Anzac Day in Turkey
This is an article from The Australian Telegraph..and i hope some of you might enjoy reading it.

IN the same way you can switch off and gaze for hours at a smouldering campfire or a thundering waterfall, the Dardanelles strait in Turkey has that same, inexplicable, mesmerising quality.

There is a saying that whenever you look at the Dardanelles, there is always a ship somewhere in view and from what I can see, this is pretty much the case.

I'm looking out of my hotel window in the port town of Cannakale, watching a line of Tampa-sized freighters slug their way south from the Black Sea, heading for the open waters of the Mediterranean.

The Dardanelles has been a golden prize for thousands of years - it has caused countless wars, cost countless lives and spawned the most extraordinary legends - and none more so than that of almost a century ago.

This is the place the Anzacs were after - the Holy Grail that would open up a sea route to supply Russia, put the squeeze on Germany and ultimately wrap up the most violent war the world had ever seen.

Yet, in the space of nine months, the whole noble venture degenerated into an abattoir, epitomised by a word that would become ingrained in generations of Australians and New Zealanders - Gallipoli.

If you were H.G.Wells, able to build a time machine capable of propelling a 1915 Digger or a Turkish soldier 93 years forward to 2008, they would be agog to see the remarkable reconciliation between two nations, which fought one of the most bitter campaigns of the 20th century.

In 2008, Anzac Day in Turkey has no parallel anywhere in the world. It defies all the traditional ingrained hatreds between the invader and the defender, the victor and the defeated.

Anzac Day is a symbol of peace, forgiveness and understanding.

This is my third year, invited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be the overnight host at Anzac Cove and at the war cemetery at Lone Pine and in that brief time, the changes that have taken place are extraordinary.

Understandably, for the Turkish people, the concept of thousands of descendants of an unsuccessful invading force which cost Turkey double the number of casualties has been difficult to come to terms with.

And contrary to what some Australians believe, the Anzac site is not some piece of immune Australian soil. It is Turkish land and ultimately it is due to the good grace of the Turkish Government that Anzac Day continues on site.

Yet there is clearly increasing goodwill with a concerted effort by Turkey to rightly commemorate their heroes on Anzac Day. Near Lone Pine there is now an impressive monument to the 57th Regiment, of which there were no survivors. Not an easy thing for a nation traditionally used to celebrating victory rather than commemorating defeat.

Equally important is the friendship between Turkey and Australia. Only last month, four Australian women, all descendants of Gallipoli veterans were invited by the Turkish Prime Minister's wife to come to Cannakale to participate in Turkey's own Anzac Day on March 18 to plant olive trees as a symbol of peace.
Anzac Day in Turkey
Hi Helen..i think it is always on the 25th April as they have a national remembrance holiday in Australia and New Zealand on that day


Anzac Day in Turkey
but last year Turkey's own Anzac day was 18 March - will it be the same this year - sorry if I am getting confused (happens quite a lot these days ha ha)?


Anzac Day in Turkey
but last year Turkey's own Anzac day was 18 March - will it be the same this year - sorry if I am getting confused (happens quite a lot these days ha ha)?

The 18 MARCH is indeed marked with military ceremonies in Turkey, particularly to mark the Martyrs- the men and women who have fallen in service, but it is not a holiday.
The date 18 March 1915 is the day of the last military victory by the Ottoman Empire , against the combined navy of the British Empire and the French when the Allies tried to force entry through the Dardanelles to gain Constantinople/ Istanbul.
The forts that lined the straits that pounded the fleet as they tried to force their way through, and the minelayers who worked at night to put down the last lethal lines that destroyed the pride of the Royal Navy and the French navy caused the surviving ships to turn and flee. The accounts are incredible of that one day, horrifying too.
Because of that loss, the Allies then decided to throw the land troops onto the Gelibolu Peninsula to take Istanbul. ( thats where the ANZACs came in)
Turks call these battles , Cannakkale, and consider it the start of Turkish independence, and when Mustafa Kemal proved himself as a commander in the field.


Anzac Day in Turkey
I was reading about the Galipoli Campaign a few years ago, so very much aware of
the Anzacs.
What did surprise me was to find out that the Royal Navy actually had sailors fighting
side by side in the trenches with soldiers.
Those who were seriously wounded were transfered to a field hospital in Port Said, Egypt.


Anzac Day in Turkey
There’s a little article on EMRE KIZILKAYA’S BLOG regarding the 94TH anniversary of the end of the Battle of Gallipoli, known in Turkey as Martyrs' Day. (It was actually yesterday but its still interesting all the same)

Seyit Ali was an Ottoman private soldier during the naval operation in the Dardanelles Campaign. As the British Navy was forcing the way through the Dardenelles 94 years ago, Seyit was helping the Ottoman artillery unit by reloading the cannons to defend the Strait. He managed to lift a shell, weighed around 330 kg. That bullet hit the British battleship HMS Ocean, which still sleeps with the fishes in the Marmara Sea. Seyit was promoted to a corporal, but he couldn't manage to lift the bullet again. After he posed with a mock bullet, he said that he could do it again, if it's vital for the country.

Today is the 94th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Gallipoli, which was won by the defending Ottoman army in 1915. It is marked as the Martyrs' Day in Turkey.

Like the preceeding Turkish Independence War, which was won against Britain, France, Greece, Italy and Armenia, the Gallipoli was also a miraculous victory. Britain's mighty royal armada was beaten, alongside the international troops of the British Empire and France, in this last battle against imperialism.

The result was 500.000 deaths and major political developments, like the resignation of Winston Churchill, as well as the rise of Mustafa Kemal, the founder of Turkey who was a leading commander in Gallipoli.

Full article
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