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Victory Day in Turkey

Last Updated on April 29, 2024

Victory Day is considered Turkey's most important public holiday, celebrating one of the biggest victories of the Turkish War of Independence (May 19th, 1919 – July 24th, 1923) fought against the invading forces in Turkey after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I 

Today, the date is celebrated as a public holiday with national parades, speeches, events, and visits to Anıtkabir, the final resting place of the great leader and founder of the Turkish Republic. 

ankara anıtkabir atatürk museum

How is Victory Day Celebrated?

Victory Day, celebrated on August 30th every year, holds a special place in the Turkish people's hearts and the country's history. It is celebrated nationally as a key factor in the Turkish War of Independence's success, determining the country's future.

On August 30th, the streets are decorated with red Turkish flags and decorations. Parades and speeches are held all throughout the country, and there are free concerts of Turkish musicians.

President addresses the country on national television, and many officials visit Anıtkabir (the final resting place of the nation's great hero, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), paying their respects to those who fought during the war.

How is Public Life Affected?

Victory Day is a public holiday in Turkey. So, governmental bodies will be closed during the day. While private institutions might work for half a day, you can easily find hotels, restaurants, and cafes. 

 

There are festivals and parades throughout the country, so public transportation might be affected depending on the day's schedule. We recommend checking the official accounts of your respective city to see planned events beforehand.

History of Victory Day

After the Ottoman Empire lost World War I, the Allies' troops invaded the country. The Greeks were one of the most notable forces, starting their charge from Izmir (May 15th, 1919) in the Aegean region up to Ankara in the Central Anatolia region.

 

However, a new force was rising in the country known as the Kuvayi Milliye, or National Forces, preparing to defend their motherland, led by the country's national hero, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. 

 

In 1920, the first parliament of the Republic of Turkey, known as the Turkish Grand National Assembly, was formed and started its defensive attacks during the same period.

After a year of preparations, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, launched its largest defensive attack, known as the Great Offensive, on August 26th, 1922, to banish all invading forces in Turkey, starting with the Greeks. 

 

After four days of warfare, Turkish armies won a decisive victory against Greek forces in the Battle of Dumlupınar on August 30th, 1922, which took place in Kütahya province in western Turkey.

 

This was a decisive result in the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923), establishing the foundations of the Republic of Turkey. After winning the Battle of Dumlupınar, Atatürk led his armies to Izmir, liberating towns along the way and finally the city on September 9th and exiling all Greek troops in Turkey. 

Girl holding Turkish flag

Victory Day Celebrations

Victory Day is a special public holiday in Turkey, regarded as the key component for the victory of the Turkish War of Independence. 

To honor this special date, many festivals, parades, and events are held, and the streets are decorated with bright red Turkish flags. Also, governmental offices are closed for the day, and public transportation might be affected in the cities. 

— by Can Turan

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