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NATO message on Turkey’s Victory Day angers Greece, triggers complaint

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Greece lodged a complaint with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg after the NATO Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), headquartered in the western Turkish province of İzmir, tweeted a message commemorating Turkey’s victory against Greek forces in a decisive battle in 1922 during the Turkish War of Independence, the Greek Kathimerini daily reported.

On Wednesday Turkey marked the 100th anniversary of its victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, which was fought under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. Ceremonies were held across the country on the occasion of this day, which is seen as an important turning point in the history of the Republic of Turkey.

“LANDCOM wishes a happy Victory and Turkish Armed Forces Day to our host nation. On this very special day, we would like to express our gratitude to Türkiye for their hospitality as our hosts here at #LANDCOM,” LANDCOM tweeted, joining the celebratory mood in the country.

“Since joining #NATO in 1952, Türkiye has participated in multiple operations and exercises and has always demonstrated the great professionalism and tenacity of its soldiers. Türkiye and #NATO are stronger and safer together!” LANDCOM added.

Kathimerini reported, based on diplomatic sources, that Greece’s representation to NATO has sent a protest letter to Stoltenberg about LANDCOM’s Victory Day message to Turkey.

According to the diplomatic complaint filed by the Permanent Representative of Greece to NATO, it is considered unacceptable to connect the national day of the armed forces of Turkey with a day of victory against an allied country.

LANDCOM had posted a similar message last year that it later deleted due to an angry reaction from Greece.

Following years of tension, Greece and Turkey decided to de-escalate and seek a “reset” in their relations after both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis managed to be re-elected earlier this year.

Moreover, the two leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the end of September.

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