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Battle of Gallipoli

The Gallipoli campaign was a military campaign in the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in Türkiye, from 17 February 1915 to 9 January 1916. The Entente powers, Britain, France and Russia, sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire, one of the Central Powers, by taking control of the Ottoman straits. This would expose the Ottoman capital Istanbul to bombardment by Allied battleships and cut it off from the Asian part of the empire. With Turkey defeated, the Suez Canal would be safe and a year-round Allied supply route could be opened through the Black Sea to warm-water ports in Russia.

In February 1915, the British and French navies launched a massive attack on the strait, and the primary assault began on March 18, 1915. When battleships failed to seize the strait, the Allies dispatched troops that landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915. This campaign failed as well, with heavy casualties sustained on both sides.

The Gallipoli campaign became a defeat for the Allies as they were pinned down by the Turks for ten months of incessant fighting and were unable to advance past the low-lying beaches of Gallipoli. The Allies finally decided to call off the offensive and evacuated their troops.

The Ottoman Empire did not let the strongest armies of the world pass Gallipoli. This victory was one of the most important motivations for the Turkish War of Independence and the beginning of a national revival. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and other leaders from the War of Independence were in the ascendant.

The number of the casualties at the Battle of Gallipoli is as follows;

Ottoman Empire: 56,643 (dead), 97,007 (wounded)

United Kingdom: 34,072 (dead), 78,520 (wounded)

France: 9798 (dead), 17,371 (wounded)

Australia: 8709 (dead), 19,941 (wounded)

Ireland: around 4000 (dead) around 4000 (wounded)

New Zealand: 2721 (dead), 4752 (wounded)

India: 1358 (dead), 3421 (wounded)

Canada (Newfoundland): 49 (dead), 93 (wounded)


Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918)

Australians and New Zealanders recognise 25 April as a ceremonial occasion to reflect on the cost of war and to remember those who fought and lost their lives for their country. Commemorative services and marches are held at dawn, the time of the original landing, mainly at war memorials in cities and towns across both nations and the sites of some of Australia and New Zealand's more-recognised battles and greatest losses.

The dawn service held every April 25 is the culmination of events to remember fallen soldiers from Australia and New Zealand lost in a fierce battle during World War I in Gallipoli.

The Turkish side also commemorates their fallen soldiers on April 25, but the main events are held on March 18 to mark the Turkish victory.

The Turkish and Anzac soldiers did not let their cultural differences disrupt their humanity, dignity and mutual respect as humans. Although both the Anzacs and the Turks fought against each other in one of the most devastating and harsh battles in history, remarkably neither side developed enmity toward the other at the time or after Gallipoli – an example to the world.

The interactions between the Anzac and Turkish soldiers should be remembered and honored.

The Gallipoli Campaign became a national narrative for Australia and New Zealand. The battlefields and cemeteries at the site in Gallipoli have become a place for pilgrimage for many Australians and New Zealanders.


The allied naval forces consisting of 16 battleships bombarded Ottoman positions with powerful cannon fire on 18 March 1915. However, Ottoman artillery and mines that minelayer Nusret placed successfully repelled the allied forces. At the end of the day, three battleships of the allied naval forces sank and four others were heavily damaged.

The triumph of the Turks increased the motivation of the Turkish people and the Ottoman army. Additionally, after heavy causalities in the Battle of March 18, the allied forces realized that Gallipoli could not be conquered with naval forces alone. Thus, the allies made a new plan to orchestrate an attempt to occupy the Gallipoli Peninsula with land forces supported by naval forces, to potentially open a sea route to Istanbul and the Black Sea.

The day is officially known as March 18 Çanakkale Victory and Martyrs’ Day, when all fallen soldiers and civilians died in wars and other attacks are remembered.

The remembrance events culminate in a national park where cemeteries for thousands of the fallen are located in Çanakkale, and traditionally, a military parade is held. Memorial ceremonies are held in all the provinces of the country to mark the occasion.


On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, Turkish and Anzac veterans met in Gallipoli in 1990. The photographer Vedat Açıkalın took some photos during the meeting of over 50 Anzac and 10 Turkish veterans.

Two former Gallipoli foes embrace like old friends and then walk arm-in-arm across what was once their bloody battlefield, reducing veteran photographer Vedat Acikalin to tears.

The scene is 1990 at Anzac Cove when digger Len Hall and Turkish soldier Adil Şahin were brought together to help chronicle the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli battle.

'I didn't expect them to do anything like that, it was very emotional for me when I saw this immediate bond, this friendship between them, I had tears and lots of trouble focusing as I started thinking of my past in Türkiye and my new life in Australia,' Vedat Acikalin said.

'They remembered how as young men they fought so fiercely against each other, now they walked together as friends, visiting the trenches and pausing at the graves of their mates, crying and laughing,' he added.

Both men were mere boys when they enlisted, Adil aged 17 and Len only 16.

Adil Şahin died just months after the encounter with Len Hall at Anzac Cove in 1990 as part of the commemorations of the 75th Gallipoli anniversary. Len Hall lived another six more years after sharing those moments with Adil Şahin.


Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ...You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.

As creating a better and more peaceful world lies at the heart of Pertevniyal Sultan World Project, one of our aims is to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers of Türkiye and the other countries at the Battle of Gallipoli by visiting the cemeteries in Gallipoli with the students from sister-schools.

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