Ceremony held in Turkiye to mark Gallipoli landings

Baku, April 25, AZERTAC

A ceremony was held in Turkiye’s western Canakkale province early Monday to commemorate the 107th anniversary of the landing of foreign troops on Turkish soil during World War I, according to Anadolu Agency.

The dawn service was held with the participation of nearly 200 Australians and New Zealanders who come to commemorate their ancestors every April 25.

The ceremony began with speeches by Meka Whaitiri, New Zealand's minister for veterans, and Miles Armitage, Australia’s ambassador to Turkiye.

Letters sent by Turkiye’s founding father and first President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to families of foreign soldiers who were killed in the Gallipoli campaign were also read during the ceremony.

The ceremony concluded after the reading of the Turkish, Australian and New Zealand national anthems.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Rueben Kidman, a participant, said he came to Turkiye with his family nearly a month ago from New Zealand to attend the ceremony.

He said he was honored to be here and to bring his children as this is a very special event for them.

Sharing his thoughts on Turkiye and the Turkish people, Kidman said people welcomed them very well and added that they will remember the Turkish people not only for their generosity but also for their warm-heartedness.

Kidman's daughter, 8-year-old Isabelle, said she came to Turkiye for the first time and feels very excited about being in Turkiye and attending the ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by Turkish Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Ahmet Misbah Demircan, Gallipoli Peninsula Historical Site President Ismail Kasdemir, British Ambassador Dominick Chilcott, Irish Ambassador Sonya McGuinness, New Zealand's Ambassador Zoe Coulson-Sinclair, German Ambassador Jurgen Schulz, Canadian Ambassador Jamal Khokhar and Morocco's Ambassador Mohammed Ali Lazreq.

On April 25, 1915, nine months into World War I, Allied soldiers landed on the shores of the Gelibolu Peninsula. The troops were there as part of a plan to open the Canakkale Strait on Turkiye's Aegean Sea coast to Allied fleets, allowing them to threaten the then-Ottoman capital, Istanbul.

The Allied Forces, however, encountered strong and courageous resistance from the Turks and the campaign turned out to be a costly failure. Tens of thousands of Turkish nationals and soldiers died along with tens of thousands of Europeans, plus 7,000 to 8,000 Australians and nearly 3,000 New Zealanders.

Victory against the Allied Forces boosted the morale of the Turkish side, which went on to wage a war of independence between 1919 and 1922 and eventually formed a republic in 1923 from the ashes of the old empire.

April 25 is also known as ANZAC Day in Australia -- a significant national holiday that honors the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought and died in Canakkale on Turkiye's western coast in 1915. Australia and New Zealand commemorate the event as Gallipoli.

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