Turkey’s Izmir marks 97th anniversary of Liberation Day

Turkey's Aegean province was liberated from Greek occupation forces on Sept. 9, 1922

Ali Korkmaz   | 09.09.2019
Turkey’s Izmir marks 97th anniversary of Liberation Day

IZMIR, Turkey

A victory march on Monday marked the 97th anniversary of the liberation of Turkey’s Aegean province of Izmir.

High-level officials, including the mayor and lawmakers from Izmir, took part in the march, which ended in the city’s Cumhuriyet (Republic) Square.

As part of the march, troops with horses entered the city, with Turkish flag raised to the sky.

Underlining the importance of Sept. 9 victory in Turkish history, Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer said: “Today, we aim to take Izmir and our country to the future with unity, integrity, collective conscience and wisdom.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s message was also read out at the ceremony.

Sept. 9 is a local holiday commemorating the Liberation of Izmir, Turkey’s western province.

On May 15, 1919, the Greek Army landed in Izmir with the permission of the Entente States, sparking a campaign against the occupying forces in the country.

Forming the National Forces (Kuvayi Milliye) as a means of armed resistance against the invaders, Turks knew that there were only two possible choices: either surrender to the occupation forces or fight against them.

On Sept. 9, 1922, Izmir was liberated by Turkish troops commanded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and foreign intervention in Anatolia come to an end.

The Treaty of Lausanne, a crucial agreement ending the war, was signed on July 24, 1923.

The Treaty of Lausanne -- signed by Turkey on one side and Britain, France, Italy, Greece, and their allies on the other -- recognized the modern Turkish state and replaced the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, an unfair pact imposed on the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

* with writings and contributions from Rabia Iclal Turan

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