the awards to the students who ranked in the Republic Slogan Contest. The contest, marking its third year, was organized by Turkish Language and Literature and Social Sciences Departments for the 100th anniversary of our Republic. In the contest:
Burhan Tokgöz won the first prize with the slogan “Ateşin Sönmeyen Közü, Kırmızıyla Beyazın Yeni 100’ü” ("The Unquenchable Embers of Fire, the New 100 of Red and White"),
Fatih Yılmaz was the runner-up with the slogan “Asırlık Cumhuriyet Bahçemiz; Sen Ektin, Biz Biçeceğiz” ("Our Centuries-old Republican Garden; You Sow, We Will Reap"), and
Rukiye Özçelik came third with the slogan “Sensin Yeşil Çatının Evladı, Sensin Cumhuriyetin Işığı!” ("You’re the Son of the Green Roof, You’re the Light of the Republic!").
The ceremony continued with great enthusiasm, featuring a magnificent oratorio and an orchestral performance titled 'On the Wings of the Republic, from the Past to the Future.
The theatrical performances of Darüşşafaka theatre talent workshop students, the magnificent zeybek performance of the folk dances team and the dance “100. Yıl, Buradayız” ("100th Year, We’re here") received great applause from the audience. The audience experienced emotional moments during the students' drama 'Bavullar' ('Suitcases') and the performances commemorating the 10th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries of the Republic while the flag display accompanied by Tarkan's anthem "Sen Rahat Uyu" (You Sleep Well), specially composed for the 100th anniversary of the Republic, was greeted with chants of "Long Live the Republic!".
The ceremony ended with the cutting of the cake prepared for the 100th anniversary of the Republic and the enthusiastic applause.
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