Victory Day in Turkey

In Turkey, August 30th is celebrated as Zafer Bayramı, or Victory Day in English. This is a national holiday in the country and is also known as Armed Forces Day by some. This day commemorates the 1922 Battle of Dumlupınar, which was the decisive battle in the Turkish War of Independence.

This public holiday is also used to honor Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. Because this is a public holiday in Turkey, it’s a day when many places close. Government offices, banks, and the Turkish stock exchange are just a few of the organizations that close in honor of this holiday.

The History of Victory Day in Turkey

When the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI, Turkey became occupied by the allied forces of the war. However, this was a short-lived arrangement as General Mustafa Kemal began the Turkish War of Independence in 1919. In 1922, the Battle of Dumlupınar took place in the Kütahya province of western Turkey.

On August 30th, Turkey won the battle and their war of independence. On October 29th, 1923, the Turkish Republic was proclaimed, and Ankara was named as its capital. Then Atatürk was named as the first president of the country.

The first Victory Day was celebrated on August 30th, 1923, just one year after the decisive Battle of Dumlupınar. It wasn’t officially proclaimed as a national holiday, however, until 1935. Once it was declared a public holiday, it has been faithfully observed ever since.

Observing Victory Day in Turkey

This holiday begins with a special ceremony held at the War Academy in Istanbul that features a military parade, a Color Guard, and special promotions and medals awarded to members of the Turkish military. There is also a huge public celebration held at Atatürk’s Mausoleum in the capital city of Ankara.

All across Turkey and the northern part of Cyprus, there are special celebrations, parties, and military parades. It’s also a holiday when the general public has a day off, and many businesses and government offices are officially closed.

Where is it celebrated?
Turkey (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 30 Friday
Next year (2025)
August 30 Saturday
Last year (2023)
August 30 Wednesday