Turkey, Allies unite to mark 99th Gallipoli anniversary
ÇANAKKALE – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoTurkey marked the 99th anniversary of the ground war of the Dardanelles campaign in the northwestern province of Çanakkale with ceremonies on April 24, commemorating all soldiers who fell in the battles.
High-ranking Turkish officials and foreign dignitaries from 32 countries attended the ceremony at the Monument of Martyrs at Çanakkale National Park, giving peace messages to the world 99 years after the battle.
Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Çanakkale Governor Ahmet Çınar, and a number of Turkish generals were among the attendees, along with New Zealand’s Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, Australian Secretary of Veterans Affairs Michael Ronaldson, and the prime minister of the interim government of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed Tomeh.
Turkish President Abdullah Gül’s message was displayed on the screens placed at the ceremony area.
“A strong friendship emerged from a sad history. Our duty is to work for keeping a permanent peace in the world,” Gül said.
Brigadier General İsmail Gürgen spoke in the name of the Turkish Army, saying Çanakkale was a monument to humanity against the cruelty of the war, underlining that over 500,000 people were killed on both sides.
General Elrick Irastorza, from France, also spoke at the ceremony, saying that coming together on the same land today showed the distance covered by yesterday’s enemies and today’s allies. He stressed that peace between nations is only possible if a different kind of war is waged against hate, fear of others and fear of differences.