Final war veteran dies
The last surviving Turkish veteran of the Independence War (1919-1923) died yesterday in Istanbul at the age of 105. Mustafa Sekip Birol joined the Turkish national forces following his graduation from Edirne Kuleli Military School. He retired from the army as colonel in 1952. Sekip will be laid to rest on Friday in Istanbul. Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug is also expected to attend his funeral. President Abdullah Gul issued a message on Sekip's demise, saying that all soldiers fought during the nation's Independence War had a very special place in the nation's heart. "We all protect our country with the same will and determination forever," said Gul.