Remarks about Turkish War of Independence spark immediate reaction
Some recent remarks by the former speaker of the Turkish Grand Assembly about the Turkish War of Independence drew strong reactions from opinion writers and political figures.
Speaking on Sunday in Turkey's northeastern city of Rize on the occasion of the 561st anniversary of the city's conquest by the Ottoman army, Ismail Kahraman, the Speaker of the Parliament between November 2015 and July 2018, said:
"Celebrations are held on the occasion of the liberation of our cities. I'm definitely against it. So was Rize liberated on 2 March! Who says so? Celebrations should not be held to mark the liberation of cities from the enemy. You do not admit that you were captive and your captivity ended. This results in an inferiority complex. This is wrong. It is conquests that are supposed to be celebrated. We are a nation with a rich and vast history. Our state has deep roots. Our history is full of victories. So Istanbul was liberated on 6 October! Who says so? Izmir was liberated on 9 September! Who's saying it? This is ridiculous. When the World War ended the invaders took much more than they were entitled to take, and left. They withdrew. We didn't fire a bullet."
Yilmaz Ozdil of daily Sozcu, said on Twitter:
"If 9 September had not been a day of liberation, Ismail Kahraman would be living as a Pontic citizen now. Is it possible that he is upset that he is not!"
Fatih Altayli of Haberturk said in his column:
"I think you sense the despicable intention here: To totally disregard the War of Independence and its heroes."
Gursel Tekin, a senior official of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said:
"I'm sorry for saying this, but this is the mentality of liars, slanderers, immoral people. They have gone astray, to the point of insulting thousands of people whose grandfathers were martyred."
About the Turkish War of Independence
While Turkish forces fought against the Greek army in the war of independence, its total fatalities are estimated to be 13,000, as opposed to up to 770,000 during the First World War in which the Ottoman Empire was part of the alliance led by Germany.