Fouilltes de Sagalassos

April 25th, 1915, the Anzac landing at Gallipoli

on 26/04/2013


      Military history fans certainly knows the Anzac, short for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps”, these troops from Oceania, who fought in the First World War.

They had the mission to eliminate the Ottoman Empire by capturing Constantinople.

Thus on 25 April 1915, thousands of Anzac soldiers landed in a 600 meters long bay located in the peninsula of Gallipoli (Turkish: Gelibolu). Gallipoli was protected by the Turks under the command of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, later who will be founder of the Turkish Republic.

For more than eight months, the peninsula between the Aegean Sea and the Dardanelles was a scene of terrible battle. Of the 110,000 men who died there, there were 8141 Australians and New Zealanders…

Since the 1985 the bay where the landing took place is officially named Anzac, in memory of the army corps who lost their lives.The peninsula is now a historic national park.

Today, the former battlefields welcome tourists from all nations. They will gather at the foot of many Turkish and Ally memorials erected to the memory of all the soldiers, whether British, Australians, French, Senegalese or Turks.

Visiting the Turkish trenches, reconstituted in the heights of Anzac, military cemeteries scattered around the bay and at the southern tip, seeing thousands of small white plates aligned in rows with registered names and also monuments to the glory of all the unknown soldiers does definitely touch the soul of visitors…

In the south of the peninsula, on the monumental obelisk erected at Cape Hellès, plates added on three sides to recall the different armed services who fought here.

Every year on the anniversary date of April 25th, thousands of New Zealanders and Australians come in Anzac Bay to commemorate this tragic event and to remember those who gave their lives, even though today the atmosphere is friendly.

Sleeping bags are spread on the floor, the night is short, the ceremony begins at dawn, referring to the time when the Allies invaded the Ottoman lands, but also that of 20 December 1915 when the last Australian soldier left Gallipoli. Monitors project reports and documentaries about the battles in the region. In 2012 the Australian Prime Minister was part of the trip, demonstrating particular interest carried by his country in this commemoration.

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