Turkey’s president on Aug. 25 marked the anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt (Manzikert), a historic victory for the Turks in Anatolia nearly a millennium ago, praising Turkish people’s determination to protect their independence.
The Battle of Malazgirt on Aug. 26, 1071 saw Seljuk Turks led by Sultan Alparslan defeat a Byzantine army and open up Anatolia for Turkish domination.
In a written message, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “Defying a host of attacks from inside and out, our people have clung to this soil for almost 1,000 years thanks to the soul of Malazgirt.”
Turkey’s biggest safeguard is the “determination of our people to protect their independence, their motherland, and their future,” even in the face of economic attacks, he added.
Erdoğan also released a separate message honoring Victory Week, which marks two key historical victories by Turkish forces: the Battle of Malazgirt and Great Offensive of Aug. 26, 1922, which saw invading Greek forces’ eventual defeat at the hands of the Turkish army.
He lauded the Great Offensive – the biggest military operation of the Turkish War of Independence – as a “milestone in the struggle for independence.”
“Our beloved people protected their national and spiritual values at the cost of their lives throughout history,” he wrote.
The 96th Victory Day on Aug. 30 commemorates Turkey’s victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, in the Aegean province of Kütahya, part of the Great Offensive.