The Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 10.
"The Republic of Turkey, just like our previous states that are a continuation of one another, is also a continuation of the Ottomans," Erdoğan said in remarks he made during a commemoration ceremony to mark the centenary of the death of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II at the Yıldız Palace in Istanbul.
"Of course, the borders have changed. Forms of government have changed... But the essence is the same, soul is the same, even many institutions are the same."
Erdoğan added this is why Sultan Abdulhamid is one of the "most important, most visionary and most strategic minded" individual that made his mark in recent 150 years.
Sultan Abdulhamid II, the son of Sultan Abdulmecid, died in 1918, and was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
Erdoğan also criticized those with "bigoted" viewpoints about Sultan Abdulhamid.
"Some people insistently try to start this country's history from 1923. Some unrelentingly try to break us from our roots and ancient values," he added.
Erdoğan said the big picture brings character and memory to a nation.
"We take pride in our history without making discrimination," the leader added on the day eleven Turkish soldiers were killed in cross-border operations.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" to clear People's Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria.