95 years ago, on August 30th, 1922, Turkish National Movement won the final battle of the Turkish War of Independence, against the invading armies. This final battle in Dumlupınar was led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
August 30th, Victory Day is a reminder of the boundless bravery and sacrifice individuals demonstrate to protect their freedom and independence and ultimately of the unfathomable genius of the great leader Atatürk.
Following WWI (1914-1918), foreign armies gradually tightened their stranglehold on the lands of a defeated Ottoman Empire. On May 19, 1919, Mustafa Kemal and a small cadre of 19 patriots started the Turkish National Movement and took the first steps in launching the War of Independence against the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the foreign powers. The liberation struggle of the Turkish Nation and the establishment of a modern Republic became a symbol for emerging nations. The guiding principles of the new nation were based on the sovereignty of the national will, instead of the theocratic Ottoman system. Atatürk’s reforms modernized Turkish life and covered a wide range of subjects – in the political, social, legal, economic, and cultural areas – all introduced and established in a very short time period.
Early on, Atatürk declared that the nation’s internal and foreign policies would be based on the principle of “Peace at Home and Peace in the World”. This principle was carefully and successfully applied in Turkey’s foreign relations until recently. Sadly, the current AKP government’s controversial foreign policy fail to honor the “Peace at Home and Peace in the World” doctrine. Furthermore, other founding principles of the nation are also being systematically ignored and disrespected, to the point of officially banning celebration of the national holidays, including the August 30th Victory Day!
We are watching with great concern, as many critical changes are taking place in the structure of the Constitution, educational system and military, including the closure of the military schools and academies, and the revision of the national school curriculum. We will resist for a democratic order. Republican principles are symbols of the freedom and honor of the Turkish nation! We will proudly continue to guard Atatürk’s legacy and we are dedicated to defend our nation’s founding principles. It is our honor and responsibility to keep celebrating Turkish national holidays
Again, with undying respect, admiration and affection for Atatürk and his loyal comrades in arms, we wish you a glorious Zafer Bayramı.
— Atatürk Society of America