An international yacht race kicked off on the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul on Thursday, marking the 97th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.
The race, organized for the first time this year by the Istanbul Offshore Yacht Racing Club under the auspices of the Turkish presidency, started off the Dolmabahce Palace along the shores of Bosphorus on the European side of the city with a ceremony.
A minute's silence was held to honor Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, who lost his life in 1938.
The teams attended the ceremony at their respective yachts on the strait, one of the busiest waterways in the world, flowing between the Asian and European parts of Istanbul.
In addition to the Turkish teams, 650 athletes and 61 yachts from neighboring countries such as Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine will compete in the race, which will run until Sunday, press reports said.
Ataturk declared the republic in 1923, ending the rule of the Ottoman Empire.