The Indonesian embassy in Ankara, Türkiye’s capital, celebrated its 77th anniversary of independence on Wednesday with a marching band from the Turkish National Police.
“We have been struggling for three and a half century to gain our independence so we know exactly what independence means (and) that is why the expression of independence is so intense because we experienced the colonization and a long struggle,” Ambassador Lalu Muhamad Iqbal said after the ceremony at the ambassador’s residence.
Indonesia declared independence from the Dutch Empire on this day in 1945, and Aug. 17 was declared a national holiday in 1946.
The Turkish band played the Indonesian national anthem and national songs during the flag hoisting ceremony and festivities, which were attended by members of the Indonesian community as well as Turkish guests who joined the celebrations.
“This is an expression of friendship from the Turkish to Indonesian people on its anniversary. A very touching way and makes the ceremony special,” the ambassador said.
“This is a different yet rewarding experience for us since Indonesia is so close to the Turkish people. We have (an) emotional relationship with Indonesia,” said Ihsan Birinci, head of the marching band.
Indonesian students, trained by Indonesian defense staff, based in Ankara, hoisted the national flag during the event. The ambassador also noted that around 3,500 Indonesian students have been studying in Türkiye.
The embassy held a celebration with Indonesian food and entertainment, as well as a bazaar with a door prize of two free round-trip tickets from Ankara to Jakarta.