Erdogan celebrates Turkish military's "return to the offensive" 100 years ago
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the decisive 1922 Battle of Dumlupinar, which ended with the defeat of the Greek army, as the Turkish military's historical return to offensive tactics.
Speaking on the occasion of the centennial of the Turkish military victory on 30 August 1922, Erdogan said:
"The 30 August victory is a success achieved by the Turkish army through the first offensive in a long time after it has remained on the defensive during the last phases of the Ottoman Empire. We know that the offensives carried out in Sarikamis and the Canal Campaign [the Raid on the Suez Canal] did not end up with satisfactory results. And our other battles had been based on defense. The Great Offensive [on 30 August 1922] is an important historical milestone when we managed to overcome our misfortunes and began to build a new future for ourselves."
He went on to say that "the remnants of those who had dreams of taking over control of Anatolia a thousand years later" could barely get themselves into vessels that left the port of Izmir two weeks later.
"As we always say, Greece is not our equal, neither politically and economically, nor militarily. We are aware of the intentions of those who use Greece, as they did a century ago, in efforts to make us consume our time and energy."
About the Battle of Sarikamis
The Battle of Sarikamis, referred to by Erdogan as an "offensive" attempt, was an engagement between the Ottoman and Russian armies during the First World War. Although the battle's anniversary has begun to be commemorated in a positive way under Erdogan's administrations, it earlier had not been brought to public attention so much in Turkey, because around 25,000 Ottoman soldiers froze to death before the battle even started, mostly for the reason that they had not been provided winter uniforms.