Turkish War of Independence

The Turkish War of Independence[note 3] (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military campaigns waged by the Turkish National Movement after parts of the Ottoman Empire were occupied and partitioned following its defeat in World War I. The campaigns were directed against Greece in the west, Armenia in the east, France in the south, monarchists and separatists in various cities, and Britain and Italy in Constantinople (now Istanbul).[56][57][58] Simultaneously, the Turkish nationalist movement carried out massacres and deportations in order to eliminate native Christian populations—a continuation of the Armenian genocide and other ethnic cleansing operations during World War I.[59] These campaigns resulted in the creation of the Republic of Turkey.

Turkish War of Independence
Part of the Revolutions of 1917–1923
in the aftermath of World War I

Clockwise from top left: Delegation gathered in Sivas Congress to determine the objectives of the Turkish National Movement; Turkish civilians carrying ammunition to the front; Kuva-yi Milliye infantry; Turkish horse cavalry in chase; Turkish Army's capture of Smyrna; troops in Ankara's Ulus Square preparing to leave for the front.
Date19 May 1919 – 11 October 1922 (Armistice)
24 July 1923 (Peace)
(4 years, 2 months and 5 days)
Result Turkish victory[1][2][3]

Turkish National Movement
Before 1920:
Kuva-yi Milliye[a]
Kuva-yi Seyyare
After 1920:
Ankara Government

 Armenia (in 1920)

 Ottoman Empire[e]
Georgia (in 1921)
 United States
(Bombardment of Samsun)
Commanders and leaders
Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Mustafa Fevzi Pasha
Mustafa İsmet Pasha
Musa Kâzım Pasha
Ali Fuat Pasha
Anastasios Papoulas
Georgios Hatzianestis 
Leonidas Paraskevopoulos
Kimon Digenis (POW)
Nikolaos Trikoupis (POW)
Henri Gouraud
Drastamat Kanayan
Movses Silikyan
Sir George Milne
Süleyman Şefik Pasha
May 1919: 35,000[14]
November 1920: 86,000
(creation of regular army)[15]
August 1922: 271,000[16][note 1]
Dec. 1919: 80,000[17]
1922: 200,000[18]–250,000[19][20]
7,000 (at peak)[25]
Casualties and losses
13,000 killed[26]
22,690 died of disease[27]
5,362 died of wounds or other non-combat causes[27]
35,000 wounded[26]
7,000 prisoners[28][f]
24,240 killed[29]
18,095 missing
48,880 wounded
4,878 died outside of combat
13,740 prisoners[29][30][note 2]
1,100+ killed[38]
3,000+ prisoners[39]
264,000 Greek civilians killed[40]
60,000–250,000 Armenian civilians killed[41][42]
15,000+ Turkish civilians killed in the Western Front[43]
30,000+ buildings and 250+ villages burnt to the ground by the Greek military and Greek/Armenian rebels.[44][45][46][47][48]
  • ^ a. Kuva-yi Milliye came under command of the Grand National Assembly after 4 September 1920.
  • ^ b. Italy occupied Constantinople and a part of southwestern Anatolia but never fought the Turkish Army directly. During its occupation Italian troops protected Turkish civilians, who were living in the areas occupied by the Italian army, from Greek troops and accepted Turkish refugees who had to flee from the regions invaded by the Greek army.[49] In July 1921 Italy began to withdraw its troops from southwestern Anatolia.
  • ^ c. The Treaty of Ankara was signed in 1921 and the Franco-Turkish War thus ended. The French troops remained in Constantinople with the other Allied troops.
  • ^ d. The United Kingdom occupied Constantinople, then fought against directly Turkish irregular forces in the Battle of Izmit with the Greek troops, however after this the United Kingdom would not take part in any more major fighting.[50][51][52][53] Moreover the British troops occupied several towns in Turkey such as Mudanya.[54] Naval landing forces had tried to capture Mudanya as early as 25 June 1920, but stubborn Turkish resistance inflicted casualties on British forces and forced them to withdraw. There were many instances of successful delaying operations of small Turkish irregular forces against numerical superior enemy troops.[55] The United Kingdom, which also fought diplomatically against the Turkish National Movement, came to the brink of a great war in September 1922 (Chanak Crisis).
  • ^ e. The Ottoman controlled Kuva-yi Inzibatiye ("Caliphate Army") fought the Turkish revolutionaries during the Battle of Izmit and the Ottoman government in Constantinople supported other revolts (e.g. Anzavur).
  • ^ f. Greece took 22,071 military and civilian prisoners. Of these were 520 officers and 6,002 soldiers. During the prisoner exchange in 1923, 329 officers, 6,002 soldiers and 9,410 civilian prisoners arrived in Turkey. The remaining 6,330, mostly civilian prisoners, presumably died in Greek captivity.[28]

A phrase originating out of Kemalist historiography, the Turkish War of Independence began with remaining elements of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP)[60][61] forming a counter government in Anatolia, led by Mustafa Kemal. After the end of the fighting on the Armeno-Turkish, Franco-Turkish and Greco-Turkish fronts (often referred to as the Eastern Front, the Southern Front, and the Western Front of the war, respectively), the Treaty of Sèvres was abandoned and the Treaties of Kars (October 1921) and Lausanne (July 1923) were signed. The Allies left Anatolia and Eastern Thrace, and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (which remains Turkey's primary legislative body today) declared the Republic of Turkey on 29 October 1923.

With the war, elimination of Christians,[62] the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, and the abolition of the sultanate, the Ottoman era and the Empire came to an end, and with Atatürk's reforms, the Turks created the modern, secular nation-state of Turkey. On 3 March 1924, the Ottoman caliphate was officially abolished.