From a country that struggled for existence within its borders, we have transformed into a nation that has a voice on every critical issue in the region and around the world, Turkey’s president said on Aug. 25 as he marked the 950th anniversary of the start of Battle of Malazgirt and subsequent Turkish settlement in Anatolia.
“We have struggled with all our might to bring our country to the level of democracy and development it deserves in line with the 2023 goals,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a ceremony in the eastern Turkish province of Bitlis.
He called on the younger generations to work for placing Turkey among the most powerful countries in the world in all respects.
“Only a little time is left for the future that symbolizes trust, stability, prosperity, justice, conscience, morality that we have built with our younger generations, for ourselves and all our friends,” he said.
“From now on, we will not allow anyone or any segment to inflict loss to our country, our young generation.”
Turkish control of Anatolia began with the Battle of Malazgirt, also known as Battle of Manzikert, on Aug. 26, 1071, which saw the Seljuk Turks led by Sultan Alparslan defeat a much larger Byzantine army.
The victory accelerated the decline of the Byzantine Empire, and led to more Turks settling in the region, paving the way for both the Ottoman Empire and the modern Republic of Turkey.
Centuries later, foreign occupation prompted Turkey’s War of Independence in 1919, in which Turkish forces – led by Mustafa Kemal – eventually drove the invaders from Anatolia.
By the end of 1922, all foreign forces had left the territories, which became a part of the Republic of Turkey a year later.
Hurriyet Daily News