Turkey marks legendary naval victory, first images published / VIDEO.
A ceremony took place in the northwestern province of Canakkale to mark the 95th anniversary of Canakkale Naval Victory and to commemorate the martyrs.
Turkish Armed Forces distributed never before published images of Battle of Canakkale Victory due to the 95th anniversary celebrations. The very special images including the soldiers in front are released today exclusively for the occasion.
Participants observed a minute of silence out of respect to all those who lost their lives during the battles at the ceremony at the martyrium.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "the aura of Canakkale has guided our nation for years. The history of this country is clean and victorious. Any decision made by parliaments of the other countries cannot distort it. If the aim is to enlighten the events in eastern Turkey in 1915, the address is archives, documents, reports, letters and photographs not the parliaments in far away countries. Today's irresponsible statements and unfair decisions by some countries which attacked Turkish people's country during the World War I, are nothing but parts of a defamation campaign against our nation. Those countries which caused killing of millions of people in the two world wars should first think about their own actions and their own misdoings. There was no massacres and genocides in our history. Our civilization is based on tolerance and solidarity. We believe that future can only be based on peace and solidarity, not on hatred and enmity."
"Turkey has made a great progress in the last years. Visa requirements were lifted with 23 countries. Our exports exceeded 100 billion USD. We have made significant investments in education, health, security, transportation, energy and agriculture. Turkey will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation in 2023 by taking its place in the top ten economies of the world," he added.
"Canakkale naval victory"
During the World War I, a joint British and French occupation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, and secure a sea route to Russia.
British commander Admiral Sackville Carden developed a three stage plan to pass from the Canakkale Strait. The plan included neutralisation of the Turkish forts guarding the entrance, then clearing of the Turkish minefield, and finally a drive into the Sea of Marmara.
The Allied forces' naval attack began on February 19, 1915. Until March 13, they continuously bombarded the Turkish forts and opened a way for the minesweepers. But they confronted with Turks' determined resistance. The Allies could clean only the first five miles of the strait.
Until March 18, the Allied forces destroyed Seddulbahir and Ertugrul forts located on the European shore and Kumkale and Orhaniye forts located on the Asiatic shore.
The Allied Fleet appeared in the entrance in the morning of March 18. Britain's Queen Elizabeth led the first wave up the channel. Queen Elizabeth's target was Mecidiye fort while the other vessels Lord Nelson would bomb the Namazgah fort and Inflexible's object was Hamidiye fort.
As the French ships had their return, something unexpected happened. French ship Bouvet hit a mine and within two minutes disappeared entirely, with the loss of almost all her crew. Several other ships hit mines after Bouvet in hours. Later on that day, British ship Ocean also hit a mine and exploded. According to Turkish sources, the Allies' total casualties were 187,000 soldiers while the Turkish causality was about 211,000 soldiers.
The Allied Navy failed to open the straits and to capture Istanbul. Both March 18th Naval Victory and the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) land victories restored the Turkish Army's prestige in the world and constituted a milestone in Turkish nation's struggle for independence.
The 95th anniversary of Canakkale Naval Victory and March 18th Martyrs' Day was also marked in Turkish missions in several other countries.