“Today we are taking every step in concert with our commitment to the decisions taken at the Sivas Congress, which constitute the foundations of the Republic of Turkey,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement issued on the occasion. this day of national commemoration.
Noting that the Congress was held in a difficult and obstacle-strewn context, Erdogan recalled that the determination and dedication of the Turkish nation had enabled it to overcome these obstacles and achieve victory in the War of Independence.
The Turkish President also paid tribute to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, and all the soldiers who fought alongside Atatürk in the Turkish War of Independence.
In a Twitter post, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay also commemorated the heroes of the Turkish War of Independence:
“On the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the Sivas Congress, where the foundations of our independence were laid, I commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and all the heroes of the Turkish War of Independence with compassion and gratitude,” Oktay said.
The President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Turkish Mustafa Sentop also underlined the importance of the Sivas congress.
Belief, dedication and determination are what shaped the resolutions of this congress, said the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament.
The historic congress of the Turkish National Movement was held in the eastern province of Sivas on September 4, 1919, as Turkey waged its war of independence against the foreign invasion of Anatolia.
“Here, decisions were taken which prepared the independence of a nation,” Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, said of the Sivas Congress.
At the congress, Atatürk called for the continuation of the national liberation struggle after initiating the resistance movement in Samsun province (Black Sea region, in the north) on May 19 of the same year.
Atatürk visited Sivas on June 27, 1919, a city he called a “reliable city”.
During a meeting in Sivas, resistance fighters discussed the situation in the country and decided to hold a national congress in the city, as soon as possible.
Atatürk gave the guidelines for the Sivas congress and traveled to Erzurum to convene a congress there on June 28. He returned to Sivas on September 2 and stayed there until December 18.
Under Ataturk’s leadership, on September 4, 1919, a group of resistance fighters established the founding principles of the Republic of Turkey, in the building later transformed into an ethnographic museum.
According to records, during the seven-day congress various proposals were evaluated in order to achieve the liberation of the nation, with congress ending on September 11, 1919, with the issuance of a final declaration.
“Either independence or death”, declared Atatürk in particular on the principles established by the congress.
This resistance movement led to a great national victory on September 9, 1922, and was crowned with the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923.
* Translated from English by Ümit Dönmez