NewsLocalTwo Turkish navy vessels dock in occupied Cyprus on occasion of Atatürk...

Two Turkish navy vessels dock in occupied Cyprus on occasion of Atatürk Day

Two Turkish Navy ships will dock in Turkish-held Cyprus on the occasion of “Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day,” the holiday commemorating the start of the Turkish War of Independence, on May 19.

According to Cyprus News Agency, the TCG İmbat (P-335) will dock at the port of occupied Kyrenia, while the corvette TCG Bozcaada (F-500) will dock at the port of occupied Famagusta.

The “administration” of the “security forces” in the occupied areas announced that the public will be able to visit the two Turkish Navy ships tomorrow from 10 am to 5 pm.

What is Atatürk Day?

In official Turkish historiography, May 19 is commemorated as the start of the Turkish War of Independence, as it is the day when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s forces landed in Samsun in 1919.

After ending World War I in defeat, the Ottoman Empire agreed to cede large parts of its territory to France, the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy, as well as to disband its military, by signing the Treaty of Sèvres.

This ignited Turkish nationalism against the “traitorous” government. Mustafa Kemal, a high-ranking and well-respected general, disobeyed orders to disband the imperial army and left Istanbul with his staff, sailing to Samsun.

Upon landing in Samsun on May 19, Kemal started the Turkish National Movement, an act that would lead to the Turkish War of Independence.

In 1920, he established a revolutionary government in Ankara, opposing the Ally-backed Imperial Ottoman Government in Istanbul.

In an attempt to control the power vacuum in the region, the Allies persuaded Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos to launch an expeditionary force into Anatolia and occupy Smyrna, promising territorial gains.

However, Kemal’s revolutionary nationalists emerged victorious, overwhelming the Greek, Armenian and Allied, or Ally-backed forces in separate conflicts, and won back many territories lost during WWI, which allowed them to establish the Republic of Turkey in 1923.

The Treaty of Lausanne, signed in July 1923, led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire.

Among the terms of the treaty was a declaration granting immunity for crimes committed between 1914 and 1922, notably the Armenian genocide.

Revered by some in Turkey as the nation’s founding father and a figure who modernised the state with progressive reforms such as ensuring voting rights for women, opening thousands of secular schools and making primary education free, Mustafa Kemal is also remembered for overseeing the mass killings and deportations of millions of Armenian, Pontic, Greek-speaking and Christian populations who had lived in the Ottoman Empire prior to the War of Independence.

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