President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remembered the sacrifices of Turkey's martyrs in the fight against extremism on the eve of three-day Eid al-Fitr Monday.
In his written message, Erdogan noted that extremist attacks had overshadowed the Islamic holy month.
"Terrorist attacks have continued despite the holy days. Our security forces, who have fought heroically against terrorism, are in fact making history," he said.
"I wish mercy for our martyrs, especially for those who have been martyred during the fight against terrorism for one year."
Erdogan also mentioned Turkey's efforts to normalize ties with Russia and Israel.
"We are developing our relations with Israel and Russia. The mutual steps taken last week give hope to the future," he said.
Last week, months of talks between the two countries finally bore fruit, with Turkey announcing that a deal would be signed, normalizing relations with Israel.
Under the deal, in addition to agreeing to Turkey's humanitarian presence in Gaza, Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims.
Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel were suspended in 2010 after Israeli troops stormed the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters, killing 10 Turkish activists.
Turkey and Russia also restored ties this week after falling out over the shooting down last November of a Russian warplane that had violated Turkish airspace at the Syrian border.
The Turkish president said Turkey was not only restoring broken off ties, but was also overcoming several crises caused by the Syria conflict and terrorism. "We are removing obstacles one-by-one," Erdogan said about the process of normalizing ties with Russia.
In a separate note, Mehmet Gormez, head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate, said in his Eid message that Muslims should celebrate the occasion through their prayers and remember the less fortunate ones marking the Eid through their pains and tears.
By Emin Avundukluoğlu
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