Washington, DC | March 18, 2017 – Today, we respectfully commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Çanakkale/Gallipoli War as a great national victory; the day allied warships were repelled by the courage and sacrifice of the Turkish gunners and foot soldiers at the Çanakkale/Gallipoli fortifications. The battle lasted two years, claiming the lives of over 70 thousand British, Australian, French, New Zealander and Indian troops on one side, and over 60,000 Ottoman soldiers on the other side.
The British invasion of Çanakkale/Gallipoli at the western most point of the Ottoman Empire, occurred at the same time as the Russian invasion of eastern Anatolia.
Between 1915 and 1922, over three million Ottoman Muslims and Jewish were killed and displaced in concurrent Greek, French, and Italian invasions of western and southern Anatolia. Over 1.1 Million Ottoman Muslims and Jews were massacred and displaced in the Armenian revolts that facilitated the Russian invasion.
Under the leadership of Kemal Atatürk, a young and brilliant army office then, The Çanakkale/Gallipoli was considered by many to be the beginning of the Turkish independence war which marked the awakening of the Turkish nation changing the world’s history forever.
The Çanakkale/Gallipoli was more than a victory against foreign occupation. It provided the necessary confidence for the citizenry of Anatolia to commence the Turkish War of Independence, which marked the end of the imperial dynasty and theocratic order of the 700-year Ottoman Era, and lead to the creation of a Turkish Republic in 1923, based on secular democracy, plural society, gender equality, and universal human rights.
Today, We honor the martyrs and veterans who fought for Turkey’s independence so valiantly and so selflessly.