Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı) is a national holiday in Turkey, always celebrated on August 30th. It may also be known as Armed Forces Day.
Victory Day commemorates the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar which was the decisive battle in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922.
The day also honours the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
History of Victory Day in Turkey
Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, Turkey was occupied by allied forces.
This led to the start of the Turkish War of Independence in 1919, with the Turkish forces led by General Mustafa Kemal.
The battle of Dumlupınar took place in Kütahya province in western Turkey. Although foreign forces didn’t leave Turkish soil until the autumn of 1922, August 30th is accepted as the date of the Turkish army’s victory.
The Turkish Republic was proclaimed on October 29th 1923, in the new capital of Ankara. Atatürk was elected as the first President.
Victory Day was first celebrated on August 30th 1923, becoming a national holiday in 1935.
How is Victory Day in Turkey celebrated?
Victory Day is celebrated across Turkey and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is a celebration of the Turkish military and the Turkish republic. The main celebration is held at Atatürk’s Mausoleum in Ankara.
A ceremony is also held at the War Academy in Istanbul, with all military promotions made on this day, while marches are held in major cities across the country.