Gallipoli: 100 years

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Friday 24 April, 2015 by Uncle Spike

One hundred years ago, the almost 9 month Gallipoli Campaign of World War One ended. The Allied forces withdrew from the peninsula, but at the cost of well over 100,000 lives (figures vary depending on what you read, but suffice it to say, it was a horrific figure).

Some sources reckon it was 50/50, with half of the losses being Ottoman Türks defending their coastline, and then many thousands of British and French, as well as thousands of ANZAC’s, the troops from Australia and New Zealand who lost their lives in the now infamous beach landings.

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anzac-day-at-gallipoli

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War is war, and I’m not one to spout historical arguments about such conflicts. I am an ordinary guy, so if I have any facts or figures incorrect, please excuse my inadequacies. What I will say, is that right and wrong go out the window in battle when it comes to the everyday men who fight and die. However, an extraordinary friendship between former enemies started on those battlefields, and has lasted 100 years. Both here in Türkiye and their homelands, the lost troops of the ANZAC’s and the Türks are treated equally as fallen heroes, which is the incredible, yet bizarre truth. Perhaps it shows the strength of humanity that CAN exist, even from such dire circumstances, if only we’d let it.

I know I have posted this image before, but today of all days, the words are never more poignant. These few words from Atatürk in 1934 sum it all up; and as I have also said previously, I wonder how many modern day ‘leaders’ would do the same?

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“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 now here 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.”

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1934

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By the way, if you haven’t seen the film, “The Water Diviner“, please make an effort to do so. It tells the story of an Australian father (Russell Crowe) travelling to Gallipoli in the aftermath of the First World War in search of the remains of his three sons. The film beautifully portrays the tensions, yet growing bond between these former enemies.

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9 thoughts on “Gallipoli: 100 years

  1. dunelight says:

    Gallipoli was a meat grinder and I cannot wrap my mind around it. It is not mentioned here in American Schools, maybe a sentence in passing. A belated nod in honor of ANZAC Day coming your way.

    Like

  2. Very nice I am sure. What are your thoughts on the Armenian issue (genocide?).

    Like

  3. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely post. I am always moved by Ataturk’s words. As a mother I can recognise that they would give some small comfort. Like Australians, we Kiwis hold a special place in our hearts for Turkey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colin Huggins says:

    I have a wake up call at 2.00 am to be at the Brisbane dawn service.
    Starts at 4.28 am and will be closed off at 4.00 am.
    Huge crowds are expected all around the country here at services.
    Security will be tight – better safe than sorry as there are these
    days misguided persons world wide.
    I have been, as all Australia has, seeing for weeks on TV the preparations at Anzac Cove etc.
    It was really the start of modern day Turkey and also Australia and these
    bonds of “mateship” after such an horrific beginning is so poignant on
    this day.
    “Lest we Forget”.
    Thank you mate.
    Colin (Brisbane. Australia)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. fredrieka says:

    disheartening we still have not stopped always for a greater cause never measures up to the greater souls lost

    Liked by 1 person

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