Turkey marks Independence War victory
Turkish people celebrated Victory Day on Aug. 30 marking the anniversary of when Turkish armies succeeded in the Great Offensive under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk against occupying Greek forces on the same date in 1922.
“Our nation is ready to show the same sacrifice and courage for the sake of this homeland today as it did yesterday,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his written statement marking the 97th anniversary of Victory Day.
“We are determined to break all the pitfalls against our country in northern Syria, Iraq and the eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
“We will never allow the seizure of the rights of our nation and the Turkish Cypriots,” he added.
Erdoğan also honored Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - the founder of the Republic of Turkey - and wished divine mercy upon those who lost their lives in the battle.
Political leaders, senior officials of state institutions and the judiciary and the top brass of the Turkish military accompanied Erdoğan during the ceremony at the Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in Ankara. After the formal ceremony, Anıtkabir was opened to thousands of visitors who placed wreaths and visited the museum inside the complex.
Victory Day marks the final battle against Greek forces in Dumlupınar in 1922 and is dedicated to Turkey’s armed forces.
From Aug. 26 to Aug. 30 of 1922, Turkish forces fought the Battle of Dumlupınar in Turkey’s western Kütahya province, where the invading Greek army was decisively defeated.
By the end of 1922, all foreign forces had left the territories which would collectively become the new Republic of Turkey one year later.
“Armies, your first goal is the Mediterranean. Forward!” Atatürk ordered the army which would move out from western Kütahya on Sept. 1, 1922.
On Aug. 27, the Turkish Army liberated Afyonkarahisar from the Greek Army, Kütahya on Aug. 30, and İzmir on Sept. 9.
Two years later on Aug. 30, 1924, Atatürk attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Martyr Sancaktar Soldier Monument.
Addressing the audience, Ataturk said: “The Turkish nation has once again engraved this truth in the bosom of history with a steel pen with the victory it has won, the power it showed and its will.”
Turkey’s diplomatic missions around the world also marked the Victory Day.
The Turkish embassy in Jordan held a reception on Aug. 29 in the capital Amman, attended by senior government officials, diplomats and staff from Turkish institutions operating in the country.
Turkey’s envoy to Jordan, Murat Karagöz, said the country’s strength and willpower continued to defeat its enemies.
The country’s embassy in Sudan also held a reception with the attendance of foreign dignitaries, embassy staff and representatives of various organizations.
Turkish Ambassador İrfan Neziroğlu stressed the importance of Victory Day, expressing hope that the friendship between Turkey and Sudan would further increase.