State funeral held for Turkey's ex-president Demirel

President Erdogan praises 'statesman with his own unique style'

Baku.20 June. REPORT.AZ/ A state ceremony was held at Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on Friday for Turkey's ninth president Suleyman Demirel.

Report informs referring to the Anadolu Agency, Demirel, also a former prime minister, died late Tuesday night of heart failure due to a respiratory tract infection at the age of 91.

Demirel's body was brought to the Turkish Grand National Assembly after a ceremony in front of his residence Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci, as well as opposition party leaders and former government officials attended the state funeral.

Erdogan and Demirel's brother Sevket Demirel made speeches in honor of the former president following the reading of a biography of the former president.

Erdogan stated that Demirel had provided valuable services to Turkey during half a century in all areas of politics and within the state administration.

"Suleyman Demirel was politician and a statesman with his own unique style," Erdogan said. "He was a living history who witnessed both Turkey's beautiful days and dark days."

Erdogan wished Allah's mercy on Turkey's ninth president Suleyman Demirel and offered his condolences to his family, admirers and all Turks.

Demirel's body was then brought to Kocatepe Mosque, where the funeral prayer will be performed, on a cannon carriage through the streets.

Sevket Demirel thanked the state for the funeral ceremony.

Another ceremony will be held in Isparta province, in the ex-president's hometown, where he will be buried Saturday.

Prime Minister Davutoglu had earlier declared three days of national mourning beginning Wednesday.

Suleyman Demirel was one of Turkey’s most prominent center-right political figures. He served as the country's prime minister seven times and was president from 1993 to 2000.

With just over a decade in office as premier, he was Turkey’s third-longest serving prime minister after Turkey’s first ever prime minister, Ismet Inonu, and Erdogan.

There are many high schools across the country, a university, and an airport in Isparta province named after Demirel.

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