Gelibolu Peninsula

For other uses, see Gallipoli (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 40°22′2″N 26°27′18″E / 40.36722°N 26.45500°E / 40.36722; 26.45500


The Gallipoli peninsula (/ɡəˈlɪpɵli/; Turkish: Gelibolu Yarımadası; Greek: Καλλίπολη) is located in Turkish Thrace (or East Thrace), the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Καλλίπολις" (Kallipolis), meaning "Beautiful City".[1] In antiquity, it was known as the Thracian Chersonese (Latin: Chersonesus Thracica, Greek: Θρακική Χερσόνησος).

It is especially famous for the failed Allied offensive on Turkey in 1915 in World War I known as the Gallipoli Campaign.

Ottoman Era

After the devastating 1354 earthquake, the Greek city of Gallipoli was almost abandoned, but swiftly reoccupied by Turks from Anatolia, the Asiatic side of the straits, making Gallipoli the first Ottoman position in Europe, and the staging area for their expansion across the Balkans.[2] The Greeks living there were allowed to continue their everyday life. In the 19th century, Gallipoli (Turkish: Gelibolu) was a district (kaymakamlik) in the Vilayet of Adrianople, with about thirty thousand inhabitants: comprising Greeks, Turks, Armenians and Jews.

Gallipoli became a major encampment for British and French forces in 1854 during the Crimean War, and the harbour was also a stopping-off point on the way to Constantinople.[3][4]

Gallipoli did not experience any more wars until World War I, when British and colonial forces attacked the peninsula in 1915, seeking to secure a route to relieve their ally Imperial Russia in the east. The Ottomans set up defensive fortifications along the peninsula and the attackers were eventually repulsed.

In 1920 after the defeat of the Russian White army of General Pyotr Wrangel, a significant number of emigre soldiers and their families evacuated to Gallipoli from the Crimean Peninsula. From there, many went to European countries, such as Yugoslavia, where they found refuge. A stone monument was erected and a special "Gallipoli cross" was created to commemorate the soldiers, who stayed in Gallipoli. The stone monument was destroyed during an earthquake, but in January 2008 reconstruction of the monument had begun with the consent of the Turkish government.

Gallipoli Campaign

Main article: Gallipoli Campaign

The Allied landing and subsequent campaign on the peninsula during World War I is usually known in Turkey as the Battle of Çanakkale. In Australia, Britain, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland and Labrador, the terms Gallipoli Campaign or just Gallipoli alone are used to describe the eight-month campaign.

In early 1915, attempting to seize a strategic advantage by capturing Constantinople, the British authorised an attack on the peninsula. The first phase was purely naval on the Allied side, as Lord Kitchener would not authorise troops to be shifted from the Western Front. The lead British admiral had a crisis of nerves, and his second-in-command withdrew after one day, with moderate casualties. Kitchener then authorised a combined naval-army operation, but the element of surprise had long gone. On 25 April 1915, a force of British Empire and French troops landed at multiple places along the peninsula. However, some of the landings went wrong and troops were landed in the wrong positions, causing confusion that lost valuable time. To make matters worse, this was followed up by only tentative advances inland. Most of the arriving armies were left on the beaches, which allowed the Ottomans to pour in reinforcements. The battles over the next eight months saw high casualties on both sides due to the exposed terrain, weather and closeness of the front lines. In addition, many casualties resulted from an epidemic of dysentery, caused by poor sanitary conditions.[5] The New Zealand Wellington Battalion reached, and briefly occupied, the high point of Chunuk Bair before being beaten back by Turkish troops, who were never again dislodged from the summit. The subsequent Allied withdrawal meant an end to the idea of defeating the Ottoman Empire quickly.

The campaign is often referred to for its successful stealthy retreat, which was completed with minimal casualties. The ANZAC forces completed their retreat by 19 December 1915 and the remaining British elements by 9 January 1916.

Total Allied deaths were 43,000 British,[6] 15,000 French,[7] 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders and 1,370 Indians. Total Turkish deaths were around 60,000. New Zealanders suffered the highest percentage of Allied deaths when compared with population size, but the percentage of Turkish deaths was almost twice theirs.

This campaign became a turning point in the national consciousness of several of the participants. Both Australia and New Zealand still commemorate Anzac Day and the Turks consider it a point of national pride. Many mementos of the Gallipoli campaign can be seen in the museum at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and at the Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland. This campaign also put a dent in the armour of Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty, who had commissioned the plans to invade the Dardanelles. He talks about this campaign vividly in his memoirs.

Mustafa Kemal

The Gallipoli campaign gave an important boost to the career of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a little-known, low-ranking army officer whose success at Gallipoli made him a national hero. He was promoted to Pasha and, with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, became the founder and the first president of the modern Turkish state with the title Atatürk, granted onto him by the parliament of Turkey and meaning Father of Turkey (an alternate translation could however be "Father of Turks").

With other Turkish officers, Mustafa Kemal halted and eventually repelled the Allied advance, Mustafa Kemal exceeding his authority and contravening orders in so doing. His speech "I do not command you to fight, I command you to die. In the time it will take us to die we can be replenished by new forces" (Turkish: "Ben size taaruzu değil, ölmeyi emrediyorum. Biz ölünceye kadar geçecek zaman zarfında yerimize başka kuvvetler ve kumandanlar geçebilir") has entered history. The 57th Regiment, led by Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Avni, fulfilled the order precisely. The entire regiment fell in battle.

Anzac Day

Main article: Anzac Day

Anzac Day commemorations take place on 25 April, the day the Anzac troops landed at what is known as Anzac Cove. Attendance at the Anzac Day dawn service at Gallipoli has become popular since the 75th anniversary. Upwards of 10,000 people have attended services in Gallipoli.

Until 1999, the Gallipoli dawn service was held at the Ari Burnu war cemetery at Anzac Cove, but the growing numbers of attendees resulted in the construction of a more spacious site on North Beach, Gallipoli, known as the "Anzac Commemorative Site".

On 25 April 2005, to mark the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, government officials from Australia and New Zealand, most of the last surviving Gallipoli veterans, and many Australian and New Zealand tourists traveled to Turkey for a special dawn service at Gallipoli. Anzac Day is the most important national day of commemoration for Australians. The then Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, and the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, were also in attendance, and Clark was accompanied by the official NZ Defence Force party, veterans of several past wars, and 10 New Zealand college students who won the New Zealand 'Prime Minister's Essay Competition' with their work on Gallipoli.

Planning for Anzac Day commemorations in 2015, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, is underway in Australia and New Zealand. For more information visit the official New Zealand Government Gallipoli 2015 website which include details of ballot arrangements for those planning to attend.

A common tradition amongst the people of Australia and New Zealand is to bake Anzac biscuits to remember the soldiers who died fighting for "King and country". It has become a tradition as the biscuits were often sent to loved ones based in Gallipoli because the ingredients did not spoil easily and kept well during naval transportation.

Influence on the arts

The Gallipoli Campaign is the subject of the 1981 movie Gallipoli directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson.

New Zealand writer Maurice Shadbolt produced a play, Once on Chunuk Bair, in 1982. A film version, Chunuk Bair (Daybreak Pictures), was released in 1991.

Eric Bogle wrote a popular song, "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (1972), after watching in Australia a parade of elderly veterans of the Gallipoli campaign. Versions of this song were recorded by June Tabor, The Skids, and The Pogues as well as by Tommy Makem, Liam Clancy, and John Williamson.

"Cliffs of Gallipoli", a song by Sabaton (band), was inspired by the battle.

An Irish folk-type song, "Gallipoli", written by the Fureys was also sung and recorded by many others.

The BBC produced a feature-length television drama, All the King's Men (not to be confused with the novel of the same name by Robert Penn Warren), that focused attention on a unit (the "Sandringham Company") that was decimated at Gallipoli and included men from King George V's estate at Sandringham House.

The campaign is the subject of the 2005 documentary Gallipoli by Turkish filmmaker Tolga Örnek showing the bravery and the suffering on both sides through the use of surviving diaries and soldier's letters. For this film Örnek was awarded an honorary medal in the general division of the Order of Australia.[8]

Gallipoli is the basis for the 1999 novel Solomon's Song by Bryce Courtenay.

The Battle of Gallipoli features as a significant part of Louis de Bernières's novel Birds Without Wings.

The Battle of Gallipoli and specifically Anzac Cove are featured prominently in the novel "Redemption" by Leon Uris.

Ecclesiastical history

Main article: Titular See of Gallipoli

Gallipoli remains a Roman Catholic titular bishopric in the former Roman province of Thrace under the title Callipolis. It was a suffragan of Heraclea. There were about six Greek speaking bishops recorded by the church historian Lequien[9] with the first at the First Council of Ephesus in 431, and the last about 1500 when the see was united with that of Coela, Alternate names are Coelia or Coele. This list is incomplete as there was a continuous Greek Orthodox presence in Gallipoli until the early Twentieth Century, in 1904 the Greek Orthodox see was raised the rank of a metropolitan see. There were a number of Latin Rite bishops[10] from 1208 to 1518.[11]

Personages

Notable people from Gallipoli

See also

References

Notes

External links

  • [1]
  • Gallipoli
  • The New Zealanders at Gallipoli (1919) eText
  • The Spirits of Gallipoli A database of original sources for photographs of and information about the 7,249 men of the AIF either buried or commemorated at Gallipoli.
  • "If stones could speak " featuring all cemeteries, monuments and relics related to the Gallipoli campaign.
  • Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park photos with info
  • The Official Australian Government Gallipoli 2015 website
  • The official New Zealand Government Gallipoli 2015 website

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