Thousands join Gallipoli commemorations in Turkey's west
The event marks the 103rd anniversary of the first landing by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops on the Gallipoli (Gelibolu in Turkish) peninsula.
The Gallipoli Commemorative services are conducted by Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France and are held over two days, April 24 and 25.
The services on April 24 include the Turkish International Ceremony at the Martyr’s Monument (“Şehitler Abidesi” in Turkish), the French Memorial Service, the Commonwealth Memorial Service at Cape Helles and the Turkish Memorial Service at the 57th Regiment Memorial and Cemetery.
The international ceremony at Cape Helles Memorial was attended by Turkish Culture and Tourism Deputy Minister Hüseyin Yaman, Çanakkale Governor Orhan Tavlı, the British Ambassador to Turkey Dominick Chilcott, New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Reddy, along with many other officials.
Following speeches and prayers, wreaths were left at the memorial. The national anthems were sung by the Australian Navy Band that joined the ceremonies for the first time this year.
The next day on April 25, which is known as Anzac Day, Australia and New Zealand will conduct the Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative Site, as is the case every year.
On April 25, 1915, allied soldiers landed on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. The troops were there as part of a plan to open the Dardanelles Strait on Turkey’s Aegean coast to Allied fleets.
The Allied forces, however, encountered strong 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 around 7,000-8,000 Australians and nearly 3,000 New Zealanders, referred to together as Anzac troops.