Day 19: Gallipoli

Day 19: Gallipoli

2-DSC_0302 The sky teared up the day we visited Gallipoli. So did I.

Cemeteries bloom from every hilltop along the shoreline where the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) dashed themselves against Turkish forces. “They died before they ever got out of the water,” our guide recounted. Once on land, they continued to die for eight months before the forces withdrew to Egypt.

One of the Allied Powers’ greatest defeats inaugurated the Turkish Republic’s greatest hero: Ataturk. 1-DSC_0301

He first distinguished himself as a military commander during the campaign. In the speech inscribed in stone on-site, Ataturk claims the enemy troops as Turkey’s children:

“There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours…”

I glimpsed one tombstone’s inscription — 28 years old — and could not bring myself to read any more. The crosses etched beside many names afforded my only comfort. May they rest in peace.

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