Turkish War of Independence
The Turkish War of Independence (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). 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. These campaigns resulted in the creation of the Republic of Turkey.
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|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.
Armenia (in 1920)
Georgia (in 1921)
(Bombardment of Samsun)
|Commanders and leaders|
Mustafa Kemal Pasha|
Mustafa Fevzi Pasha
Mustafa İsmet Pasha
Musa Kâzım Pasha
Ali Fuat Pasha
Kimon Digenis (POW)
Nikolaos Trikoupis (POW)
Sir George Milne
Süleyman Şefik Pasha
May 1919: 35,000|
November 1920: 86,000
(creation of regular army)
August 1922: 271,000
Dec. 1919: 80,000|
7,000 (at peak)
|Casualties and losses|
22,690 died of disease
5,362 died of wounds or other non-combat causes
4,878 died outside of combat
264,000 Greek civilians killed |
60,000–250,000 Armenian civilians killed
15,000+ Turkish civilians killed in the Western Front
30,000+ buildings and 250+ villages burnt to the ground by the Greek military and Greek/Armenian rebels.
A phrase originating out of Kemalist historiography, the Turkish War of Independence began with remaining elements of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) 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, 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.