Details added, first version posted at 13:22
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the cancelation of his Republic Day reception amid plans to travel to the southern town of Ermenek in Karaman where 18 miners remain trapped after a mine flooded on Oct. 28. Hurriyet Daily News reported
"We have entirely canceled tonight's reception. We will not hold it because we believe that, in regards to our values and traditions, it would not be appropriate to hold such a reception at a time when the hearts of all families [connected] to the accident are burning," Erdogan told reporters.
He made the announcement shortly after receiving congratulations from top civil servants and diplomatic corps, as well as representatives of civil society and the business world, at the newly built presidential premises, Ak Saray, which had been scheduled to hold the Oct. 29 Republic Day festivities.
Noting that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was set to travel to Ermenek shortly, Erdogan said he would also proceed to the town later in the day.
"We have still not given up hope. Our colleagues and ministers are continuing [rescue] work there; efforts are still underway," Erdogan said.