GeriGündem Turkey's last Independence War vet laid to eternal rest
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Turkey's last Independence War vet laid to eternal rest

Turkey's last Independence War vet laid to eternal rest
refid:10361134 ilişkili resim dosyası

The last veteran of the Turkish Independence War of 1919-1923 was buried at Istanbul's Karacaahmet Cemetery on Friday. (UPDATED)

Retired Colonel Mustafa Sekip Birgol passed away on Tuesday at the age of 105. 

Thousands of soldiers, veterans and Turkish citizens pinned Birgol's image to their chests and followed the funeral procession of Birgol through the streets of Istanbul to sombre applause.

Soldiers carried Birgol's casket as a firing squad saluted the veteran.

The Turkish flag covering the casket was handed to his wife. "We feel both proud and sad," said his daughter Ipek Artunc, thanking those who had come to pay their respects during a commemoration with full military honours.

Born into the family of a naval officer in the Istanbul suburb of Uskudar in 1903, Birgol attended a military high school before joining the Turkish forces under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal fighting Allied partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after it was defeated in World War One.

Birgol fought as a second-lieutenant in the western province of Afyon and took part in the recapturing of Izmir from Greek forces in 1922.

With the "War of Independence", Turkey managed to force the Allies to abandon the partitioning of Anatolia and sign the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne which established the Republic of Turkey.

Birgol retired from the army in 1952 with the rank of colonel.


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