With a proactive approach to global and regional developments, Turkey became an influential power that has a say in its region and the world, said Turkey’s national defense minister on Monday.
Speaking at commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Sakarya, Hulusi Akar said that they are proud to celebrate the anniversary of the pivotal victory, one of the key events of Turkey’s War of Independence.
The 1921 battle took place on the banks of the Sakarya River, at Polatli, only 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Ankara, Turkey’s future capital.
After the battle, parliament awarded Ataturk the rank of army field marshal as well as the title of gazi (honored veteran) for his efforts and victory on the battlefield.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also present at the celebrations in Ankara.
Akar said that under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey has become prominent in international relations and that its sphere of influence and interest grows daily.
In addition to its qualified Turkish Armed Forces personnel, military equipment, and products provided by the national defense industry, which developed with the support and encouragement of Erdogan, the Turkish army has become one of the world’s most capable armies, he said.
Akar added: "Despite many past challenges, our country, which protected its sovereignty and independence, rights, and laws, is now much more determined to protect its rights and interests with its growing economy, dynamic young population, effective deterrent, and respected army."
Hulusi Akar also paid tribute to Ataturk and all the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Sakarya.
Akar also received Azerbaijan’s Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Kerim Veliyev, according to Turkey’s National Defense Ministry.
Akar met with Veliyev, who came to Turkey at the invitation of the Turkish chief of General Staff, Gen. Yasar Guler, at the ministry.
He congratulated Veliyev on his being named chief of General Staff last month and wished him success in his duties.