The “İstiklâl Marşı” was officially adopted as Turkey’s national anthem on March 12, 1921. 724 poems were submitted to a competition organized to find and select the most suitable original composition, and a poem written by the poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy was adopted unanimously by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. There are ten verses to Ersoy’s poem, but only the first two are usually sung as the national anthem.
Twenty-four composers participated in another competition arranged for the selection of a musical composition for the National Anthem. The Council, which was only able to convene in 1924 due to the War of Independence, adopted the music composed by Ali Rifat Çagatay. The words of the National Anthem were sung to this music for six years. The music of the National Anthem was then changed to an arrangement written by Zeki Üngör, conductor of the Presidental Symphonic Orchestra, and the words of the National Anthem have been sung to this musical accompaniment ever since.
The anthem of Turkey is also used in the Turkish areas of northern Cyprus.