Making a statement on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of Izmir's liberation from enemy occupation, EGİAD Alp Avni Yelkenbiçer, Chairman of the Aegean Young Businessmen Association, pointed out that the liberation of Izmir on September 9 became a symbol in history and said, “September 9 is the Symbol of Our Struggle for Independence.”
Reminding that the occupation of İzmir by the Greek forces on May 15, 1919 was considered an important stage in the start of the National Struggle in Anatolia, Yelkenbiçer said: After the occupation, it fueled the thought of resistance and opposition of the Anatolian people. Now, Izmir has become one of the main symbols for the Anatolian campaign. This symbol city has always been the symbol of freedom, liberation and the Republic.”
Reminding that a word Mustafa Kemal Atatürk said is the best proof and symbol of this, Yelkenbiçer said, “Our father said: “Although İzmir has such a deep history, it has a great economic and political importance due to its geographical situation. That is why the enemies who want to destroy Turkey, first of all, turn their eyes to this historical and important city. Izmir, which is very valuable from various points of view, of course could not be left in the hands of the enemies and as a matter of fact, it was not left. I love all İzmir and all İzmir residents. I am sure that the pure-hearted people of beautiful Izmir also love me.” and continues, September 1, 1922, “Armies, your first target is the Mediterranean forward.” The word is very meaningful,” he said.
Izmir is the City of the Republic
"September 9 is the beginning of the history of Anatolian people to be free individuals and free people," he said. EGİAD President Yelkenbiçer pointed out that the journey of the National Liberation War, which started in Samsun on May 19, 1919, ended in Izmir on September 9, 1922, and that Turkish people were liberated by this struggle. Yelkenbiçer continued her words as follows: “From now on, İzmir has been the city of liberation, peace, freedom, birth, resurrection and the Republic. It is the name of the great epic in which the National Freedom and Independence War under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal was won. Our beautiful Izmir has been the point where the awakening and revolt of a nation succeeded. This is the place where the unique war and great victory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his soldiers until the last enemy is expelled is crowned. With this victory in Izmir, Turkish people have shown that whoever extends their hand to their independence and land, knows very well how to fight in unity, to stick together and to send those who have their eyes on their homeland. We are happy that we have created a brand new country from its ashes, we were born in İzmir as the children of an extraordinary people and we live in İzmir, the symbol city of this epic. It is a great honor to be living in Izmir, which constitutes the most important link in the journey of civilization. So much so that Izmir, as it lit the torch of freedom and patriotism that day, has always volunteered to protect the indivisible integrity of the homeland and to carry the relics of our heroic ancestors with great determination. The torch burning in Izmir is a torch that illuminates our entire geography. The borders of İzmir have an importance that cannot be explained by its physical conditions. Therefore, September 9 is a very important and special day that should be celebrated not only in Izmir but also in the whole country. With all these feelings and thoughts, I celebrate the 99th anniversary of the liberation of our Izmir, the last stop of this glorious epic, from the enemy occupation, as a follower of the path opened by our Great Leader and the level of contemporary civilizations that I am honored to be the president of. EGİAD I congratulate on behalf of the Aegean Young Businessmen Association, and I commemorate all our martyrs, especially Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who we lost in this cause, with respect, gratitude and mercy.”