Where and When Was August 30 Victory Day Celebrated For The First Time? What is its Meaning and Significance?

august victory day
august victory day

Victory Day is an official and national holiday celebrated on August 30 every year in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to commemorate the Great Offensive that ended in victory under Atatürk's command in Dumlupınar on August 1922, 30.

After the successful conclusion of the Great Offensive, also known as the Commander-in-Chief Pitched Battle, as it was held under Atatürk's commander in chief, the Greek armies were followed to Izmir; With the liberation of Izmir on September 9, 1922, Turkish lands were liberated from Greek occupation. Although the occupation troops left the country later, August 30 symbolically represents the day the country's lands were taken back. For the first time in Afyon in 1924 celebrated the Victory name of the Commander in Chief on August 30, is celebrated as Victory Day in Turkey since 1926.

The Great Offensive was a clandestine operation planned and planned to enable the Turkish army to deliver the final and decisive blow to the invading forces during the War of Independence and to throw them out of Anatolia. Atatürk, who was given the authority of the Commander-in-Chief for the fourth time in the session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 20 July 1922, took the decision to attack in June and carried out the preparations in secret. The Great Offensive began in Afyon on the night of the 26th to the 27th of August, and ended with the victory of the Turkish army, with the destruction of the enemy units besieged around Aslıhan in the Battle of Dumlupınar, which was personally led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha.

When was August 30 Victory Day Celebrated for the First Time?

It was celebrated as the Victory of the Commander-in-Chief on August 30 for the first time in 1924, near the Çal Village in Dumlupınar, with a ceremony attended by President Atatürk. The most important reason for waiting two years to celebrate the victory was that in 1923, the intensity of the new Turkey, both nationally and internationally, was at an extreme level.

At the first ceremony held in Çal village, Atatürk emphasized the importance of keeping the national spirit alive and laid the foundation of the Unknown Soldier Monument with his wife Latife Hanım.

The Victory of the Commander-in-Chief has been celebrated as Victory Day since 1926. In the Victory Day Law adopted on April 1, 1926, it is stated that August 30, the day of the Battle of the Commander-in-Chief, is the Victory Day of the army and navy of the Republic, and that this feast day will be celebrated by the land, navy and air forces on every anniversary. In the same year, a circular issued by Recep Peker, the Minister of Defense at the time, stated in detail what to do during the festive ceremonies. However, until the mid-1930s, the Great Victory celebration or commemoration, which took place on a high level like the first ceremony, was not held. Due to the fact that the Air Force has an important place in the defense of the country, the Aircraft Society has named the date of August 30 as "Aircraft Day".

Especially since the 1960s, more comprehensive and participatory celebrations have been made for the Victory Day. August 30 was the day of their graduation ceremonies of military schools in Turkey; In addition, all officer and petty officer rank changes take effect on this date. Victory Day has been celebrated for many years as a holiday where the Chief of General Staff accepted congratulations; this situation has changed since 2011, when President Abdullah Gül hosted the celebrations as the Commander-in-Chief.

August 30 Victory Day Celebrations

August 30 is a public holiday in Turkey. Celebrations and ceremonies held in the capital Ankara and outside Ankara on Victory Day are regulated by the “Regulation for Ceremonies and Celebrations to be held on National and Official Holidays and Local Liberation Days, Atatürk Days and Historical Days”. According to this regulation, which was renewed in 2012:

Victory Day ceremonies are carried out by the General Directorate of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the General Staff.
The ceremonies start at 30:07.00 on August 24.00 and end at 12.00:XNUMX. Twenty-one pare balls are shot in the capital at XNUMX:XNUMX.
The President visits Anıtkabir and lays a wreath; The presidency accepts its congratulations, celebrates the feast of the people and participants of the ceremony. The Victory Day reception is given by the President.

Outside the capital, a wreath is placed on the Atatürk monument or bust by the local administrative authority, the garrison commander and the mayor. He receives congratulations with the garrison commander and the mayor in the office of the local governor. The feast of the people and the participants of the ceremony is celebrated, and the flag is raised with the Turkish National Anthem. The ceremony is greeted by the local governor, the garrison commander and the mayor from the tribune of honor. Victory Day reception is given by the governor.

Due to the terrorist incidents in 2015, celebrations were performed only by laying wreaths and accepting congratulations; Other festivities, concerts, entertainment and celebratory activities were not realized.

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