THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GATHER AT GALLIPOLI ON APRIL 25, A DATE THAT BRINGS TOGETHER AUSTRALIANS, NEW ZEALANDERS, AND TURKS SHARING THE SAME PAIN.
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives in a faraway land… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Rest in peace and silence. 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.”
Each time we read the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, we and the thousands of Australians that come to commemorate their forefathers who had lost their lives on our land experience emotional moments and interpret once again the compassion and the magnanimousness that were shown after the ruthless and terrifying face of war during the Anzac Day ceremonies that are held each year.
‘Anzac Day’ is held each year in April. The reason that the day is named as Anzac is because it stands for Australian & New Zealand Army Corps. The corps was created only for this war and the only war in its history is the Çanakkale War.
Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders who come to commemorate over eight thousand soldiers whom they had lost in the war attend the Dawn Service on April 25, which is the day that the Anzacs landed at the Cape Arı in Gallipoli in 1915 and saw the dawn for the last time. Every year, the Dawn Service is held at the same time on the Anzac Day.
Each year during the ceremonies, speeches are given by important government officials such as Australian and New Zealand Ministers of Veterans’ Affairs, and Governors; screening of documentaries pertaining the Çanakkale War and interviews with the soldiers that had joined the war take place; Australians and New Zealanders pray for their forefathers who had lost their lives in this land years ago.
Admiring the Turkish soldiers
Australian and New Zealander soldiers who had been dragged from a distant corner of the world to a strange land to fight had admired the confidence and bravery of the Turkish soldiers who had struggled to defend their country under extremely difficult conditions with all their might. They had talked about these characteristics of the Turkish soldiers in their letters to home. This is an important distinction that separates this war from the others.
Despite the inhumanity of the war, thousands of people gather at Gallipoli on April 25, a date that brings together Australians, New Zealanders, and Turks sharing the same pain to commemorate their forefathers, to mourn, and to present a more peaceful world to the next generations by comprehending the damages caused by wars.
100 thousand visitors
The region is going to host over 100 thousand visitors during the April 25 Anzac Day Ceremonies this year since it is the 100th anniversary of the Çanakkale War.