Canakkale heralded Türkiye’s independence, says President Erdogan


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday hailed Canakkale Victory and Martyrs' Day, which marks the anniversary of a key 1915 victory during World War I.

"The battle of Canakkale was the rehearsal of our War of Independence, the herald of the founding of the Republic of Türkiye.

"We see Canakkale as one of the most difficult and blessed struggles our nation has given to exist in these lands. No matter how much time has passed, we always proudly remember that great epic written here 108 years ago," Erdogan said at a ceremony in the northwestern Canakkale province.

Erdogan said the battle was a crossroads in which a nation finds its original identity through glorious victory and is reborn from its ashes.

"Canakkale is not only a matter of pride for us, but also a source of inspiration that gives us the will to struggle in the face of difficulties."

Türkiye has the capacity to stand up against challenges, turn crises into opportunities, and be born from its ashes again with its state and nation, Erdogan added.

Gallipoli campaign

Tens of thousands of soldiers died in one of the world's most ferocious battles 108 years ago, in the Gallipoli campaign in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The battle took place between April 25, 1915 and Jan. 9, 1916.

Britain and France wanted to secure their ally Russia, as the Gallipoli Peninsula provides a sea route to what was then the Russian Empire.

Their aim was to capture Istanbul, then capital of the Ottomans.

The Turks repelled a naval attack, and there were thousands of casualties on both sides during the eight-month offensive.

When the land campaign also failed, the invading forces withdrew.

Victory against the Allied forces boosted the morale of the Turkish side, which then went on to wage a war of independence in 1919-1922, and eventually formed a republic in 1923 from the ashes of the old empire.

Source: Anadolu Agency