Background: On May 15, 1919, well-equipped (though
ill-advised, under the patronage of the British PM Lloyd George) Greek
troops had landed in and occupied İzmir and had begun pushing into
the Anatolian hinterland. Dozens of Turkish provinces had been under
foreign occupation for three years...
"Ordular! İlk hedefiniz Akdeniz'dir, İleri!"
Armies, your first target is the Mediterranean. Onward! -- Mustafa
Kemal (Atatürk), 31 August 1922...
passage is taken from Uğur Akıncı's excellent account of the
events leading to and in the aftermath of the great offensive of 26-30
August 1922 -- known as Dumlupınar Pitched Battle of the
in the aftermath of =
sonrasında... pitched battle
= meydan muharebesi...
Uğur Akıncı is a
grandson Lt. Ali Rıza Akıncı, of the 5th Cavalry Corps (Fahrettin
Altay Paşa komutasındaki 5. Süvari Kolordusu) that took part in the
offensive. He lives in the States and publishes the e-zine "Turkish
The night of
August 25, 1922, Friday.
Roughly 209,000 Turks and 225,000 Greeks faced one another in the
dark, along a curving front near Afyon that extended 60 kilometers
from South to North in the center of Western Anatolia, and thousands
of miles away from the Greek homeland.
Determined not to waste the element of surprise, the Turkish artillery
opened up with a hellish thunder at precisely 5:30 a.m. on Saturday
morning, August 26, 1922.
= topçu kuvvetleri... hellish
After 90 minutes of relentless pounding, wave after wave of Turkish
infantry crashed into the Greek trenches in an all-out bayonet attack.
= aman vermez... pounding
= (topçu ateşi ile) dövme...
infantry = piyade kuvvetleri...
trenches = siperler...
all-out = topyekün...
bayonet = süngü...
The whole Afyon Plain was reverberating with the deafening explosions
of the artillery rounds and the Allah! Allah! battle cry of the
= titriyor yankılanıyordu...
deafening = kulakları sağır edici...
rounds = salvolar...
Within a few hours, the Turks began to tear through the first
positions of the Greek 1st Army, commanded by General Trikopis.
Although Gen. Trikopis placed a phone call to Izmir to inform the
Greek Commander-in-Chief Gen. Hacianesti of the surprise Turkish
attack, it was clear from early on that it would be hard for Gen.
Hacianesti to command his troops from 400 kilometers away.
Command-by-remote-control was no match for the personal commitment of
the 41-year-old Mustafa Kemal Pasha who was right there on the battle
field, leading the Great Offensive in person.
from early on
= daha başından itibaren...
was no match for = başa çıkamazdı, karşı duramazdı, dengi
Although the Turkish troops had slept only a few hours the night
before, their morale was at an all-time high. They attacked the Greek
positions with great tenacity, cutting the barbed wires in front of
the Greek trenches and pushing on with their fearsome bayonet attack
while İsmet Pasha's artillery covered their advance.
at an all-time high =
herzamankinden daha yüksekti...
tenacity = (burada)
vazgeçmeme, ısrar... barbed
wire = dikenli tel...
fearsome = korku verici, dehşetli...
to cover = (burada)
kollamak, destek olmak...
Within a few hours Turks captured Kaleciksivrisi, Erkmentepe and
When, at 9 a.m., the Turkish troops also captured Belentepe,
Commander-in-Chief Mustafa Kemal Pasha sent the following short
telegram to the Turkish Grand National Assembly from the Kocatepe
Today, as of August 26, 1922, 10 a.m., we have launched an offensive
along the whole front. Success is from Allah.
of = itibariyle... to
launch an offensive = saldırı başlatmak...
along the whole front =
bütün cephe boyunca...
The 5th Cavalry Corps proved its worth quickly by cutting over the
Ahır Mountain into the Sincanlı Plain from the West wing of the
Turkish 1st Army, and threatening to encircle the Greek forces.
The 2nd Army forces excelled in their preplanned mission of preventing
the Greek forces in the North from running to the rescue of the Greek
1st Army ambushed in Afyon.
= mükemmel yerine getirdiler...
to ambush = pusuya
Perhaps the saddest episode of the whole offensive expired on the
first day of the skirmishes. Turkish units were so fighting with such
a heightened sense of national honour and duty that Colonel Reşad Bey,
the commander of the 57th Infantry Division, committed suicide with
his revolver when his troops could not capture their assigned target,
Çiğiltepe, on time. The tragedy is that his troops indeed did capture
Çiğiltepe as Col. Reşad Bey was exhaling his last breath.
= (burada) geçti, vukubuldu...
At the end of August 26, the Greek forces pulled back from Afyon all
the way back towards Balmahmut on the Afyon-İzmir railroad in North.
To prevent the collapse of the Greek front, Gen. Trikopis, who started
the battle as the commander of the 1st Corps, had to take over the
effective command of all the Greek forces since the real
Commander-in-Chief Gen. Hacianesti was either issuing commands from
his safe headquarters 400 kilometers away that had nothing to do with
the realities on the ground, or due to the Turkish sabotage on
communications lines, he could not be reached from the front at all.
By the end of August 27, Sunday, the chaos and confusion within the
ranks of the Greek high command was complete. Greek commanders were
trying to prevent the impending disaster by issuing ad hoc commands
that further complicated the coordination between the withdrawing
impending = kısa bir
süre sonra gerçekleşecek olan, kısa sürede beklenen...
ad hoc = (Latince)
(burada) hemen oracıkta duruma göre; daha geniş çerçeveyi dikkate
= çekilmekte olan...
On August 28, Monday, the Turkish forces broke through the second ring
of Greek defenses as well. The Greek 1st Army was chased towards
Dumlupınar in the West while the Turkish 2nd Army crossed to the West
of the Afyon-Kütahya railroad and delivered heavy blows against the
defenses of Greek 3rd Corps.
= yardılar... to chase
= kovalamak... delivered heavy
blows = ağır darbeler vurdular...
Greek 1st and 7th Divisions under the command of Gen. Frangos lost
their contact completely with Gen. Trikopis' 1st Corps Hqs. and
proceeded to withdraw towards Dumlupınar on their own.
Hqs = headquarters
On the evening of August 28, the phone and railroad contact of the
Greek troops with İzmir was severed almost completely. Some of the
Greek units, in a state of panic and disintegration, started to burn
the Turkish villages and massacre the civilians on their path of
= koparmak, keserek ayırmak...
massacre = katliam...
August 29, Tuesday
The five Greek infantry divisions under Gen.
Trikopis' command have been encircled inside the horseshoe formed by
Çalköy-Hamurköy-Aslhanlar, to the NorthWest of Dumlupınar. They were
trying their best to break the encirclement and escape from the West
The night of August 29-30
Very early Wednesday morning, before dawn,
Turkish Western Front Operations Director Tevfik Bey (Bıyıklıoğlu)
shows up in Western Front Commander İsmet Pasha's room with situation
maps in his hands that confirm the encirclement of the Greek troops.
= şafaktan önce...
İsmet Pasha's response is instantaneous: Show this to Mustafa Kemal
Pasha, immediately! Tevfik Bey rushes to Afyon City Hall where the
Commander-in-Chief was resting after a long day at the battle field.
The minute Mustafa Kemal takes a look at the maps, he immediately
sends for Fevzi and İsmet Pashas.
All three top Turkish commanders realize that the moment they have
dreamed of for the last three years, since May 15, 1919 when the Greek
troops landed in and occupied Izmir under the patronage of the British PM
Lloyd George, was finally at hand.
was finally at hand
= sonunda gelmişti (sonunda ellerindeydi)...
Mustafa Kemal immediately ordered for the Turkish 2nd Army and 5th
Cavalry Corps to block the Greek escape routes to the West of
Dumlupınar and he himself departed for the 1st Army Hqs. to command
the last battle of the Turkish National War of Liberation.
The Dumlupınar Pitched Battle of the Commander-in-Chief, as it is
officially known in the annals of Turkish military history, lasted all
in the annals of
= "sayfalarında" (kayıtlarında)...
By the evening of August 30, 1922, the Greek army was defeated
decisively and smashed into groups of individual troops running away
towards İzmir as fast as they could in a disorganized fashion.
individual troops =
ayrı ayrı, birbirinden kopuk birlikler...
This was the beginning of the end for the Asia Minor Adventure of
Greece. It was also the beginning of the end of Turkland's occupation
by enemy forces and the true last day of World War One for Turkey.
(Since then August 30 is celebrated in Turkland as the Turkish Victory Day.)
But still, Western Anatolia and İzmir were not yet liberated.
On the evening of August 31, Thursday, Mustafa Kemal Pasha issued a
directive to the army which ended with his famous direction: Armies,
your first target is the Mediterranean. Onward! From that point
forward, it was a non-stop chase all the way to İzmir.
The officers and troops of the 5th Cavalry Corps, including my
grandfather Lt. Ali Rıza Akıncı, rode their horses for nine days
straight, practically with no or just a few hours of sleep a night, to
liberate İzmir on September 9, 1922. More about that in the next and
third installment of this series, September 9, 1922 - From Crescent
to Full Moon.
for nine days straight=
durmaksızın dokuz gün...
General Trikopis, Greek 2nd Corps Commander General Diyenis and the
Greek Army's Chief of Staff were captured on September 2 at a village
near Murat Mountain.
The Greek commanders who were brought to Mustafa Kemal were treated
with the respect and dignity appropriate for officers of their rank,
even though they were the adversaries.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha was sitting in between Fevzi and İsmet Pashas when
the prisoners were ushered into the large living room of a Turkish
house. The contrast between the simple and unadorned uniforms of the
Turkish generals and the rich uniforms adorned with silver embroidery
worn by their Greek counterparts was glaring.
= yol gösterip içeriye almak...
unadorned = sade,
= karşı taraftaki mümasil (eşdeğer rütbedeki) kişi...
Mustafa Kemal stood up and extended his hand to Trikopis.
Please take a seat, my general, you must be tired, was how the
gracious winner welcomed his defeated adversary.
= âlicenap, bolgönüllü...
Gen. Trikopis and Diyenis accepted cigarettes and a cup of Turkish
coffee offered to put them at ease. Then, Mustafa Kemal and Trikopis
proceeded to discuss the battle on the maps in front of them.
Both Greek generals were watching Mustafa Kemal nervously, with mixed
emotions. Famous Turkish writer Halide Edip, who was present in that
room, described the following exchange:
I did not know that you were this young, Gen. Trikopis admits to
Mustafa Kemal, at the end of their meeting.
= bu derece genç...
Can I do anything for you? Mustafa Kemal asks the Greek commander.
It would be nice if I could learn about the health of my wife in
İstanbul, Trikopis suggests. The Turks oblige with this personal
request of the man who was commissioned to wipe off all Turkish
presence from Anatolia.
Twelve years later in 1934, the two Aegean neighbours buried the
hatchet for decades to come when Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios
Venizelos nominated Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for the Nobel Peace Prize.
to bury the hatchet
= "savaş baltasını toprağa gömmek"...
for decades to come =
takibeden onlarca yıl boyunca...
Ata'mız, bütün silah
arkadaşları, bütün şehitlerimiz ve gazilerimiz, Cumhuriyetimizi kuran,
bizlere başı dik, onurlu bir millet olarak uygar dünyada yerimizi alma
yolunu açan o kuşak insanlarımız, ve bu vatan için Çanakkale'de seve
seve canını feda eden her iki dedemin de anısı için,
Ne Mutlu Türküm