Heroes who 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 Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away 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.
— Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1934.The quote appears on the Atatürk Memorial in Turakena Bay, Gallipoli, and on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, ANZAC Parade, Canberra, Australia.
|ANZAC Cove During the Battle|
But even though Gallipoli became a disaster in British military history, it helped give birth to three great modern nations. To this day ANZAC Day (today) is a holiday in Australia and New Zealand, and fills the place that November 11 (Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day) does elsewhere in the English-speaking world. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) suffered enormous losses, fed into a meat grinder assault against a ridgeline, but both Australia and New Zealand emerged from it, and from the subsequent Chanak crisis, much more independent of their mother country, with modern identities of their own. In fact, as the quote above notes, they and the Turks get along well enough and they admire Atatürk's respect for their dead. In the eyes of many Australians today, the real villain of the piece was not the Turks, but Mother England. (Affectionately (?) known Down Under, of course, as "Pommy Bastards.")
|Kemal at Gallipoli|
Although the Islamist, post-Kemalist Turkey of today is undergoing some historical revisionism about Kemal's real importance at Gallipoli, most Western military accounts still credit him for the success.
|Kemal During the War|
ANZAC Day greetings to all. And for any Aussie readers, folksinger Eric Bogle's great antiwar song about Gallipoli, done with period photos from the battle (and later, photos of modern Canadian troops serving abroad):