Political figures including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu offered their condolences on Wednesday following the death of Turkey's ninth President, Suleyman Demirel.
President Erdogan issued a statement on Turkey's Presidency website saying "I have learnt with deep sorrow that our ninth president Suleyman Demirel has passed away. He will be always remembered for his important role and his service to our country."
"I offer my condolences to his family and our people," he added.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has also offered his condolences in comments made on his official Twitter account.
Davutoglu said "I have learnt with sorrow that our ninth president Suleyman Demirel, who left his mark on Turkish political history, has died."
“Demirel will always be remembered for his unique style and services for Turkey during his long political life,” he added.
Davutoglu also stated that Turkey will declare a three-day national mourning for Demirel and his funeral ceremony will take place in Ankara on Friday. After the funeral ceremony Demirel will be buried in his hometown, Isparta, on Saturday.
Speaking on Demirel’s death, former prime minister Mesut Yilmaz said “He was a great leader. I am grateful to have worked with him. I hope he will always be remembered.”
Former prime minister Tansu Ciller also said she is deeply saddened to hear of Demirel passing away. Stating that she and Demirel worked together for many years, Ciller said “He was a leader who devoted himself to serve his people and marked our political history with a great many achievements.”
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu also offered his condolences, saying “We lost a very important and valuable name in Turkish political life.”
Demirel passed away on Wednesday at 2:05am local Turkish time due to a respiratory infection and heart failure, according to a statement released by Ankara Guven Hospital.
He was one of Turkey’s most prominent centre-right political figures. He served as the country's prime minister seven times and was president from 1993 to 2000.
He was Turkey’s third longest serving prime minister after Turkey’s first prime minister Ismet Inonu and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.