President Erdoğan hosts Victory Day reception on 3rd day in office
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was sworn in as Turkey's first ever directly elected president on Thursday, is scheduled to host a Victory Day reception on Saturday- marked every Aug. 30 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who promised to use all his powers given by the Constitution, had repeatedly said during his presidential rallies that he will not hold a ceremonial position and signaled this change of the presidential post by becoming the first president to be sworn in without wearing a tailcoat. In the invitation letter sent to guests for the Victory Day reception, the dress code also did not specify details and only mentioned that guests are requested to dress in dark colors.
Erdoğan will host the reception as the commander-inchief of the Turkish army. Until 2011, receptions for Victory Day were given by the General Staff. At that time former first lady Hayrünnisa Gül was not invited to these receptions because she wears a headscarf. Until a short while ago, the wearing of headscarves was seen as a violation of the principle of secularism by the Turkish military and secular circles. With the normalization of military-civilian relations in the country, this perception has changed.
Victory Day marks the final battle in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922 led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. They key battle that secured the Turkish victory took place in Dumlupınar, Kütahya province against Greek forces. The battle began on Aug. 25, 1922, and ended on Aug. 30 of the same year. Victory Day is an official holiday and many shops, businesses and government buildings are closed. Military parades are held in major cities and Turks hang Turkish flags and pictures of Atatürk to celebrate the occasion.
Erdoğan, 60, took the oath of office in Ankara to begin a five-year term in which he has vowed to build a new Turkey by pushing through a new constitution and pushing forward with an ambitious development program. He has made clear that he wants to wield genuine executive power as president after becoming the first directly elected head of state, taking 51.8 percent of the vote in the Aug. 10 election.
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