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    Thousands of Turks filed past the body of Mr. Ismet Inonu, Kemal Ataturk's successor, as?

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    Thousands of Turks filed past the body of Mr. Ismet Inonu, Kemal Ataturk's successor, as he lay in state on a catafalque in the National Assembly building in Ankara on Friday (28 December).

    Mr. Inonu, who served as President, Prime Minister and military leader in a public career stretching back to the days of the Ottoman Empire, died on Tuesday (25 December) at the age of 89 after a heart attack.

    The funeral parade began at the Parliament Building, where Mr. Inonu sat as a Deputy and Senator for 53 years. During the 24 hours his body lay in state, an estimated 250,000 people filed past in tribute.

    Grief-stricken crowds lined the cold streets of Ankara as the cortege made its way to the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

    At Friday's six-hour long ceremony, Mr. Inonu was frequently referred to as a national hero who led the Turkish Army to victory against the Greeks during the 1921-23 war.

    His coffin was placed under marble directly opposite the tomb of Ataturk -- the greatest tribute Turkey can pay its statesmen.

    SYNOPSIS: Turkey was a country in mourning on Friday after the death of its elder statesman, Ismet Inonu -- the man who helped Kemal Ataturk establish the modern Turkish nation.

    An estimated quarter of a million people filed past his body lying in state in the National Assembly building in Ankara.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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