Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday to stand up to "imperialist" forces as he led centenary celebrations in the shadow of Israel's escalating war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

Erdogan took center stage during daylong events that both honored the republic's secular founder and played up the achievement of his Islamic-rooted party that has run Turkey since 2002.

"Our country is in safe hands, you may rest in peace," Erdogan said after laying a wreath at the mausoleum of military commander and statesman Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. "We will be successful and victorious. No imperialist power can prevent this," Erdogan added in an evening address in Istanbul.