The Ataturk Society of America celebrated the Republic Day with a ceremony by the Statue of Ataturk at the Sheridan Circle in Washington, DC, on Saturday, October 29, 2016.  Loyal Kemalists gathered on a beautiful autumn day to celebrate the 93rd anniversary of the inception of the Republic of Turkey and to express their appreciation to our great visionary leader and 1st President, Kemal Ataturk who transformed the Turkish people from subjects of a Sultan to citizens of a secular, modern, democratic parlimentary state.October 29, 1923 is the date that is etched in our minds and hearts as the date representing the culmination of a long struggle by the Turkish people to free themselves not only of foreign occupiers but also of domestic forces holding back the progress of a nation in order to find its rightful place within contemporary civilization.