Today marks a monumental day in Turkish history – a day to memorialize the lives that were lost in Turkey’s final battle for independence.
Under the leadership of revolutionary leader and visionary statesman Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Anatolian men and women, young and old, fought in the ranks of the Turkish Independence Movement, with little or no resources but determination and passion.
The Battle of Dumlupinar was fought from August 26 to August 30, 1922, near Afyon, Turkey, marking the end of the Turkish War of Independence. One year later, on July 24, 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, establishing the peace by recognizing people of Turkish nationality and their new country as global equals, and defining the borders of the Turkish Republic.
August 30, 1922 was a turning point in Turkish and world history in four important respects:
- The victory of August 30 stopped western imperialism and colonialism in Turkey.
- The victory of August 30 paved the way for a popular revolution from theocracy to secular democracy, from empire to republic, from Ottoman subject to citizenship based on Turkish nationality.
- Turkey became a land of refuge for hundreds of thousands of people from the Balkans, Middle East and Caucuses.
- Finally and perhaps most importantly, the Turkish War of Independence and Atatürk’s Revolution established a precedent for all peoples who desire to be sovereign, independent and productive participants in the world.
On this day, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations commemorates those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Turkish War of Independence, commends Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s everlasting legacy, and expresses its gratitude to the millions of Turkish citizens who tirelessly strive and sacrifice to uphold the universal principles upon which the Republic of Turkey was founded.