Thousands gathered to commemorate the historic victory of the Seljuk Empire over the Byzantines, opening the way for the Turkish conquest of Anatolia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim attended the event.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives an address at a ceremony in Mus, eastern Turkey, on the 946th anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt, which opened the way for Turkish conquest of Anatolia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives an address at a ceremony in Mus, eastern Turkey, on the 946th anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt, which opened the way for Turkish conquest of Anatolia. (AA)

Thousands around Turkey on Saturday commemorated the anniversary of the Battle of Manzikert, which marks the victory of the Seljuk Empire over the Byzantines 946 years ago. 

Commemorations were held across the country to mark the pivotal victory.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed mass crowds that gathered at 1071 Victory Square in Mus province in Eastern Turkey.

In 1071, the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantine army, opening up Anatolia for Turkish rule. 

After the Byzantine army was destroyed, the Seljuks went on to capture Anatolia from the Byzantine Empire.

"The Manzikert victory awarded us with a future. Approximately two centuries after this victory, the seeds of the Ottoman Empire started to spread across Anatolia and then across the globe," said Erdogan.

"The Manzikert victory for a long time was unacknowledged. The Battle of Manzikert is the most concrete manifestation of unity and pluralism in Anatolia. As 80 million people, we stand as one. One flag. Our flag is the colour of the martyr's blood, our crescent is a symbol of our independence, and our star is the martyr himself," he added.

Erdogan also commented on terrorist organisations Turkey is currently fighting.

"Daesh, PKK and other terrorist organisations are merely pawns. Our fight is not just against them, but also against those who are using them. Turkey is now standing tall."

The commemoration ceremony at 1071 Victory Square was attended by Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu as well as provincial governors, mayors, deputies, nonprofit organisation chairmen, heads of public institutions and tens of thousands of citizens.

Source: TRT World