ANKARA-Relatives of those martyred during Turkey’s July 15 coup attempt have joined political, judicial and military figures in marking the 94th anniversary of a decisive victory in the country’s 1919-1923 War of Independence.
It is the first time civilians have participated alongside the country’s leadership in remembering the 1922 Battle of Dumlupinar against Greek forces.
Turkish leaders on Tuesday attended the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in the capital Ankara.
Among those paying their respects were President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman and the Chief of Turkey’s General Staff Hulusi Akar.
Leader of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli also attended.
Deputy prime ministers and prominent judicial figures were also at the Victory Day ceremony, which commemorates the victory which took place in Turkey’s Aegean region on 30 Aug. 1922.
After laying a wreath, Erdogan wrote in Anıtkabir memorial book and said: "Today we commemorate the 94th anniversary of the Victory Day with great excitement and pride.
"We are trying hard to preserve for all time the Turkish Republic with which you entrusted us despite all poverty and difficulties faced during the War of Independence."
"Our beloved people, like 94 years before, left all their differences aside and became our main source of confidence," the president added.
The anniversary which heralded the end of Turkey’s struggle for independence comes as the country takes part in Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria.
This aims at improving security, supporting anti-Daesh coalition forces and eliminating the terror threat along Turkey’s southern border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish armor, artillery and jets.
Reporting by Aybala Arpaci
Writing by Sibel Ugurlu