Zafer Bayram is traditionally celebrated in Turkey on August 30th each year to commemorate Turkish victories over Greek occupation forces in 1922, during Turkey’s War of Independence.

Zafer Bayram or Victory Day in English celebrations are held to commemorate the full independence of Anatolia from enemy invasion during Turkey’s War of Independence.

It symbolises the determination and victory of the Turkish people under the command of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, at the Battle of Dumlupinar on August 30, 1922.

The Independence War starting in 1919, at the end of World War I, against the invading forces, reached its final phase and between August 22, 1922 and August 30, the enemy was defeated.

National Holiday

Zafer Bayram or Victory Day is a national holiday that is recognised on 30th August and is celebrated throughout the country and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and at Turkey’s missions abroad.

Its origins date back to a battle that began on 26 August 1922 when Greek troops invaded Turkey.

The invasion was successfully repelled and the battle ended just four days later on 30 August.

Although the day has now lost much of its military significance for the younger generations, it is still a day of national pride on which the country’s armed forces lay wreaths at the Ataturk Mausoleum in Istanbul, acknowledging the role Mustafa Kemal Ataturk played in leading the defence of the country and founding the republic.


  1. Dear FT, please check your dates!
    The Greek forces first landed at Izmir to launch their occupation of western Anatolia on May 15, 1919. ( not August 26 1922! )
    Three years later the critical Battle of Dumlupinar between Turkish and Greek Forces started on August 26 and raged on until the Turkish Victory on August 30th. From that day the Greek forces were in retreat back to the coast and Izmir as they evacuated Western Anatolia.
    From September 13-17 the Great Fire of Smyrna (Izmir) raged while Greek forces and residents and International residents scrambled to evacuate by ship.
    The Greek Invasion was effectively over.