THE VETERANS DAY MESSAGE BY MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE HULUSİ AKAR
Heroic Veterans, Their Self-Sacrificing Families, Esteemed Colleagues and Comrades in Arms,
Today is the day of glory for our heroic veterans who struggled at the cost of their lives with a great courage, heroism and self-sacrifice not only for the sake of the sovereignty and independency of our noble nation but also inseperable integrity of the country’s land. At the same time, today is the 97th Anniversary of granting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our Republic, the title of “Gazi” and “Marshall” by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 19 September 1921.
Being a martyr or a veteran and the tradition of holy war which always bears an exalted value in the eye of our noble nation, led to the emergence of the notion “If I die,I will become martyr,If I survive I will become veteran” entegrating with our glorious history,national and moral values of thousands of years; the desire to be martyr and veteran became one of the greatest sources of motivation of the Turkish Army also known as “Peygamber Ocağı” (the house of Mohamed). One of the most important factors which strengthens morally the Turkish Army is this spirit of holy war and being veteran which constitutes the essence of our noble nation from which it emerged.
Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk; clearly stated the exceptional value that the title of being veteran bears in our culture pointing out that he held this title as the greatest honour of his whole life as a soldier.
Esteemed Colleagues and Comrades in Arms;
In this period which we have been passing through a critical term, we have been and are still experiencing multi-dimensional and various acts of terrorism in Turkey and in her immediate vicinity.
For the purpose of eliminating these threats and dangers directed against the integrity of our homeland, the continuity of our state, the peace and security of our noble nation, large-scaled operations were conducted and great success was achieved in the homeland and cross border by the Turkish Armed Forces.
Our beloved martyrs and heroic veterans have the gretaest share in achieving this success.The heroic saga they wrote shall live forever in the mind of our noble nation.
Our Heroic Veterans;
You are the immortal monuments of our glory history and our love for homeland,nation and flag; the symbol of the Turkish valour and self sacrifice and the source of inspiration of the Turkish Army the history of which is full of glory.
You, who were honoured as “veterans” through the combats you entered with the intention of martyrdom saying “Let me sacrifice my soul for homeland”,sacrificed your lives for the inseparable integrity of the holy homeland and for the sovereignity and independence of our noble nation.
Your wounds on your bodies at the cost of the presence of our noble nation and the continuity of our nation are the medals of honour symbolizing your heroism. It will never be forgotten that these wounds are holy marks that bring glory to the history of the noble Turkish nation.
Noble Turkish Nation, with a feeling of fidelity and gratitude, shall continue to protect our martyrs,veterans and their valuable families and to be with them forever in good times and bad times; not only reprisals shall be taken for our martyrs and veterans by the heroic members of the Turkish Armed Forces but also it shall be counted for the tears of mothers,fathers,spouses and especially their children.
Turkish Armed Forces acting against all kind of danger and threat imposed by mainly the terror organizations such as FETO,PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and ISIL which targets the continuity of our state and nation, adopting the understanding of “If I die I will be martyr. If I survive I will be veteran.” shall continue its struggle until the last terrorist is destroyed standing shoulder to shoulder with gendarmerie, police forces and security guards.
On the occassion of this significant day, I once again remember Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades in arms, our beloved martyrs and heroic veterans passing away to eternal rest with mercy and gratitude.
I wish our heroic veterans quick recovery who are receiving treatment and I express my gratitude and pay my respects to our veterans alive, their respected mother and fathers, esteemed spouses, beloved children, valuable relatives and to our noble nation that we have been pulling out all the stops to deserve their trust and always getting strength from their support.