Undoubtedly, there are important days in the history of every nation. And one of the most important days in Turkish history is the 30th of August, the day of victory. On this day, the Commander-in-Chief Mustafa Kemal Atatürk launched a major counter-offensive to defeat the occupying enemy forces, which culminated in a resounding victory. In memory of August 30, 1922, when the Field Battle of the Commander-in-Chief was won, the 30th of August was declared a national holiday. The Victory Day is celebrated ceremoniously with great joy and enthusiasm in Turkey, as well as in our foreign embassies and Cyprus. Let’s take a closer look at what this symbolic day means for our nation.
On September 9, 1922, Turkey was liberated from enemy occupation
The Great Offensive, also referred to as the “Field Battle of the Commander-in-Chief” because Atatürk was the Commander-in-Chief, ended successfully on August 30, 1922. The Greek Armies were pushed as far back as İzmir, which was finally liberated on September 9, 1922. The occupying forces left the country after a while. A while later, August 30 came to symbolize the great victory. This great day was celebrated for the first time in 1924 in the village of Çal in Dumlupınar. The celebration was called the “Victory of the Commander-in-Chief”. From 1926 onwards, it was referred to as the “Victory Day”.
The attack starts in Afyon
The Great Offensive was the last and final step in the defeat of the occupying forces. The decision for this secret military operation was taken by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to whom authority as the commander-in-chief had been granted for the fourth time in the July 20, 1922 session of the Great National Assembly. The planning of the offensive, which had been decided on in June, was carried out in secrecy. The Great Offensive began in Afyon in the night of August 26-27.
The first celebration was called the victory of the commander-in-chief
The first celebration took place in 1924 in the village of Çal in Dumlupınar. President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk also attended the ceremony. The reason why it took two years for the victory to be celebrated was the intense international agenda the country had been embroiled in in 1923. At this ceremony in 1924, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk laid the foundation of the “Monument of Unknown Soldier” with his wife Latife Hanım and stressed the importance of the national spirit. This important day started to be called the “Victory Day” after 1926. On April 1, 1926, the Victory Day Law was accepted. Every year after that date, air, sea and land forces celebrated August 30 with great joy and enthusiasm. The then Defense Minister, Recep Peker, published a detailed memorandum on August 30 where he gave a detailed description of the ceremony. August 30 is also referred to as “Plane Day Celebrations” to pay tribute to the Turkish Air Force that played a critical role in the victory.
Elaborate celebrations after 1960s
Especially after 1960, the Victory Day was celebrated more extensively and comprehensively. At the same time, the graduation ceremony of military schools in Turkey, took place on this important day. Also, non-commissioned officers and officers were promoted on that day. This important day is still celebrated with joy and enthusiasm.
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