Turkish nation pays tribute to its Martyrs on 94th aniversary of Canakkale Naval Victory
The 94th anniversary of the Canakkale Naval Victory and Martyrs' Day were commemorated across Turkey yesterday with official ceremonies. In a written statement, President Abdullah Gul said, "Turkey will never forget its martyrs who turned into symbols of self-sacrifice and become immortalized in the hearts of the Turkish nation." The Turkish nation and its people did the impossible, forsaking their own lives in the process, said Gul. He added, "Canakkale is a monument of honor, pride, glory and liberty with our thousands of martyrs lying in the heart of the city." Speaking at a ceremony marking the victory at the Canakkale Martyrs' Monument, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the victory one of the greatest acts of heroism witnessed by Anatolia. "Never in the past has this nation been dominated by any other nation, and it will stay independent forever," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey should keep the spirit of the victory alive. Stating that without understanding the Turkish nation's past struggle for independence there can be no success in efforts for the county's future, Erdogan said if Turks keep alive the solidarity, patience and wisdom which martyrs showed at Canakkale, anything is possible. Erdogan said that the victory proved that high spirits and firm belief could triumph over hardships and long odds. Erdogan also said Turkey's foreign policy is based on peace, dialogue and consensus, which is why its firm determination to enter the European Union is unwavering, and it seeks peace in the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Africa. Also attending the ceremony were Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, many Cabinet ministers and top military commanders. Afterwards, Erdogan, along with Basbug and other top officials, laid flowers at tombs of the Canakkale martyrs. On March 18, 1915, the Battle of Gallipoli (also known as the Gallipoli or Dardanelles Campaign, and in Turkish "Çanakkale Savasları") was won by the defending Turkish armies. The battle laid the groundwork for the Turkish War of Independence and the foundation of the Turkish Republic eight years later.