President Erdoğan visits Anıtkabir as Turkey marks Victory Day
President Erdoğan and other attendees observe a minute of silence at Anıtkabir. Hürriyet photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZTurkey is celebrating the Victory Day on Aug. 30, marking the 92nd anniversary of the Turkish victory against Greek forces at the Battle of Dumlupınar, the final battle of the War of Independence.
The celebrations began with an official ceremony at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, which was attended by political leaders and military commanders.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç, deputy prime ministers Bülent Arınç, Ali Babacan, Yalçın Akdoğan and Numan Kurtulmuş were present at the ceremony.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also attended the ceremony although his party boycotted Erdoğan’s oath-taking ceremony in Parliament on Aug. 28. However, Kılıçdaroğlu did not attend the program at the Çankaya Palace following the visit to Anıtkabir, while Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli preferred to skip the entire program in Ankara and join the celebrations in Afyon.
President Erdoğan left a wreath on Atatürk's Mausoleum and the group observed a minute's silence afterwards, which was followed by the recitation of the Turkish national anthem.
Erdoğan will later attend a military parade and host a reception at the Çankaya Presidential Palace in the evening.
Victory Day, marked on Aug. 30, was won under the leadership of Atatürk. The victory over the Greek military on Aug. 30, 1922 was the last large engagement between the two armies. The war began with the Greek invasion of İzmir in May 1919 after the end of World War I with tacit support from the Allies, especially Great Britain.
In the past, the highest official level reception to mark Victory Day was hosted at the General Staff Headquarters instead of the presidential Çankaya Palace.
In an amendment to the regulation governing national and official feasts, ceremonies and celebrations passed in May 2012, responsibility for hosting the Victory Day reception was transferred from the Chief of General Staff to the president.
With the A-level protocol being implemented, politicians, members of high judiciary and the top brass of the TSK have been invited to the reception.