What does the Pyrrhic victory mean? Is Erdogan’s election victory a Pyrrhic victory?

used to describe various events in history. Pyrrhic victory origin of the concept Pyrus, King of Epirusis based on. 280 BC Roman RepublicOne of the Greek colonial cities in Italy, which was disturbed by the expansion of Tarentumasks Pyrrhus for help. After Macedonia’s financial incentives, Pyrrhus decides to support his compatriots in Italy.

Pyrrhus reaches Tarentum with his army of 30 thousand, including 20 elephants. HeraclaeThe soldiers of Pyrrhus, who stood against the 40 thousand army of Rome in BC, managed to cause serious damage to the Romans. However, as the battle continues, Pyrus falls off the horse. The Romans, who captured his navy, show it to the enemies along the battle line and shout that Pyrrhus is dead. The Epirus army, which thinks that it has lost its commanders, loses its motivation and suffers great losses.

Realizing the situation, Pyrus begins to wander the line, just like his helmet, to show that he is alive. Regaining their motivation, the soldiers succeed in expelling the Romans. However, Pyrrhus’ army was badly wounded. Both sides retreat to bandage their wounds. Although Pyrrhus sent envoys for peace, he realized that the Romans, who had a developed military system, were able to establish a new army very quickly.


Although Pyrrhus advanced to the city of Rome, he realized that he was at a disadvantage and came before the Romans in the city of Asculum on the Adriatic coast. Just like in the previous battle, the Epiruses start the battle well. However, the Romans set fire to their distant camp. Seeing their camps destroyed, the Epirus soldiers lose their determination again and begin to disperse. Pyrrhus avoids defeat by using his cavalry and elephants. The Romans begin to be surrounded, admit defeat and retreat. Pyrrhus looks at the corpse-filled battlefield, where he lost some of his elephants and their most important commander, and utters his famous saying; “If we get another win like this, we will be doomed!”

The Romans suffered much more losses than the Epiruses. However, they can tolerate these losses because of both their large populations and advanced military systems. The people of Epirus do not have such a luxury. Realizing that he could not permanently destroy Rome, Pyrrhus set his sights on Sicily. to the Carthaginians translates.

Carthaginians, collaborating with Rome against Pyrrhus, declare victory. So Pyrrhus leaves Italy. One year after his death, the city of Tarentum, which called him to Italy, became Roman territory.


Considering the difficult economic conditions in Turkey and the vote that AKP lost, comments were made that May 28 was a Pyrrhic victory. However, the examples known as the Pyrrhic victory in history do not describe the wars fought with injuries, but the wars that were entered well but ended up injured.

In many wars and political showdowns after Heraklae and Asculum, the interpretation of Pyrrhus victory was also made. For example, the Battle of Bunker Hill, one of the important points of the American War of Independence, was one of the most typical examples of Pyrian victory. Although the British managed to control the Boston Peninsula after the war, their losses caused the desire for independence of other colonies to increase.

Likewise, the ‘siege of Zigetvar’ of the Ottoman Empire is another example. As a result of the defeat of the Holy Roman Empire in 1566, the Zigetvar region of Hungary joined the Ottoman Empire, but the advance to Vienna was halted as a result of the death of Sultan Suleiman during the campaign and the loss of 20,000 soldiers in the battle.

In other words, the parties that won the victories, which are called the Pyrrhic victory in short, suffered heavy and visible losses that were accepted by everyone. These losses ultimately marked the beginning of political changes.

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