Turkey marks 102 years since the battle of Gallipoli

The descendants of those who fought and died in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 come together to commemorate those who gave their lives on both sides.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Turkish soldier in historical uniform stands at the Turkish memorial during an international service marking the 102nd anniversary of the WWI battle of Gallipoli at the Turkish memorial in the Gallipoli peninsula in Canakkale, Turkey, April 24, 2017.

A ceremony is under way in Western Turkey, remembering the 102nd anniversary of the infamous battle of Gallipoli.

The 1915 battle, which took place in the Canakkale province's Gallipoli (Gelibolu in Turkish) district marked a turnaround in favour of the Turks against the Allied forces during World War I.

The events leading up to the momentous battle started in February 1915, when Britain and France decided to launch the Gallipoli Campaign to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war as quickly as possible by reaching and capturing its capital, Istanbul.

They started their attack on March 18 -- the day which is commemorated today as the Canakkale Naval Victory Day -- but the waters were filled with a network of mines laid by Ottoman vessels.

On April 25, Allied soldiers landed on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. The troops were there as part of a plan to open the Dardanelles Strait on Turkey's Aegean coast to Allied troops.

Tens of thousands of soldiers from both sides died in the campaign.

Once enemies on the battlefield, Turks and ANZACs now commemorate Gallipoli as allies.

Many of those killed on the Allied forces side came from Australia and New Zealand. They were known as ANZACs.

Nowadays, hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders make a pilgrimage to the site every year for a military dawn service.

TRTWorld and agencies