Eastern Mediterranean University Atatürk Research and Application Center (EMU-ATAUM) Chair Assist. Prof. Dr. Turgay Bülent Göktürk released a statement on the 106th anniversary of 18 March Çanakkale Victory and Commemoration Day of Martyrs. The statement touched on the following:
“Republic of Turkey was established as a result of the national struggle that took place in leadership of Mustafa Kemal. The Battles of Çanakkale also played a role in this outcome because the determination and spirit of the struggle in the Çanakkale Front has been one of the basic dynamics of the national struggle and has been a first step for the epic of liberation. As stated by Mustafa Kemal, “If Çanakkale was seized, the control of Istanbul would be lost, the Ottoman Empired would be shared and the Republic of Turkey would not be established.” In this respect, Çanakkale Victory holds a unique place and importance in the Turkish history. The Battle of Çanakkale is about extraordinary circumstances and struggles. It is not a battle to be won under the normal circumstances. It is not possible to comprehend this without knowing the determination and spirit of the Turkish people to protect their homeland. It must be known that, the unique feature of Çanakkale that makes it important is the noble spirit that welcomes those who come to Çanakkale, not the people who come to Çanakkale. Filled with faith, belief and determination, this spirit was not defeated neither by the steel nor gunpowder. It is the spirit that carries out the command "I command you not to attack, but to die" without hesitation, with calm and trust. That spirit is the soul of the people who say I'd rather die than live as a prisoner.
In Çanakkale, Turkish people and the Turkish soldiers defeated the two most superior navies of the period and the land armies that were superior in numbers and weapons. The most precious gain of the Turkish nation after the victory of Çanakkale Battle is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Mustafa Kemal had an opportunity to perform his unique skills on military thinking and leadership during the Battles of Çanakkale and, at the end of the battles, he was a reputable commander in the eye of Turkish nation. Therefore, Battles of Çanakkale contributed the creation of genius like Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who was to be the unique leader of the National Struggle which would begin following the end of the World War I.
Hey Soldier! Who has fallen on the ground for this land!
It would be worth their while
For our ancestors to descend from heaven
And kiss your unsullied forehead!
How great you are; our religion is saved by your blood;
Only the lions of the Battle of Bedr were as glorious.
On the occasion of the 106th year of the Çanakkale Victory, I commemorate with gratitude the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades in arms, who did not hesitate to give their souls and blood to make this land a homeland, by winning the Battles of Çanakkale and our hero soldiers who fell to the ground in the prime of their lives for their homeland, flag and nation. May they rest in eternal peace.”