Thousands gather for dawn service in Gallipoli to remember fallen Anzacs
Visitors from Australia and New Zealand on April 25 morning attended a dawn ceremony marking the 104th anniversary of the World War One Battle of Gallipoli at Anzac Cove in the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey’s northwestern province of Çanakkale.
Australians and New Zealanders made the trip to the former battlefields overlooking the Dardanelles Strait for the annual sunrise commemoration of the start of the eight-month campaign.
Participants stayed out overnight at the commemoration site in sleeping bags and blankets in cold weather, waiting for the service to start as they watched documentaries and interviews on the World War I Çanakkale battle.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also paid tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the Gallipoli battle, calling on generations to come to protect the “message of friendship” developed between the nations during the battle.
In a written message, Erdoğan said: “Today, we commemorate all the soldiers from every nation who lost lives in the Çanakkale battle.”
“I hope that Çanakkale [battle] will set an example for all societies in terms of transforming common pains into a tool of friendship, love, and peace, not creating new hostilities,” he said.
“On the occasion of the Anzac Day, we reiterate our call for peace through our guests here in our country,” the president added.
“All of us have great responsibilities for new wars not be broken out and the next generations to live in a peaceful world.”
Çanakkale battle in 1915 marked a turnaround in favor of the Turks against the Allied forces during World War I.
Tens of thousands of Turkish nationals and soldiers died, along with tens of thousands of Europeans, plus around 7,000-8,000 Australians and nearly 3,000 New Zealanders, referred together as Anzac troops.