Turkish Victory Day is Aug. 30

  • Published
  • By Mehmet Birbiri
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs host nation advisor
Victory Day is a Turkish national holiday that's celebrated Aug. 30. It's the day of the great and final victory of national Turkish forces over Greek invaders in 1922. 

The Ottoman Empire, which was in power for almost 600 years, was on the losing side of World War I. After the war, Turkey was divided and occupied by British, French, Italian and Greek troops. 

Since the Ottoman Empire had no power to resist the occupation, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk sparked the War of Independence and established national forces to drive foreign forces out of the country. 

After a long and tough struggle, Turkish and Greek forces converged along the shores of the Sakarya river. The battle was along a 100-kilometer front. During the battle, Ataturk told his troops, "There is no line of defense, but an area of defense ... and that area is the whole country. Not one inch of the country is to be abandoned until it is drenched with Turkish blood." 

For 22 days, forces fought chest-to-chest without interruption until Turkish forces crushed the better-armed and better-manned Greek army. This great victory led the Turkish troops to launch a final attack to clear the country of enemy forces. 

On Aug. 26, 1922, the Turks started the attack in Afyon and, after four days of fighting, the Turks won one of their largest victories, which was a turning point in founding the free Republic of Turkey. 

Turkish history is filled with many victories durning the month of August. One of the most notable is the Malazgirt (Manzikert) victory. 

Seljuk Turks, commanded by Alpaslan, were confronted by the Byzantines at Malazgirt in eastern Turkey Aug. 26, 1071. The 55,000 Turkish warriors won a great victory against 200,000 Byzantine troops commanded by the emperor, Romanus Diogenus. Afteward, Turks conquered all of Anatolia and made it their homeland. 

The week of Aug. 26 is celebrated with military parades in the cities and torch-lit parades wrap up the day's observances. 

Also, all Turkish Armed Forces promotions are made on the same day of the year, Aug. 30. This year 13 officers and 96 noncommissoned officers will be promoted to a higher rank at the 10th Tanker Base Command headquarters here. As a result of the promotions, some assignments of high-ranking officers take place during that time of the year. 

August 30 is also when when new assignments are made and when NCOs and officers enter the service after graduating from school. 

Officers join the Turkish Air Force as second lieutants after finishing four years of Air War College. 

As you might know, military service is a must for Turkish males. At the age of 20, every Turkish male joins the armed forces for 15 months. Those are the askers, or conscripts.
College graduates serve a total of 12 months compulsory military service in the armed forces and are promoted to third lieutenants after three months of basic training. 

NCOs join the Turkish armed forces after finishing military high school and start as E-3. One stripe is added every three years with the exception of promotion to E-8 and E-9 being six years apart. 

Before being promoted to a new rank, officers serve in the former rank for a pre-set number of years. 

The time they should serve in each ranks is: O-1, three years; O-2, six years; O-3, six years; O-4, five years; O-5, three years; O-6, six years, maximum eight years. 

The High Military Council convenes the every year during the first week of August. Headed by the Prime Minister, the High Military Council is the handles promotions from colonel to general, general to a higher rank and reassignments of generals. 

Air Pilot Staff Colonel Haluk Selvi, 10th Tanker Command commancer, will be promoted to the rank of brigadier general effective Aug. 30.