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President Erdogan marks 571st anniversary of Istanbul’s 1453 historic conquest

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday celebrated the 571st anniversary of the Conquest of Istanbul, a pivotal event in both Turkish and world history, according to the Türkiye’s Directorate of Communications.

“I celebrate the 571st anniversary of the Conquest of Istanbul, one of the magnificent victories in world history and our history,” Erdogan declared, underscoring the enduring significance of this historic triumph.

Türkiye’s Directorate of Communications also stated on X that President Erdogan emphasized the importance of “understanding the spirit” and context of the conquest.

He highlighted the “military genius, determination and perseverance” characterizing the efforts of the Ottoman forces, led by Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Mehmed the Conqueror), who was the seventh sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning first from 1444 to 1446 and then from 1451 until his death in 1481.

Erdogan added that this victory not only facilitated the spread of the Ottoman Empire but also established Istanbul as a melting pot of diverse “cultures and beliefs”, due in large part to Sultan Mehmet’s vision of “tolerance and just governance.”

“Istanbul, which carries the traces of its history to the present day and serves as a source of inspiration for artists, is among the world’s most prominent cities in our era as the center of business, finance, trade, art, culture, and faith in our country,” he also noted, paying homage to the city’s historical and contemporary significance.

The president drew parallels between the “determination” of Sultan Mehmet’s era and modern aspirations, suggesting that the same spirit of “perseverance and faith” guides Türkiye towards its future goals, notably the “Turkish Century.”

Erdogan concluded his message with a tribute to those who made the conquest possible, saying: “On the occasion of the 571st anniversary of the Conquest of Istanbul, I remember with mercy, respect, and gratitude Fatih Sultan Mehmet and our revered martyrs, who left us this world city of unparalleled beauty, and I extend my heartfelt greetings to all our citizens.”

The Conquest of Istanbul, also referred to as the Fall of Constantinople, took place on May 29, 1453, and signified a crucial turning point in global history.

This event resulted in the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Empire as a dominant power.