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Visiting Gallipoli on Anzac Day

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Gallipoli is a town in West Turkey where one of the bloodiest battles of World War One took place. Visiting Gallipoli is a different and eye opening experience during the entire year, however there is one specific date where many Australians or people with Australian ancestors come to Gallipoli to remember their lost ones, far far away from home. Every year on the dates of the 24th and 25th of April people from Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and France conduct Anzac Day services on the Gallipoli Peninsula for the soldiers they have lost during this vicious battle. These days includes a dawn service for the remembrance and a Gallipoli tour to understand where and which conditions those soldiers have fought in. From Istanbul or Izmir there are daily tours to the services for those who would like to deliver their respects. During this visit you will not feel anything but peace between the grand children of those who fought against each other and you will see how people can unite for a greater cause than war.

What happened in Gallipoli?

Conceived by Winston Churchill as the First Lord of the Admiralty, the plan was to knock out Ottoman Turkey, Germany’s ally, out of the war. The goal of the naval and land operation was to open up the Dardanelles straits, heavily mined and defended on its western shore by Turkish coastal forts and gun batteries on the 50-mile Gallipoli peninsula, to allied ships, capture Constantinople – present-day Istanbul – and so link up with Russia. Churchill saw the campaign as a way of breaking the attritional deadlock on the western front. “Are there not other alternatives?” he said at the time. In this military disaster 100 years ago, about 58,000 allied soldiers – including 29,000 British and Irish soldiers and 11,000 Australians and New Zealanders – lost their lives on the Gallipoli peninsula. A further 87,000 Ottoman Turkish troops died fighting the allies and at least 300,000 more on both sides were seriously wounded. The land of Gallipoli is a now a touristic place for the visitors but every year it becomes a land for everyone the remember the importance of peace and respect.

Archaeological Site of Troy
Archaeological Site of Troy
17100 Tevfikiye Köyü/Çanakkale Merkez/Çanakkale, Turquie
Çanakkale Martyrs' Memorial, Turkey
Çanakkale Martyrs' Memorial, Turkey
Çanakkale, Turkey

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The author

Idil Birben

Idil Birben

I am Idil from Istanbul, Turkey, and am currently living in London. I write about my own experiences in these countries.

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