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Turkey Photo: Inking Ataturk

The face of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic, is seen in the process of being tattooed on a man's leg at Istanbul's first tattoo convention, which was held September 15-16. The owner of the tattoo stepped outside for a cigarette in the middle of getting the inking on his upper leg.

Images of Ataturk and his signature are popular tattoos for Turks, who want to express their belief in his secular ideals. Often, tattoo artists will give Ataturk tattoos for free on November 10, the anniversary of his death.

Many tattoo artists say the permanent ink image of Ataturk has become more popular recently as Turkey's ruling Islamist-based Justice and Development Party (AKP) gives fresh importance to religion in Turkish society.

Justin Vela is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.

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Turkey Photo: Inking Ataturk

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