Country marks Victory Day with parade but no arms show
AA photoThe official Aug. 30 Victory Day ceremonies in Turkey were held without the traditional parade of military vehicles this year, due to the July 15 failed coup attempt.
“Turkey is going through an extraordinary process. We have gone through a coup attempt altogether. Now when there is a fear among the people and when this trauma has not passed yet, things like ‘we will have parade ceremonies’ are not necessary, I think,” Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık said earlier.
The official ceremony started in the capital Ankara with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony in Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, with political leaders and military commanders attending.
Among those paying their respects were President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli also attended the ceremony.
The relatives of those killed during the July 15 failed coup attempt joined political, judicial and military figures in marking the 94th Victory Day.
The occasion also marked the first time a policewoman wearing a headscarf appeared in the ceremony, upon the latest amendments in the country’s dress code for security employees.
Security precautions were taken at Anıtkabir with barricades placed around the mausoleum’s yard. The soldiers participating in the ceremonies were let in after ID checks and passing through x-ray machines.
After laying a wreath, Erdoğan wrote in the Anıtkabir memorial book and said: “Today we commemorate the 94th anniversary of Victory Day with great excitement and pride. We are trying hard to preserve for all time the Turkish Republic with which you entrusted us despite all poverty and difficulties faced during the War of Independence.”
“The Aug. 30 Victory [Day celebration] should be a lesson, especially for terrorist organizations and centers of evil that today target our country’s unity and peace and its presence on these lands. The stance our nation displayed in the face of the July 15 bloody coup attempt shows still how alive the spirit of the ‘Great Offensive’ is in these lands,” the president added.
CHP marches to Anıtkabir
The CHP was scheduled to march from Anikara’s Kızılay Square to Anıtkabir after the Daily News went to press on Aug. 30.
One should not surrender the founding values of the republic, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu said while speaking at Victory Day ceremonies in the western city of Kütahya later in the day. “We are soldiers of Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk] and will remain so,” he added.
Victory Day on Aug. 30 marks the anniversary of the Turkish victory against Greek forces at the Battle of Dumlupınar, the decisive battle in the Turkish War of Independence.
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 the Aegean city of İzmir in May 1919 after the end of World War I, with tacit support from the Allies, especially Great Britain.