Speech Delivered By Turkish Ambassador Çağatay Erciyes On The Occasion Of The Victory Day Of Turkey, 30 August 2016 Beirut
Distinguished Guests, Dear Colleagues, Friends of Turkey,
I am delighted and honored to welcome you all to our Victory Day Reception.
First allow me to read the message of our President, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, marking the meaning and importance of our Victory Day.
‘’Today, we celebrate in great pride and excitement with our citizens and friends, the 94th anniversary of the Great Victory which marked the re-affirmation of Anatolia as our homeland.
I would like to congratulate wholeheartedly August 30 Victory Day of millions of our citizens who live in Turkey as well in different countries around the world.
The torch of independence which was lighted under the most difficult conditions and deprivations in Anatolia in 1919 was crowned with the Battle won on 30 August 1922 under the leadership of Ghazi Mustafa Kemal and his comrades.
August 30 was a clear proof of what a nation can venture and accomplish to save its independence and its dignity when confronted with the choice "EITHER INDEPENDENCE OR DEMISE".
On August 30, 1922, the Turkish nation announced to the whole world that it would never bow to oppression and in no way forego its independence.
Today, we still possess the same will-power proven 94 years ago in Dumlupınar where the Great Victory was won by the epic struggle and the blood of our martyrs.
We are exerting our utmost efforts so that our Republic stands forever, and raise our country above the contemporary civilizations in economic, social and political aspects.
Pride projects of our country, such as Osman Gazi Bridge and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, which have been completed this year are the most concrete manifestations of our determination to carry on this struggle forward.
Our efforts will continue in unity and solidarity. We will defeat the gangs of treachery and will overcome the obstructions and vicious attacks of terrorist organizations who are trying to stop the progress of our country.
Victory of August 30 should be a lesson particularly today for those terrorist organizations and evil minded circles targeting the unity, welfare and existence of our country and homeland.
The stance displayed by the Turkish people during the bloody 15 July coup attempt is a vivid display of the very presence of the “Great Offensive” spirit of 1922 in the Turkish society.
At that night, all Turkey, regardless of their ethnic or religious background, Turks, Kurds, Laz, Circassians, Sunnites and Alawites were united around our common values and defeated the members of FETÖ terrorist organization disguised themselves in military uniforms.
The epic spirit displayed in squares and streets of our cities on 15 July rose to a new height with the historical Yenikapı Meeting in Istanbul, in which 5 million people participated on 7 August 2016.
Turkey has been exposed recently not only to the terrorist attacks of FETO, but also to the DAESH and PKK attacks, where civilians, security officials, children and innocent people are targeted.
The single aim of all these terrorist organizations under different names but directed by the same centre is to damage the “New Great Offensive Spirit” of the Turkish society which manifested itself on 15 July and 7 August, and bring our country into its knees.
Turkey, without discriminating among the terrorist organizations, is determined to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety andsecurity of its citizens in Turkey and in the neighboring countries where the terrorist organizations operates.
The Jarablus operation, initiated on 24 August in cooperation with the International Coalition, is a reflection of our strong resolve and will.
Our operations will continue until the terrorist organizations such as DAESH, PKK and its Syrian affiliate YPG cease to become a threat to our citizens.
In this struggle, our greatest source of confidence is the solidarity displayed by the Turkish people on the night of 15 July and thereafter as well as the support of our friends.
On this occasion, I would like to commemorate with gratitude, Mustafa Kemal, the founder of the Republic of Turkey and the Commander in Chief of the Great Offensive as well as his comrades.
I wish God’s mercy upon all our fallen martyrs and veterans.
Happy 30 August Victory Day to all.
RECEP TAYYİP ERDOĞAN
In the wake of 15 July coup attempt in Turkey, the Turkish Government, based on a nationwide political and social consensus, is taking all necessary measures within the boundary of law to bring the perpetrators and the supporters of this coup attempt to justice and to root out FETO members from the state bureaucracy, including those in the military.
No doubt this will make the Turkish Armed forces more stronger, which currently ranks as the 2nd largest in NATO and the 8th in the world.
Our current counter terror operations at home and abroad, in particular the Operation Euphrates Shield, constitute a clear message to those who doubted the strength and operational capabilities of the Turkish Armed Forces after 15 July.
Indeed the recent DAESH suicide attack in Gaziantep that claimed the lives of 54 innocent civilians and the increasing number of DAESH rocket and mortar attacks to our border towns have triggered the launch of Operation Euphrates Shield.
Ensuring our border security is our inherent right to self-defense under international law.
Turkey is resolved to fight indiscriminately with all terrorist organizations be it DAESH, PKK, PYD/YPG, FETO or any other one, threatening our national security.
I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the key role of the Lebanese Armed Forces and other security agencies in safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability.
Their efforts in keeping Lebanon and its borders safe from the threat of terrorism deserve every appreciation and support.
In this respect, I would like to pay tribute to and reiterate our sincere condolences for the martyred members of the Lebanese security forces who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty for their country.
Turkey is a genuine friend of Lebanon and we are committed to further strengthen our deep-rooted bilateral relations with Lebanon in every field. Military and defense cooperation is no exception to that. We are expanding and deepening our cooperation in this field through military dialogue meetings, exchange of force visits, training programs, equipment assistance and foreign military aid programs.
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