The Legend of Children

Papilon Çanakkale Geçilmez

The infamous Gallipoli Campaign is known as the Victory of Çanakkale in Turkey. The country marks 18th of March as the date of the victory, and each year, on this day, a mixture of sorrow, pride, and joy shows itself in the ceremonies, rituals, and messages coming from all over the country. We see this day as the emblem of the struggle of a nation battling with war-fatigue, poverty, and lacking military resources against armies from six countries. In Gallipoli, Turkey lost eighty five thousand soldiers and many more unnamed daughters and sons who gave their lives while carrying supplies to the front or serving as rear guard support.The records show that the children fought in the war were as young as thirteen. One of our greatest poets Mehmet Akif, calls them “the suns set for the sake of a crescent”. This is why, as the people of Turkey, we believe those children are the reason of our freedom, and superior military power remained ineffective against their patriotic love. We also believe that Gallipoli does not only mark the potency of the desire for freedom, but it also marks the potency of humanity with the stories of Anzac and Turkish soldiers exchanging goods and water when the fronts were silent, and it marks the potency of co-existence and non-discrimination with the names representing all ethnic groups in Turkey engraved on the tombstones around the Çanakkale Memorial. As Papilon Savunma, we remember the lives lost and, one of the commanders in the war and the founder of our country, Gazi Mustafa Kemal with our deepest and most sincere reverences and bow before the sacred memory of those who gave their lives for our liberty.

 

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