Turkey’s president on Sunday marked the 948th anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt, a historic victory for Turks in Anatolia nearly a millennium ago.
"With the legendary victory obtained on August 30, the foundations were laid for Republic, which is all of our common heritage," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to the presidency's Directorate of Communications.
Speaking about "Victory Week" signifying historic battles that took place between Aug. 26 and Aug. 30, Erdogan said Malazgirt opened the way to Anatolia for the Turks.
Erdogan added that these victories encouraged the Turkish nation and paved the way for a better future for the country following the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
He honored Mustafa Kemal Ataturk -- the founder of the Republic of Turkey -- and Sultan Alparslan and wished divine mercy upon those who lost their lives in the battles.
Turkish control of Anatolia began with the Battle of Malazgirt on Aug. 26, 1071, which saw the Seljuk Turks led by Sultan Alparslan defeat a much larger Byzantine army.
Centuries later, foreign occupation prompted Turkey’s War of Independence in 1919, in which Turkish forces -- led by General Mustafa Kemal -- eventually drove the invaders from Anatolia.
From Aug. 26 to Aug. 30 of 1922, Turkish forces fought the Battle of Dumlupinar in Turkey’s western Kutahya province, where the invading Greek army was decisively defeated.
By the end of 1922, all foreign forces had left the territories which would collectively become the new Republic of Turkey one year later./aa