Turkish PM says brotherhood key legacy of Gallipoli on 100th anniversary
ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu Agency
DHA photoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has emphasized the significance of national unity and brotherhood on Anatolian soil as the key to the Ottomans’ Gallipoli victory of 1915.
“This blessed war recalls the importance of national unity and solidarity to the minds of our nation,” he said March 18 in the northwestern province of Çanakkale.
At the commemoration ceremony for the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli Victory Day, the battle that marked a turnaround against the Allied Forces in favor of the Turks during World War I, Davutoğlu said the country’s ancestors who died in Çanakkale had displayed the main quality of Turkey’s future: “brotherhood,” which he called a holy legacy.
“Those who came from every single corner of our country and walked on the path to martyrdom sowed the seeds of an eternal brotherhood from that time forth in our homeland,” he said.
“One-hundred years on, Turkey deems the faith of the grandsons of the sacred martyrs as its own, just as they fought in solidarity with us in Çanakkale,” he said.
During the battle against enemies in the trenches, the premier said people from Iraq, Syria, the Balkans and Azerbaijan had fought shoulder to shoulder to prevent Istanbul – the capital of the Ottoman Empire – from falling to the Allies.
He stressed that the faith of neighbors and former Ottoman territories Syria, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Balkans was “entrusted to the merciful and caressing hands of the Republic of Turkey.”
In a clear reference to current crises in the region, Davutoğlu also pledged to stand against those who oppress the grandsons of the Çanakkale fallen in Aleppo, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, Basra and Baku.
“Tyrants across the world will never have a moment’s peace as long as we breathe. The Anatolian soil which we inherited from you will always be the land of shelter for the oppressed,” he said.
“The Gallipoli victory had major effects not only on Turkish history but also on the history of the whole world,” said Çanakkale and Garrison Commander Rear Adm. Hasan Nihat Doğan.
Speaking during the ceremony, Doğan stressed that the victory had been gained by the bravery and steadfastness of the Turkish soldiers.
“This land, Canakkale, is a gift to us from a generation who sacrificed their life and we will protect this gift at the cost of our lives,” Doğan said.
“Like Istanbul, Çanakkale is a city which unites two continents and many cultures,” added Çanakkale Gov. Ahmet Çınar.
Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, as well as Education Minister Nabi Avcı and Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç, also attended the ceremony.