Gallipoli and the Anzacs

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Special Features

  • The minelayer that ‘changed the course of history’

    The full story of the Turkish minelayer ‘Nusret’

    On the night of 8 March 1915, the commander of the 1915 Turkish minelayer Nusret laid his mines across Erenköy Bay. During the great naval attack of 18 March 1915, his mines sank the Bouvet and the Irresistible and severely damaged the Inflexible. The Gallipoli Landing was the result.
    Read more about the Nusret...

  • Submarines at Gallipoli

    The story of submarines in the Dardanelles

    At 2.30 am on 25 April 1915, as the Anzacs approached the west coast of Gallipoli in the British invasion fleet, Australian submarine AE2 travelled through minefields, strong currents and artillery fire up the Dardanelles to disrupt Turkish sea communication. View an animation of the journey.
    Explore the journey of the AE2...

  • Anzac Day at Gallipoli

    Information about Anzac Day Services at Gallipoli

    The largest Anzac Day commemoration outside Australia is held at Gallipoli on 25 April. Each year Australia and New Zealand conduct three commemorative services at Gallipoli: a joint Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative Site, followed by an Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine, and a New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair.
    Find out about Anzac Day at Gallipoli...

  • Cemeteries at Helles

    Explore each of the 9 Helles grave sites

    The Helles Memorial is both the memorial to men who fell in that campaign and whose graves are unknown or who were lost or buried at sea in Gallipoli waters. Nearby are Twelve Tree Copse and N.Z. Memorial, French Cemetery, Lancashire Landing, Pink Farm, V Beach, Wylie Grove, Redoubt and Skew Bridge.
    Visit 9 southern war cemeteries...

  • Evacuation: planning, subterfuge and pure luck

    Leaving Gallipoli and Remembering Anzac feature

    The evacuation, although a retreat, is remembered as a highly successful operation that through planning, subterfuge and pure luck, many lives were saved from what could have been a slaughter. 26,000 men were withdrawn without incident over two nights on 18-19 and 19-20 December 1915. Many men record great sadness at leaving fallen friends behind.
    Read about the Gallipoli evacuation...

  • The Gallipoli story in ten pictures

    The North Beach Commemorative Site feature

    The Anzac Commemorative site, 300 metres north of Ari Burnu at North Beach, has ten large panels that tell the story. View these panels and read the text in English or Turkish. The historian who designed the panels explains why he chose these particular images to tell the Gallipoli story to visitors.
    View the commemorative panels...

Explore 8 Turkish Memorials

Dardanelles and Gallipoli

This country of ours…

Photo: see caption below

The Atatürk Aniti (Memorial) at Conkbayiri, Gallipoli. Kemal’s whip can be clearly seen behind his back. The concrete balls on the ground in front of the memorial mark the spot where Kemal was hit by shrapnel ... Enlarge photo

For the people of modern Turkey the Battle of Çanakkale, as they call the Turkish struggle to retain control of the Gallipoli peninsula and the Straits of the Dardanelles, the Çanakkale Boğazi, in 1915, was one of the defining moments in their history. Two powerful European powers, Britain and France, tried to wrest that control from Turkey. They had even promised, if successful in their efforts to defeat Turkey, to give the capital, Constantinople, and the Straits of the Bosphorus to the Russian Empire. The failure of the British and French campaign, and the many stories of the resistance of the Turks, is remembered and honoured by dozens of memorials and historic sites on Gallipoli and along the Asiatic shore of the Dardanelles.

Australian visitors, not surprisingly, spend most of their time at Gallipoli at the cemeteries and memorials of Anzac. However, a day or two given to visiting some of the Turkish monuments and memorials in the area will provide an insight into the Turkish perspective on an event which has played such a major role in Australia’s understanding of itself. At these sites are powerful stories of courage, determination and sacrifice. Such places are a reminder that these qualities were not only to be found on the Allied side of the lines but were, and remain, a common inheritance of all peoples who have been involved in the tragedy of war. This bond between the ordinary soldiers and sailors who fought at Gallipoli was well expressed by the President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk:

There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us
Where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.

[‘Johnny’ – name signifying an ordinary British/Australian/New Zealand soldier: ‘Mehmet’ – similarly, a symbolic name for an ordinary Turkish soldier.]

The Turkish memorials and monuments featured in this gallery are only a small sample of those to be seen at Gallipoli and on the Asiatic shore. For a fuller description see Phil Taylor and Pam Cupper, Gallipoli, A Battlefield Guide or Major and Mrs Holt, Battlefield Guide, Gallipoli.

Statue of Turkish gunner

Corporal Seyit Memorial, Kilitbahir, Gallipoli ... Enlarge photo

When World War I broke out in Europe in early August 1914, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) initially remained neutral, unable to commit itself fully to either the Central Powers (Germany and Austro-Hungary) or the Allies (Britain, France and Russia). However, on 27 September 1914, Turkey closed the Straits of the Dardanelles (Çanakkale Boğazi) to British, French and Russian shipping and the situation gradually drifted towards war. On 29 October, German warships, ostensibly under Turkish control, bombarded Russian Black Sea ports. Turkey now found itself drawn inexorably into the German sphere of influence, and on 5 November 1914 Britain and France officially declared war on the Ottoman Empire.