National days are so important not to forget our history. In Turkey, we attach great importance to national days and I would like to provide you with information about one of our national days, which is Victory Day. Victory Day is a 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 in 1922.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE WAR
The Ottoman Empire, defeated in the First World War, had to sign the Armistice of Mudros on October 30, 1918. With the Armistice of Mudros, it lost its political independence. Article 7 of the armistice allowed the Allied Powers to occupy strategic places where they thought their safety was threatened. The British, French, Italian and Greek forces began to occupy Anatolia based on the provisions of the Armistice of Mudros. Greeks almost occupied Kutahya. In June 1922, preparations for a general offensive began to expel the Greeks from our country. On August 6, 1922, the army was ordered to prepare secretly for the offensive. Mustafa Kemal Pasha held a meeting with the commanders. At the meeting, 26 August was determined as the day of the attack. The offensive would begin as a raid from the south of Afyon towards Dumlupınar. Then it would transform into a field battle, leading to the destruction of enemy forces. The Turkish army would attack from the strongest resistance center of the Greek front. The two armies were equal in terms of military and ammunition, but the Greek army had the advantage in terms of machine guns, cannons, aircraft and especially motor vehicles. The Turkish army held the advantage as the only cavalry. It was an undeniable fact that the role of the cavalry was very important in the wars of that time, where there were no tanks and motor vehicles for offensives and pursuits. Mustafa Kemal Pasha gave the order to attack the enemy on Saturday morning, August 26, 1922. On the morning of August 26th, Commander-in-Chief Mustafa Kemal, accompanied by Chief of Staff Fevzi and Western Front Commander İsmet, took their positions on Kocatepe to lead the battle. The offensive operations continued successfully on Monday, August 28th, and Tuesday, August 29th. The commanders, after evaluating the situation on the night of 29 August, deemed it necessary to end the battle quickly and decided to force the enemy to surrender. On Wednesday, August 30, 1922, the offensive operation resulted in the decisive victory of the Turkish army. Half of the Greek forces in Anatolia were destroyed or captured, while the rest withdrew as a group. In the face of this situation, Mustafa Kemal Pasha said that the Turkish army should pursue the Greek army and said, “Soldiers! Your first target is the Mediterranean. Forward!” gave his order. Thus, Kütahya was saved from the occupation with the August 30 Victory.