The 948th anniversary of the Manzikert Victory, which opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks, will be commemorated with the ceremonies to be held at the national park in Malazgirt borough.

Anatolia carries the traces of myriads of civilizations that have made it their home throughout its history that extends over 10,000 years. Structures built by different civilizations, such as those of the Romans and the Ottomans, in different eras are found co-existing side by side. Without doubt, one of the most characteristic traces in terms of architecture are those of the Seljuks who made this land their home in 1071. Settling in Anatolia the Seljuks put forth the aspects of their art in many masterpieces ranging from the Taşmedrese in Akşehir to Sarıhan in Avanos, İnce Minareli Madrasah in Konya to Ulu Kümbet mausoleum in Ahlat. Divriği Ulu Mosque and its hospital, the dockyard in Alanya, Sultanhanı in Aksaray, Çifte Minareli Madrasah in Erzurum featuring crown gates, and the stone masonry and blue-glazed tiles unique to Seljuk architecture impress all who lay eyes on them.

There is a spirited victory behind all of these glorious buildings! Reigning over a vast stretch of land stretching from the Middle East to Central Asia, the Indian Peninsula to Hijaz, the Seljuks started to clash frequently with the Byzantine Empire in Anatolia as they focused their attention on westbound campaigns. The Seljuk army commanded by Sultan Alparslan came face to face with the Byzantine forces under the command of Romanos Diogenes on the Manzikert Plain. The victory Seljuks won here, exactly 948 years ago, on August 26, 1071, became a milestone in Turkish and Islamic history and made Anatolia Turks’ lasting homeland.

The ceremonies organized each year on the week of August 26 by the Archers Foundation at the Muş borough of Malazgirt and the Ahlat borough of Bitlis are held under the auspices of and with the participation of His Excellency President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since 2017. The commemoration aims to encourage the new generations to embrace the importance of the Victory of Manzikert in Turkish and Islamic history and to draw visitors to the region by placing it on a history and cultural tourism destination. The 948th anniversary of the victory that opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks will be commemorated with ceremonies to be held on the Manzikert Plain. The Manzikert Battle Historical National Park set up on a 70,000-square meter area in Muş will serve as the backdrop of a glorious program.

Shows of traditional Turkish sports such as archery, wrestling, and mounted games will be presented to the participants, and competitions of these sports will be held. On a showground that accommodates 100,000 spectators, there will be entertainments in tents, feasts, and folk dance shows. Concerts, parades, workshops on traditional arts and craftsmanship, and competitions for children will liven up and contribute to the richness of the event. The Malazgirt 1071 Commemoration Program will  end with the closing ceremony in which the “Paired Dragons-Shaped Door Handle”-designed by Al-Jazari- of the Ulu Mosque in Cizre will be presented to His Excellency President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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