Eastern Mediterranean University Atatürk Research and Application Center (EMU-ATAUM) Chair Assist. Prof. Dr. Turgay Bülent Göktürk released a statement on the 108 th anniversary of 18 March Çanakkale Victory and Commemoration of Martyrs Day. The statement reads as follows:
“The Republic of Turkey was established as a result of the national struggle that took place in the 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 had been seized, the control of Istanbul would have been lost, the Ottoman Empire would have been shared and the Republic of Turkey would not have been established.” In this respect, Çanakkale Victory holds a unique place and importance in the Turkish history.
The Battle of Çanakkale is about the extraordinary circumstances and struggles. It is not a battle won under normal circumstances. It is not possible to comprehend this without comprehending 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 was the noble spirit that welcomed those who came to Çanakkale, not those who came to Çanakkale. Filled with faith, belief and determination, this spirit was not defeated by the steel or gunpowder. It is the spirit that carried out the command "I command you not to attack, but to die" without hesitation, with calmness and trust. That spirit was the soul of the people who said ‘I'd rather die than live as a prisoner’. In Çanakkale, the Turkish nation 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 a 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
On the occasion of the 108th anniversary 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.”