Speech at the Victory Day Reception
Ebru Barutçu Gökdenizler 04.09.2014
Dearest members of the Turkish Community in Portugal,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank you all for being here today to commemorate the 30th of August Victory Day with us, which we actually celebrated a few days ago. It is indeed a pleasure to celebrate this meaningful day together with you, in the friendly and allied nation of the Portuguese Republic and also together with our Turkish community here in Portugal.
The Turkish War of Independence started on the 19th of May 1919 upon the arrival of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Samsun on the Black Sea coast. One of the historical turning points of our National Independence War was the “Great Offensive” which was launched on the 26th of August 1922. The offensive was crowned with an ultimate victory on the 30th of August 1922 with the “Battle of the Commander in Chief” led by Atatürk himself.
The 30th of August is not only the date of the most glorious victory on the way to our national sovereignity but also the one which paved the way to the foundation of the independent, sovereign, secular and democratic Republic of Turkey on the 29th of October 1923. We hope to be with you again on the 29th of October, our National Day, to celebrate the 91st anniversary of our Republic.
I quote from Atatürk’s own words:
“The battle of the 30th of August constitutes an important milestone in our history. Our national history is full of important and bright victories. However, I do not recall any other field battle that ended with such a clear victory and which was so influential in giving a new direction to not only our own history but to the history of the world in general. There should be no doubt that the foundations of the young Turkish Republic and the new Turkish state were reinforced here. The Turkish blood shed in this very field and the spirits of the Turkish martyrs in the skies above are the eternal guardians of our State and of our Republic.”
On this occasion, we remember with respect and profound gratitude these eternal guardians, all our heroes, our dear martyrs and above all, the leader of our War of Independence and the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades in arms and also our veterans with the same gratitude.
With these thoughts and sentiments, I wish to welcome you all again to our celebration of the 30th of August Victory Day, together with our newly appointed Military Attache Lieutenant Colonel Bahadır Yalçın and the other representatives in Lisbon of the Turkish Armed Forces which serve in the defense of our country and contribute to regional and global peace throughout the world in line with Atatürk’s guiding principal of “Peace at Home and Peace in the World”.
Thank you very much.
Lale Ülker Ambassador
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