Erdogan hails Gallipoli victory
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday "the spirit" of the Gallipoli Campaign, or the Canakkale Battles, of the World War I was the defining characteristic of Turkey's understanding of a nation and nationalism.
"Ones that could not understand the Canakkale spirit could not understand nation and our nationalism either," he told a ceremony in Turkey's northwestern Canakkale province on Monday to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the battles -- one of the Turks' greatest victories during the WWI -- and to honor the fallen Ottoman-Turkish troops.
The Gallipoli Campaign saw 56,000 to 68,000 Ottoman-Turkish soldiers dead coming from diverse "millets" or nations from across the empire and more than 100 thousand others wounded.
"Ones that could not understand the determination for solidarity and self-sacrifice in Canakkale could not understand the brotherhood in Turkey," Erdogan said.
"A manifest of our nation and our notion of nationalism was composed while a legend that would change the direction of history was being written in Canakkale," Erdogan added.
"The Canakkale Victory was not the victory of a single ethnic background, a nation or a race, rather the victory of all sister nations and all brethren in Anatolia, Thrace, Turkey and the world."
Monday, March 18, 2013