Martyrs of Çanakkale were commemorated at a panel organised by the Eastern Mediterranean University Atatürk Research and Application Center (ATAUM) at Mustafa Afşin Ersoy Hall at 2:30 p.m. on 18 March 2019. Titled “18 March Çanakkale Victory and Commemoration of Martyrs”, the panel had a large student turnout. During the event, EMU ATAUM Chair Assist. Prof. Dr. Turgay Bülent Göktürk, EMU ATAUM Executive Board Member and EMU Faculty of Law Academic Staff Member Prof. Dr. Turgut Turhan and EMU ATAUM academic staff member Süheyla Göktürk delivered speeches.
“The War of Çanakkale Should Be Well Analysed”
Following a moment of silence and the national anthem, EMU ATAUM Chair Assist. Prof. Dr. Turgay Bülent Göktürk delivered a presentation titled “Çanakkale with Its Military and Political Aspects”. In his speech, Assist. Prof. Dr. Göktürk stated that others will determine the boundaries of those who are not aware of their history. In this respect, Assist. Prof. Dr. Göktürk added that Çanakkale War should be well analysed and necessary lessons should be learned from this war. He also stated that Çanakkale War should be analysed with a careful consideration of scientific documents and in an objective manner and be transferred to future generations, accordingly. Assist. Prof. Dr. Göktürk also said that Çanakkale Victory is a symbol of the Turkish soldiers’ resistance, spirit of sacrifice and their love of nation. Assist. Prof. Dr. Göktürk went on to state that the success of the Turkish Army against the world's most well-equipped armies is a measure of its value.
Unknown Facts about the War
EMU Faculty of Law Academic Staff Member and EMU ATAUM Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Turgut Turhan delivered a presentation titled “General Hamilton’s Disappointment in Çanakkale”. During the aforesaid presentation Prof. Dr. Turgut Turhan talked about the disappointment of enemy forces during Çanakkale War. Prof. Dr. Turhan also provided information about the events that are known to only a few people.
The last speaker of the panel, EMU ATAUM Academic Staff Member Süheyla Göktürk delivered a presentation titled “A Leader is Born in Çanakkale: Mustafa Kemal”. Delivering her speech with the support of rare photos of Çanakkale from the Chief of Army General Staff’s Archive, Süheyla Göktürk stated that at the beginning of World War I, Mustafa Kemal, who was a “Military Attache” in Sofia, Bulgaria, joined the Çanakkale War as a volunteer to repay his homeland and nation. Süheyla Göktürk also added that prior to the war, German General Liman Von Sanders Pasha, head of the Ottoman army, believed that the British invasion to Çanakkale would be made from the Gulf of Saros, and especially from Bolayır. However, Commander Mustafa Kemal stated that the aforesaid invasion would start from Anafartalar Region, more specificly from Alçıtepe and Kocaçimen zones. The developments proved Mustafa Kemal right.
The Long-Missed Victory of 200 Years
Göktürk stated that after the heroic struggle of the Turkish Army in Çanakkale War, the British Forces started to withdraw from trenches in Çanakkale on 19 and 20 December 1915. Göktürk also added that Mustafa Kemal shared with the Turkish Nation all his plans, decisions, orders, successes, problems and determination in Çanakkale War with two important documents titled ‘A Historical Account of Anafartalar Wars’ and ‘Arıburnu War Report’. Göktürk added that the information provided by Mustafa Kemal in the aforesaid documents was also confirmed by the memoirs of other commanders participating in the War of Çanakkale as well as the military documents in the state archive. Göktürk put forth that based on these, one can clearly see what kind of commander Mustafa Kemal was in Çanakkale. Göktürk finalised her presentation by stating that Mustafa Kemal gave the Turkish Nation the pleasure of having a long-missed victory of 200 years.
Following the presentations, a documentary titled “Çanakkale cannot be Trespassed” was screened. The panel finished with a mini exhibition displaying the materials collected at Çanakkale Warzone.