Nation marks 571st anniversary of Istanbul's conquest

Political leaders and citizens gathered on May 29 to commemorate the 571st anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul, marking the landmark event with a series of celebrations throughout the city.

In a message shared on his social media account, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan celebrated the anniversary, describing the conquest as "one of the magnificent victories in world history."

"In order to understand the spirit of the conquest, it is necessary to know how this blessed victory was won," Erdoğan said. "The faith, determination and perseverance of Fatih Sultan Mehmet and his heroic soldiers when they conquered Istanbul inspires us today to achieve the [government's] Century of Türkiye [vision]."

The city was conquered in 1453 by the 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. It marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, which had ruled the region for over a millennium, ushering in a new era for the Ottoman state.

"After the conquest, which enabled our beloved nation to take root in a continent with the military genius, perseverance and determination of our heroic army, Istanbul became a center where different beliefs and cultures lived together, with the tolerance and fair administration of the great statesman Fatih Sultan Mehmet," Erdoğan added.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu also paid homage to the anniversary by visiting the tomb of Mehmed II.

"We are administrators who strive to be worthy of this beautiful city that he entrusted to us... Our Istanbul is a very valuable, ancient world city," İmamoğlu stated. "Together, we will protect this trust in the strongest possible way. The preservation of this city with its nature, history, culture, differences and beliefs is the trust of Fatih Sultan Mehmet to all of us."

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