Turkey celebrates 93rd anniversary of Victory Day
AFP PhotoTurkey celebrated the 93rd anniversary of the Victory Day on Aug. 30, which marks the Turkish victory against Greek forces at the Battle of Dumlupınar, the final battle in the War of Independence in 1922.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Parliamentary Speaker İsmet Yılmaz, Constitutional Court head Zühtü Arslan, Deputy Prime Ministers Numan Kurtulmuş and Yalçın Akdoğan, and the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) ticket, Tuğrul Türkeş, Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, two ministers from HDP, Müslüm Doğan and Ali Rıza Konca, Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, senior officials and high-ranking military staff first laid a wreath at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on a hill overlooking Ankara.
Following the state ceremony at Anıtkabir, another festivity was held at the Atatürk Culture Center, where Erdoğan and Akar waved at the crowd, ready to watch the ceremony in a cabriolet car and then watched a parade take place, mostly consisting of military personnel.
“We are still fighting to maintain Anatolia as our eternal homeland,” Erdoğan told the crowds. “No internal or external power threatening our existence will be able to cast a shadow over our independence and future.”
Victory Day 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.
Domestically produced military vehicles took part in the parade in Ankara. “Altay,” the national tank produced by Turkey’s defense industry, was put on display, while “ATAK,” the advanced attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter produced by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAİ), also joined the military parade.
The Prime Ministry released a notice Aug. 28 to limit Victory Day celebrations, endorsing an inconspicuous, rather than festive, celebrations because of recent violent incidents that have left scores of deaths and injuries.