Thursday at 9:05am local time, people throughout Turkey – workers, students, motorists – stopped what they were doing to observe two minutes of silence.
They were paying their respects to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the principal architect of modern Turkey, on the 78th anniversary of his death.
Ataturk led the Turkish War of Independence against the occupation by Britain, France, Italy, Greece and Armenia, of most of the territory which now constitutes Turkey, after the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War l.
After he successfully led forces that regained Anatolia, the land that today makes up the Asian part of Turkey, he expelled the occupying powers and abolished the Ottoman Sultanate and Caliphate. Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey, moving the capital from Istanbul to Ankara, and embarking on an intensive programme of modernisation, secularism and national consolidation.
He served as its first president from 1923 until his death in 1938. His surname, Atatürk (meaning "Father of the Turks"), was granted to him in 1934 and forbidden to any other person by the Turkish parliament.
Here is the story of his life in pictures.