Gallipoli, Turkish Cemeteries, and Memorials

The Gallipoli Peninsula guards the entrance to the Dardanelles Straits. During World War I, Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with Germany.

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War 1914-1918 Camp GallipoliLIFE Photo Collection

The Allied Powers, which opposed Germany, invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula. The battles are still commemorated.

Cemetery and Memorial of the 57th Regiment

On April 25, 1915, Allied troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Now part of Turkey, Gallipoli was then part of the Ottoman Empire, which entered World War I as a German ally. 

Gallipoli lies between the Aegean and the Dardanelles Straits, and the Allies planned to take it en route to capturing Constantinople (now Istanbul), the Ottoman capital. 

But the Turkish 57th Regiment prevented the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) from advancing from what’s now called Anzac Cove.

Tower

A 3-tiered tower rises above the symbolic cemetery dedicated to the 57th Regiment. The Anzacs landed two kilometers north of their planned landing site. Instead of flat coastline, they encountered steep hills like the one on which this tower stands.

Memorial Wall

This relief sculpture depicts the 57th Regiment’s counterattack. Above is a quotation by division leader Mustafa Kemal, which pays tribute to his troops’ spirit. Following World War I, Kemal founded the new nation of Turkey and became its first president.

Statue

This statue depicts Hüseyin Kaçmaz, who died in 1994 at the age of 110. He was the last known surviving Turkish veteran of this bloody campaign.

Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

At the conclusion of the fighting on April 25, 1915, General Sir Ian Hamilton ordered the Anzacs to “dig, dig, dig, until you are safe.” More than three months of stalemate in the trenches followed. 

Then, on August 6, another Allied landing at Suvla Bay, north of Anzac Cove, took place. An attack on a plateau the Allies called Lone Pine was one of several intended to divert the Turks’ attention from the main assault to the north that day.

Memorial

At Lone Pine Cemetery’s eastern end stands the Memorial to the Missing, dedicated to the soldiers from Australia and New Zealand who died in the area and have no known graves and to those who were buried at sea.

Cemetery

Lone Pine Cemetery originally had 46 graves. After the Armistice, it expanded to include memorials to more than 1,000 Commonwealth soldiers who served in the area during World War I. Nearly half of the graves are of unknown soldiers.

Front Line

For 3 months, the Anzacs held their line where the rear of the Cemetery is now, and the Turks held theirs where the Memorial is today. On August 6, Australia captured Lone Pine, at the cost of 2,000+ casualties.

The Nuri Yamut Monument

While Anzac troops landed at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915, British and French troops landed at Cape Helles, on the Gallipoli Peninsula’s southern tip. Here, as in the north, Allied and Ottoman forces were soon mired in grim trench warfare.

The Nuri Yamut Monument memorializes the thousands of Ottomans who died in the Battle of Zigindere, or Gully Ravine. In this battle, which began on June 28, the British forces advanced the left flank of the line at Helles.

Main Tower

In 1943, General Nuri Yamut had a monument built to honor those Turks who died in the Battle of Zigindere. The monument was erected over a mass grave. Within the monument lies a tombstone inscribed: “Sehidlik 1915.” Sehidlik means “martyrdom.”

Battleground

It’s estimated that over a timeframe of just six days of battle, casualties numbered some 3,800 British and 6,000 Ottoman troops. The Ottomans withdrew from Zigindere on July 5.

Çanakkale Martyrs’ Memorial

Çanakkale Martyrs’ Memorial is a large structure made of four large arches. Dedicated to the memory of the quarter-million Ottoman casualties in the Battle of Gallipoli, it overlooks the entrance to the Dardanelles Strait from a cliff. In 2007, a symbolic cemetery was opened nearby.

Tombstones

Rows of glass tombstones with names etched on both sides represent those who died defending Gallipoli (Çanakkale) from the Allies. The tombstones are grouped by Turkish province and also by countries that were once part of the Ottoman Empire.

Memorial Statue

The central memorial’s form of blue and white glass spheres represents the enverieh, the Ottoman soldiers’ distinctive headgear. The wooden structure that encloses it represents a pine cone. Together, the statue represents the unity of the Turks with their land.

Sergeant Yahya Symbolic Cemetery and Monument

On the morning of April 25, 1915, British and Irish troops landed at Ertuğrul Cove at Gallipoli’s southernmost end. From positions above the cove and in Seddülbahir Fort, Ottoman soldiers – though outnumbered and with only four machine guns – held back the invaders.

The Allies were unable to push back the Ottomans until the next day. The British official historian later said that this delay was the main reason for the overall failure of the British invasion plan.

Bronze Statue of Sergeant Yahya

The names of Ottoman soldiers who died at Seddülbahir are inscribed on a memorial wall. 

Beyond the trees facing the water stands a bronze statue of Sergeant Yahya, who took over the company after its commander, Lieutenant Abdürrahim, was killed.

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