One hundred years ago, the world entered a war of unprecedented historical scale — the Great War. Many nations were deeply affected, and its consequences are still felt around the globe.
Among the battles and campaigns of the World War I, the Çanakkale Land Battles, which took place in 1915, have a particular importance for Turkey and other combatant nations. The fierce fights in Gallipoli Peninsula were the most brutal part of the war, and they changed not only the course of the first global war, but also the flow of history thereafter.
The Battle of Gallipoli, also known as the Çanakkale Campaign, constitutes a significant point in the national history of the Turkish people, as well as in the history other countries that fought there — the Ottoman Empire lost a great portion of its population in a large geography extending from the Caucasus to the Middle East and the Balkans during the Great War. Today, Turkey maintains friendly relations with all the countries regardless of the clashes with them in the history.
The Çanakkale Campaign offers a unique example of the types of diplomatic friendships capable of being born out of conflicts. The Gallipoli Peninsula, where soldiers of different nations lie in peace side by side, stands as an eternal monument to peace and friendship.
In 1934, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk wrote a tribute to the Anzacs who lost their lives at Gallipoli:
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours… you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”