This is not a 'Things to do' but more of an explanation of a thing that you see. The following information was sent to me by VT member 'Sirvictor' to contribute to my Gallipoli page. I thought it deserved a page of its own.
If you enter the Strait of Dardanelles from Aegean Sea you will see on the right the Hills of Canakkale and on the left the Gallipoli Peninsula.
On the Hills of Canakkale you will notice a warning in capital letters coloured with white chalk " Halt Traveller!" This warns all people who desire to enter the Dardanelles without permission.
In March 18th 1915 British and French tried to enter the Dardanelles without permission and paid their desire with blood and heavy losses.
After that bloody fight a Turkish poet called Necmettin Halil Onan wrote the following poem. The poem is translated into English by Tanwir Wasti. published by the March 18th University Magazine 2003
To a Traveller
Stop wayfarer! Unbeknownst to you this ground
You come and tread on, is where an epoch lies;
Bend down and lend your ear, for this silent mound
Is the place where the heart of a nation sighs
To the left of this deserted shadeless lane
The Anatolian slope now observe you well;
For liberty and honor, it is, in pain,
Where wounded Mehmet laid down his and fell
This very mound, when violently shook the land,
When the last bit of earth passed from hand to hand,
And when Mehmet drowned the enemy in flood,
Is the spot where he added his own pure blood.
Think, the consecrated blood and flesh and bone
That make up this mould, is where a whole nation,
After a harsh and pitiless war, alone,
Tasted the joy of freedom with elation.
Between the 7thto 19th August 1915 the battle of Chunuk Bair was waged between the New Zealand / British forces and the Turks. The Allies succeeded (it was the frist battle win for the Allied troops) but the Ottomans reclaimed the territory after a few days.
It was during this battle that Mustafa Kemal Attaturk was shot in the chest. His life was saved by his pocket watch which absorbed the impact of the shot.
Records show this as one of the bloodiest battles of the Gallipoli campaign. 60,000 Allied lives and 10,000 Turkish lives lost.
The memorial at Chunuk Bair recoreds the names of over 800 soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who died in battle in 1915 and have no known resting place. A nearby monument bears the inscription - IN HONOUR OF THE SOLDIERS OF THE NEW ZEALAND EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. 8TH AUGUST 1915. FROM THE UTTERMOST ENDS OF THE EARTH.
There is also a statue of Mustafa Kemal Attaturk with an inscription of the pedestal recording the event of his wounding.
GallipoliMustafa Kemal issued this order, "I do not expect you to attack, I order you to die! In the time which passes until we die, other troops and commanders can take your place!". The 57th Infantry Regiment Ottaman Empire was completely wiped out
The Memorial Park is Turkish symbolic cemetery, with plaques bearing names of soldiers of 57th Regiment who lost hteir lives defending their homeland during the Gallipoli campaign. It was built in 1992 and contains, as well as the war graves, two statues. One of a Turkish soldier and the other of the oldest Turkish Gallipoli veteran with his grand-daughter. He died in 1994 at the age of 108 years.
At the entrance of the cemetery are various plaques. One shows a dedication to the sacrifice of the 57th regiment by the commander Mustafa Kemal Attaturk; another tells a tribute to the bravery and compassion of the Turkish soldier byt General William Birdwood of the ANZAC forces.
The Battle of Lone Pine, known in Turkish as the Battle of Kanlý Sýrt, was a battle between Australian and Turkish forces that took place during the Gallipoli campaign from 6–10 August 1915. The battle flield was named for a single Turkish pine tree that grew there prior to the war.
The site is now occupied by the Lone Pine cemetery and the Lone Pine Memorial which
commemorates all the Australian and some of the New Zealand 'missing' at Gallipoli, including those who have no known grave and those buried at sea.
A pine tree was planted in 1920 as a symbol of the original tree.
The original solitary tree didn't survive the battle but pine cones were collected by at least two Australian soldiers and the seeds planted. Descendents of the original Lone Pine have been planted around Australia and New Zealand. There is a pine tree growing slightly away from the cemetery which is said to have been a seedling from one of these trees. I can only find one source to confirm this - please refer to the website below.
Anzac Cove is a small cove on the Gallipoli peninsula that became famous as the site of World War I landing of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) on April 25, 1915. This small cove of only 600 metres long was to become the main base for the ANZACs for the eight month duration of the Gallipoli campaign.
The base was about a kilometre from the Turkish front line and well within the range of Turkish artillery. Although casualties were high on both sides a respect for each other was born. During quiet times each side helped each other to care for the wounded and bury the dead.
On Anzac Day in 1985, the name "Anzac Cove" was officially recognised by the Turkish government. The Anzac Day dawn service had been held at Ari Burnu Cemetery within the cove until 1999but the number of people attending outgrew the site. A purpose built "Anzac Commemorative Site" was constructed nearby on North Beach in time for the 2000 service.
The ANZAC Cove cemetery lies at the south end of the cove.
I visited Gallipoli with a tour by "TJ's Tours" I was staying at Canakkale, so had to catch the ferry across to Eceabat to where their office was. I paid for the Ferry, then they reimbursed me the money. Their office is right on the square where you arrive. Our Tour guide was a very knowledgable young man, who filled us in on the History and answered the questions we put to him. I think most of us found out more than we already knew, and we also got to hear the viewpoint of a Turkish person. We were never rushed, had plenty of time for photos and to browse, and he also took photos for us. I couldn't fault the tour.
It went from 1pm - 7pm. I think it usually starts and finishes earlier.
I paid 40 t/l (2009)
This really is a good place to start at before visiting the memorials and cemeteries. It's located about 1km east of the small fishing village of Kabatepe which is about 4km south of Anzac Cove where the Allied forces landed on 25th April 1915. Kapatepe was probably meant to be the actual landing point but currents swept the Allied forces northwards to Anzac Cove. This museum contains a large collection of uniforms, rusty weapons, mortar shells, letters to loved ones, photos, the skull of a Turkish soldier with a bullet lodged in the forehead plus bullets which actually hit each other mid-air (which is said to be a 160 million to 1 chance of happening), and private belongings such as shaving tools, cocoa cases, leather flasks etc. Outside are various war memorials.
This cemetery overlooks the headland where the lighthouse stands and features a tall modern bell tower. It mostly commemorates the Crimean War (1853-56) but also includes an ossuary that contains the bones of 11 Senegalese soldiers who died in the Gallipoli campaign and were buried here between 1919 and 1923.
Known as the Flag Father Tomb, it is located near the lighthouse and contains the remains of Karaca Bey, who was an Ottoman standard (flag) bearer. In 1410, reluctant to let the enemy capture his flag, he cut it into pieces and swallowed them. That sounds bad enough, but then when his friends doubted what he said, Karaca Bey sliced open his own stomach to reveal the half-digested pieces of flag inside! The tomb is simply covered with Turkish flags, so-much-so that you can't see his tomb underneath them all. People come here and pay their respects by buying a flag and draping it over his tomb.
This unusual looking outdoor mosque is located overlooking the sea on a headland near the lighthouse. It was built in 1407 and features a white marble mihrab that indicates the direction of Mecca and a mimber - pulpit.
Opposite the Ahmed-i Bican Efendi Turbesi is a mosque that is home to a couple more tombs including this one....He was revered as the author of a commentary on the Koran called the Muhammediye and died in 1453.
This small museum is housed in a Greek stone tower that is all that remains of the Greek settlement of Callipolis, which gave the present town and peninsula their name. The museum is named after and dedicated to one of the Islamic world's greatest cartographers and admirals, Piri Reis (around 1465-1554). There are rumours that he was the first person to make a world map showing America that dates from 1513 and was only discovered in 1929 at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. the museum displayed several of his maps and his mapping tools as well as painted portraits of the man.
Open: 8.30am-noon & 1-5pm Fri-Wed. Admission: Free.
This is the most picturesque sight in Gelibolu (Gallipoli town). The harbour is located next to the ferry terminal and features two sections - the smaller of the two, I think, used to be the original Greek harbour. This is where you'll find the wonderful looking Greek stone tower that houses a small museum on the admiral and cartographer Piri Reis. The harbour is also home to a few small restaurants but I didn't try any of them out.
Gelibolu (Gallipoli town) is located about 40km north of Eceabat on the eastern side of the Gallipoli peninsula and I've included it and its attractions here on VT's Gallipoli page as it doesn't have its own destination page. I stopped by the town on my way between Edirne near the Bulgarian border and my overnight stop at Eceabat before exploring the museum, memorials and cemeteries of the peninsula the following day.
Gelibolu is a rather nice town with a lovely small harbour, a very small Gallipoli War Museum (that was closed when I was there despite a sign out the front saying that it should've been open), a small museum on the admiral and cartographer Piri Reis housed in a wonderful looking Greek stone tower that overlooks the harbour, several tombs, a French cemetery and a "Sea Forces Culture Park" - a strip of land next to the sea below a lighthouse that is home to spent torpedoes, mines and tiny submarines. Gelibolu isn't a big tourist destination and really you shouldn't go out of your way (and you would be from the main sights on the peninsula) to come here for a visit. But if, like me, you're passing through on your way to Eceabat then you can easily stop off for a couple of hours.
On the road south of Kilitbahir Fortress are a number of old earthen gun ramparts and concrete ammunition bunkers that form the impressive Namazgah Redoubt. They were built in the 1890s and formed, in 1915, part of the defence system of forts, ramparts and mines set up to prevent foreign naval passage of the straits. The great heavy cannon which were sited here are long gone but the gun positions are still visible and one can imagine, on 18 March 1915, the shells being conveyed up from the ammunition bunkers to keep the guns firing during the Allied naval attack.