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 Oct 25 2022

Turkish Republic Day - Enjoying Lahmacun from Türkiye

29 October is the most important national holiday in Türkiye. It is celebrated for the declaration of the Republic of Türkiye on 29 October, 1923.

Türkiye had effectively been a republic from 23 April, 1920 when the Grand National Assembly was inaugurated in Ankara. When the Turkish parliament held its first session in 1920, virtually every corner of the crumbling Ottoman Empire was under the occupation of Allied powers. Exasperated by the Ottoman government’s inability to fight the occupation, the nationwide resistance movement gained momentum. With the Allied occupation of Istanbul, and the dissolution of the Ottoman Parliament, Mustafa Kemal’s justification for opening the resistance movement’s new legislative body was created.

With the opening of the Assembly, Ankara became the center of the Turkish national struggle for liberation. The National War of Liberation culminated in the emancipation of Anatolia from foreign occupation, the international recognition of modern Türkiye’s borders by the Treaty of Lausanne, and finally, the founding of the Republic of Türkiye on 29 October, 1923.

Mustafa Kemal, the leader of the Turkish troops was named the first president on 29 October, 1923 when the Turkish republic was proclaimed in the new capital, Ankara.

The holiday lasts 35 hours, starting at 1:00 pm on October 28th. Festivities include parades, torchlight processions, and music to mark the founding of the republic.

People lay wreaths at the many statues of Atatürk across the country or visit Atatürk’s mausoleum in Ankara.

A traditional Turkish dish that comes into mind when thinking about Türkiye’s culinary delights is Lahmacun, a Middle Eastern flatbread with minced meat, mostly beef or lamb. Vegetables, herbs like parsley, chili pepper and paprika complete the dish before it is baked in the oven. Due to its shape it is often called Turkish pizza. However, Lahmacun is prepared without cheese and has a much thinner crust than regular pizza.

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Before larger stone ovens were available, flatbreads in the Middle East were often wrapped around meat and vegetables for convenience. The Lahmacun like it is enjoyed today became famous in the mid-20th century in Istanbul.


Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command

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