Two days after taking office, President Erdoğan to host Victory Day reception
Military personnel join their swords in a traditional celebration during the graduation ceremony at the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA).Despite having made clear that he would take an executive role in the presidential palace rather than the largely ceremonial role so far cast for the head of the state, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will still have to fulfill certain ceremonial duties. One such duty is attending a reception to mark the 92nd anniversary of the Turkish victory over Greek forces in the War of Independence, hosting a reception on Aug. 30.
Erdoğan has already begun to fulfil such duties, which will also require co-work with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the General Staff, as he attended on Aug. 29 a graduation ceremony at the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA) along with new Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, only a day after taking his oath as the president on Aug. 28. The graduation ceremony marked the first public appearance of the two together in their new capacities.
Victory Day, marked on Aug. 30, was won under the leadership of the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal 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.
In the past, the highest official level reception to mark Victory Day was hosted at the General Staff Headquarters instead of the presidential Çankaya Palace.
In an amendment to the regulation governing national and official feasts, ceremonies and celebrations passed in May 2012, responsibility for hosting the Victory Day reception was transferred from the Chief of General Staff to the president.
With the A-level protocol being implemented, politicians, members of high judiciary and the top brass of the TSK have been invited to the reception.
Accordingly, an invitation was also sent to the head of the Union of Turkey’s Bar Associations (TBB), Metin Feyzioğlu, but he has not yet confirmed attendance to the reception, reports said on Aug. 29.
Erdoğan and Feyzioğlu have been at odds since May, when the latter delivered a one-hour-long speech criticizing the government at a ceremony marking the Council of State’s 146th anniversary. Turkish politics then witnessed a first when Erdoğan interrupted Feyzioğlu’s speech, standing up and heckling the TBB head before walking out of the ceremony.
Earlier this week, the Council of Presidents of the Supreme Court of Appeals, decided to include Feyzioğlu as a speaker at the ceremony marking the commencement of the new legislative year for 2014-2015 on Sept. 1, in defiance of Erdoğan.