Gallipoli War sign of unity, says Turkish president
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkish President Abdullah Gül. AA photo
The Gallipoli War was a sign of the country’s unity and brotherhood, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said in a statement released on the 98th anniversary of the March 18 Martyrs’ Day and Dardanelles Naval Victory.
“The fight that was put up in the Dardanelles is the clearest proof that no power shall harm our unity and 1,000-year-old brotherhood,” Gül said. “That spirit and consciousness will be the strongest basis in our progress as a country that has advanced to the highest of standards.”
Gül said the “brave fight” and “unique sacrifices” achieved victory for the Turkish people, who “united in one body, one heart.”
The cemeteries of the land, now home to martyrs of many nations and ethnicities, also stand as a monument to peace and humanity, Gül added.
From April 25, 1915, to January 9, 1916, a joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Istanbul and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, leading to heavy casualties on both sides.
Both the March 18th Naval Victory and the Gallipoli land victories restored the Turkish Army’s prestige in the world and constituted a milestone in the Turkish nation’s struggle for independence.
The events, which were considered the Ottoman Empire’s biggest achievement during World War I, are known in the West as the “Gallipoli Campaign” or the “Battle of Gallipoli.”