İzmir marks 99th anniversary of its liberation from occupation
A victory march in which a giant 350-meter Turkish flag was carried by the people on Sept. 9 marked the 99th anniversary of the liberation of Turkey’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 Turkish flag raised to the sky.
“A freedom struggle embodied against imperialism under the leadership of Atatürk inspired the whole world,” İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer said, stressing that he is honored to be the mayor of the city where the story of freedom began and ended in victory.
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 read. Young people fascinated the spectators with waltz and tango dances.
One of the turning points of Turkish War of Independence was when Greek forces were defeated heavily during the Great Offensive in 1922, leading to the Turkish troops to reach the Aegean Sea on Sept. 9 with the recapture of İzmir.