İzmir marks 100th anniversary of its liberation
A victory march in which a giant 350-meter Turkish flag was carried by the people on Sept. 9 marked the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Türkiye’s Aegean province of İzmir.
High-level officials, including the mayor and local politicians from İzmir, took part in the march, which ended in the city’s Cumhuriyet (Republic) Square. As part of the march, troops with horses entered the city, with the Turkish flag raised to the sky.
Citizens who went to the balconies and windows accompanied the cortege with applause.
At the second part of the ceremony, military bands performed with its uplifting and heroic repertoire, while poems indicating the meaning and importance of the day were also recited.
Young people fascinated the spectators with waltz and tango dances.
A wreath was laid at the Atatürk Monument, while a moment of silence was observed, after which the National Anthem was sung.
Underlining the importance of Sept. 9 victory in Turkish history, İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer said, “The date of Sept. 9 is not only the liberation of a city, but also the day when an occupied and besieged country regained its freedom and independence.”
On the 100th anniversary of the liberation, it is our primary duty to renew the value of our national struggle in our memories, Soyer said, stressing that they celebrate the day as an expression of “their gratitude to all veterans and martyrs, especially Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.”
“I commemorate all our heroes, especially Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades in arms, who bequeathed us this beautiful homeland, with great gratitude and mercy,” Soyer added.
Turkish pop icon Tarkan was to hold a concert at İzmir’s Kordon, an iconic seafront promenade at 9:00 p.m.
One of the turning points of the Turkish War of Independence was when Greek forces were defeated heavily during the Great Offensive in 1922, leading to the Turkish troops commanded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to reach the Aegean Sea on Sept. 9 with the recapture of İzmir.