The Gallipoli Campaign (known in Turkiye as Çanakkale Savaşı), was a campaign in the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Today (18 March), Turkiye commemorates the 107th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire’s World War One victory over Allied fleets that were attempting to break through the Strait of Dardanelles in the northwestern province of Çanakkale.

Britain and France, sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire by taking control of the straits that provided a supply route to Russia. In February 1915, the invaders launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula, to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul).

The landing and the succeeding months-long stalemate ended in early 1916 when the allied army gave up and withdrew.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, further proved his military skills and patriotism as a commander in Gelibolu. Then a Lt. Col., Atatürk (then known as Mustafa Kemal Pasha) led the 19th Division of the Ottoman army during the campaign in Çanakkale. His successful tactics stopped the advance of the Anzac troops in the peninsula. Outnumbered, the forces led by Mustafa Kemal won multiple victories against the invading troops who were forced to withdraw when their campaign proved futile.

Çanakkale

The Gallipoli peninsula overlooking Çanakkale (Dardanelles) Strait is where the commemoration ceremonies culminate.

Ahead of the March 18 ceremonies, workers give final touches to renovation work in a vast area where battles were fought and martyrs are honoured with monuments. Though it is a well-preserved area, the peninsula is more vivid nowadays, with 12,000 red and white peonies (plants), in the colours of the Turkish flag, planted throughout the site.

Fethiye honours the fallen

A ceremony was held at the Martyrs’ Monument in Uğur Mumcu Park in Fethiye to mark the occasion. The ceremony was attended by the Fethiye District Governorship, Fethiye Municipality and Fethiye Combatant Veterans and Martyr Families Aid and Solidarity Association. Wreaths were laid at the Martyrs’ Monument followed by a one-minute silence, the Turkish National Anthem and the recital of the poem “To the Martyrs of Çanakkale” by Hüseyin Üveys Ağır.

Sources: Wikipedia/Anadolu Agency/Daily Sabah

Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia