Victory Day in Turkey

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

This public holiday is also used to honor Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Because this is a public holiday in Turkey, it’s a day when many places close for the day. 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 would become 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 Dumlupinar took place in the Kutahya 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 Ataturk 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 Dumlupinar. It wasn’t officially proclaimed as a national holiday, however, until 1935. Once it was declared as a public holiday, it’s 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 that’s held at Ataturk’s Mausoleum in the capital city of Ankara.

All across Turkey and the northern part of Cyrpus, 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 Victory Day in Turkey celebrated?

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