Davutoglu marks 96th anniversary of Gallipoli
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday marked the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign at a ceremony with the attendance of international leaders. "This battle, which claimed lives of our grandfathers, laid the foundation of sound friendly ties between Turks, Australians and New Zealanders," Davutoglu said. "We believe Canakkale was the place where the heartbeats of the Republic of Turkey were first heard. The modern Republic of Turkey rose from the ashes of an empire thanks to the courage and determination of young soldiers who sacrificed their lives to defend their country." Nearly 1 million soldiers fought in the trenches at Gallipoli. Some 55,000 allied soldiers died in the fighting, 10,000 were recorded as missing, and 21,000 perished from disease. Turkish casualties were estimated at around 250,000. The battle is considered a defining moment in the history of the Turkish people. The struggle laid the groundwork for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, himself a commander at Gallipoli.