Zafer Bayramı

Tomorrow, August 30th, is a national Turkish Holiday.  “Zafer Bayramı” (Victory Day) commemorates the key Turkish victory against Greek forces in the Battle of Domlupınar (August 26-30, 1922). The outcome of the battle, which took place in Kütahya province in western Turkey, determined the overall outcome of the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923).  It became a national holiday in 1935.

“The Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, also called the War in Asia Minor or the Greek campaign of the Turkish War of Independence or the Asia Minor Catastrophe, was a series of military events occurring during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May 1919 and October 1922. The war was fought between Greece and Turkish revolutionaries of the Turkish National Movement that would later establish the Republic of Turkey. . . The Armistice of Mudanya was signed by Turkey, Italy, France and Great Britain on 11 October 1922.  Greece was forced to accede to it on 14 October.”  (Wikipedia). 

Map of Turkey with its Western Borders as Specified by the Treaty of Lausanne

 Turkey lost over 13,000 men in 5 days during the Battle of Domlupınar.

As with most Turkish holidays, tomorrow the Turkish flag will be proudly displayed at government buildings, schools, shops and homes.  On any given Turkish holiday, I believe I see more Turkish flags than I do American flags on the 4th of July.  The country becomes a sea of red and white. I am told that in larger cities there will be parades. 

Atatűrk & Turkish Flags

In Ankara there is usually a celebration at Atatűrk’s Mausoleum.  Two days after the Battle, on September 1st, Mustafa Kemal issued his famous order to the Turkish army,  “Armies, your first goal is the Mediterranean, Forward!”  (Mustafa Kemal Atatűrk is known as the founding father of modern Turkey.) 

Mustafa Kemal Atatűrk

As in the U.S., all government offices and schools will be closed.  Most smaller shops close for the day, but larger stores, supermarkets, and malls remain open.

For more information, see http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/turkey/victory-day,   and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Turkish_War_(1919%E2%80%931922) .

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