Turkish president draws parallel between struggles of Battle of Malazgirt and last year's defeated coup
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Saturday to end terrorism in the country by following in the footsteps of Turkey’s ancestors.
Addressing thousands of people in eastern Mus province during a ceremony to mark the 946th anniversary of Battle of Malazgirt, Erdogan called on Turkish people to better understand the meaning of their key historic victories, particularly the Malazgirt victory.
The Battle of Malazgirt, also known as Battle of Manzikert, of Aug. 26, 1071 saw Seljuk Turks led by Sultan Alparslan defeat a Byzantine army and open up Anatolia for Turkish domination.
“With whom Sultan Alparslan and [Seljuk] Sultan Kilijarslan had struggled, we also struggled with them on July 15 [during last year's defeated coup],” the president said.
The defeated coup of last year left 250 people martyred and injured nearly 2,200 others.
"With whom Osmangazi [founder of the Ottoman Empire], Fatih Sultan Mehmet Khan [7th Sultan of Ottoman Empire who conquered Istanbul], Sultan Abdulhamid Khan [34th Ottoman Sultan] and veteran Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [founder of Republic of Turkey] had struggled, we also struggled with them on July 15.
“The game is the same. The target is the same. The scenarios and actors are only different."
Erdogan said terror groups FETO and PKK were all part of this game.
"FETO is a pawn in this game. PKK, YPG, PYD, Daesh [and] other terror organizations are all pawns.
“Each of them are tools used by the powers, which have their eyes on our nation. Our struggle is not only against the tools but also primarily against those who use as tools.”
According to the Turkish government, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
“Those who do not understand the [Battle of] Malazgirt cannot understand why we say on all occasions: One nation, one flag, one homeland, one state,” he said.
Erdogan vowed to fight against terrorism.
“We will continue our struggle until terrorism ends here. Nobody has right to disturb our nation.”
The president also mentioned a new target for the country.
“Just like [Turkey’s vision for] 2023 and 2053, we’ve also determined 2071 [that also marks the 1,000th anniversary of Malazgirt Battle] for ourselves as a ‘horizon line’.”
The country has set specific goals and targets that include major improvements in the economy, energy, healthcare and transportation for 2023, which marks the centenary of the Republic of Turkey, and 2053 that will mark the 600th anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest.