18 March 2011

Duderstat Center

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Members of the Ann Arbor Turkish Community gathered in commemoration of the soldiers fallen in the Battle of Gallipoli (also known as Dardanelles Campaign or Canakkale War) during the World War I. March 18, 2011 corresponds to the 96th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Gallipoli. It was the biggest battle that the Turkish Nation was involved in during the World War I.

The Battle of Gallipoli is an epic story of bravery demonstrated by the Turkish soldiers in stopping a massive assault but it is also a heart-breaking one. After the war, the casualties on both sides were massive; reaching nearly half a million people. The revered Founder of the Republic of Turkey and the Commander of 19th Army Division in the battle, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, commemorates the thousands of lives lost with the following words:

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 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