İzmir Independence Day in Turkey Date in the current year: September 9, 2016

İzmir Independence Day in Turkey İzmir Independence Day is a remembrance day celebrated in Turkey on September 9. It commemorates liberation of Smyrna (now İzmir) from the Greek occupation by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1922.

İzmir, also known as Smyrna, is one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean Basin. For a long time it had been part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the partition of the Ottoman Empire after its defeat in WWI, Smyrna was occupied by Greece according to the Armistice of Mudros.

The Greek landed in Smyrna on May 15, 1919. Approximately half of the city's population were Greek, and they saw Greek landing at Smyrna as liberation rather than occupation. Occupation of Smyrna was one of the events that sparked the Greco-Turkish War.

When Turkish forces defeated the Greek army in the Battle of Dumlupınar on August 30, 1922, Greek troops retreated towards Smyrna. On September 9, the Turkish Army entered the city of İzmir, ending a three-year-long occupation.

İzmir Independence Day is an important date in Turkey's calendar, but it is not celebrated as a public holiday. The day is primarily observed in the city of İzmir, where it is marked with marches, concerts, air shows, open-air parties, firework displays and other festive events and activities.

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İzmir Independence Day, holidays in Turkey, remembrance day, anniversary, liberation of İzmir