Turkey today marks the 97th anniversary of Victory Day, an occasion to remember the heroes behind Turkey's independence. Nationwide events attended by the country's leaders are being held to mark the patriotic day.
The last week of August is celebrated as Victory Week in Turkey to honor two key victories by Turkish forces, the Battle of Manzikert on Aug. 26, 1071, when Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantine army, opening the way for Turkish rule in Anatolia, and the start of the Great Offensive on Aug. 26, 1922, resulting in the Greek defeat at the hands of Turks.
The victory over the Greek military on Aug. 30, 1922 in the Battle of Dumlupınar, in Turkey's Aegean province of Kütahya, was the last large engagement between the two armies in the War of Independence, which began with the Greek invasion of İzmir in May 1919 after the end of World War I, with tacit support from the Allied forces, especially Great Britain.
Following the Greek army's defeat in Dumlupınar, the remainder of the disorganized and battered ranks fled back to the western city of Izmir, applying scorched earth tactics and destroying towns and villages along the 300 kilometer route. The Turkish army liberated Izmir on Sept. 9, which sealed the defeat of the Greek expedition into Anatolia, and hostilities ended with the Armistice of Mudanya on Oct. 11, 1922.
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