REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR AHMET AKİF OKTAY AT THE RECEPTION HELD ON THE OCCASION OF THE AUGUST 30th VICTORY DAY
Distinguished Representatives of the Hungarian Government and Armed Forces,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we are celebrating the 97th anniversary of a major milestone in Turkish history. In August 1922, the Turkish army won the defining battle of our nation’s fight for survival in the aftermath of the First World War. It was the final battle in our War of Liberation that lasted almost as long as the Great War. But it was not just another military victory. It was a declaration to the world that the Anatolian peninsula was now the Turkish nation’s absolutely indivisible homeland and that it would be defended at all costs. It also paved the way for the creation of the modern Turkish Republic.
The military campaign conducted by the army was well prepared and achieved its goals in a spectacular manner. But it was a wholesale struggle waged by the entire nation against great odds and at the cost of painful sacrifices. What made this possible was the ability of a great patriotic leader to unite and mobilize his people behind the sacred cause of freedom and independence. We owe our existence as a nation to that charismatic leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He not only liberated the people and the land, but forged them into a strong new country capable of weathering storms, developing, industrializing and moving forward with confidence. He is, and will continue to be, the eternal father figure of a grateful nation.
Today’s Turkey rises on the strong foundations which Atatürk had wisely laid out to secure a sound future for his people. Over time, it has become much stronger. It is now a pillar of stability in an otherwise turbulent part of the world. As we continue to build on the achievements of the Republican era, we are also extending a helping hand to other countries and peoples who are going through the difficulties of achieving stability and development.
The success of these efforts requires peace which in turn requires a strong military to defend it. In this regard, the Turkish Armed Forces, which increasingly relies on our domestic defense industry, represent the ultimate guarantee of our independence and sovereignty. Motivated by Atatürk’s dictum, “peace at home, peace in the world,” they are carrying out their mission of defending the country with the full support of our nation. As a major deterrent force, it has also been playing a critical role in preventing further humanitarian tragedies in our part of the world. There should be no doubt that Turkey, as before,will continue to lend strong support to all efforts aimed at bringing about a peaceful resolution of humanity’s common problems, be it on a regional or global level.
In concluding, I would like to thank each and every one of you for honoring us with your presence and sharing this special moment with us.
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