America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

25 April 2007

Picture from Turkish memorial at Gallipoli

The flags of Australia (L) and New Zealand flutter as Turkish soldiers stand during ceremonies marking the 92nd anniversary of the World War I campaign of Gallipoli held at the Turkish memorial at Gallipoli, April 24, 2007. (TURKEY)  
REUTERS/Osman Orsal


Ardent said...

This is a great post. Australia commemorates fallen soldiers who died in Gallipoli every year. Anzac day is a public holiday and the event is well publicized to stir up emotions of patriotism and nationalism within the community. Turkey has seized upon this growing display of nationalism and also publicize the event and politicians make remembrance speeches.

I was however, very infuriated last week when PM Erdogan referred to the Turkish soldiers that died at Gallipoli as Martyrs. A Martyr is a person who died fighting for their political or religious beliefs. The 85,000 Turkish soldiers that died, did so to protect Turkey’s borders. In fact it is documented that during the toughest battles, Ataturk told his troops, ‘I no longer want you to fight for your country, I want you to DIE for your country!’ The soldiers fought and died defending their country; it was not a religious or political issue!

In fact in Australia, this is the first year that there has been negative responses by some journalists, using the event to spread Islam phobia.,21985,21616688-5012802,00.html

It makes me very sad that what Ataturk fought for is being distorted by politicians and journalists alike.

Anonymous said...

Ardent: "A Martyr is a person who died fighting for their political or religious beliefs."

I believe the people who died "protecting the borders of Turkey" as you called it, (although at the time it was the Ottoman Empire,) did so because of their 'political' and 'religious' convictions.

They are martyrs!

Ardent said...

Metin the word is inappropriate.

If you are a soldier, you must take orders. That battle was fought so that the British would not take any part of Turkey. There may have also been Christian or Jewish Turks fighting. So I don't think they were fighting for religious reasons. Anyway Ataturk despised fanatical religious institutions, that is why he implemented a secular state when he came into power.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting the Ottoman Empire was a "fanatical religious institution?"

The fact that 'some' of the 'Muslim' soldiers of the Ottomans may have actually digested the idea of fighting the British as a means of religionitis and the protection of it may be perceived by 'them' as martyrdom.

A lot of people fought for different reasons back then (ie. crusades) to justify the means for an end.

the Husband said...

Some confusion surely. The Allies tried to land at Gallipoli because the Ottoman Empire was aligned with Germany and the eons old need (Troy) to control the Dardanelles was deemed necessary due to what was happening in and around the Black Sea. As for the Brits taking part of Turkey, well first of all Turkey did not exist at that time and secondly see the above.

I do agree with Ardent though that the word martyr is thrown about too readily these days as is the word hero in the US for soldiers who are killed on active duty. However being killed is surely an occupational hazard for soldiers and as such I find the application of such labels hard to stomach, especially in the case of conscript armies where the soldiers really did not have any choice whatsoever.

I am not seeking to belittle the number of deaths or the actions of individuals that occurred during the Gallipoli landings, rather I am voicing my objection to the application of labels to people as a form of revisionist history which in this case seeks to attribute feelings and motives to people with not a shred of evidence.

super hero said...

i really dont get what your point is. they are martyrs and there is no room for discussion in that. this is not a political issue, however, martyrs might be used as a political tool which needs to be discussed.

the Husband said...

well then obviously you do not understand English or the sense of what I was saying or are also blinded by some form of fanatacism either religious or political.

Soldiers do a job which they are paid for, being killed is a job hazard, they are neither martyrs nor heroes and its this constant elevation of sentimentality and emotion to these kind of issues that is divise and fans the general nationalistic, ethnic and religious tensions that appear to be getting worse with every passing day.

Oz Kanka said...

This is all semantics. Check out the definition of martyr, as it applies to Muslims, and you will see that Erdogan was right to use the word in that way. It may seem strange to those brought up in the Christian world that Muslims interpret the word in a wider context.

In some ways it is the exact opposite to the controversy over the word crusade, which in the West means any sort of full-on effort (note my precise definition there :) for eg a crusade on drugs, but in the Muslim world refers purely to an attack on Islamic lands by Christians

Anonymous said...

Oz Kanka: By the same token, a drug Czar appointed by the President of the U.S. does not imply that Russian leaders are drug-free.


This blog needed some humour (or 'humor' here in America.)

the Husband said...

then, Oz, I stand corrected if that is the case but I hope you also understnad the point I was trying to make.

super hero said...

even a postman can be called a martyr if he is killed on duty and the public strongly feels that he should be called so. you cannot decide a martyr by a definition in the textbook. it needs a common public acceptance and a common feeling for that, which those poor souls in Gallipoli have. they were called martyrs even before Erdogan was born and they will be remembered like that in the future too.

and husband,
yes maybe my english is worse than i think it is, but not because i dont understand you, but because you dont understand me. there is no use in discussing if they are martyrs or not, because they are martyrs. but the real discussion should be about the abuse of their situation for the sake of daily politics.

Anonymous said...

'Geldikleri gibi giderler' said Atatürk.

And that's what happened. God bless the souls of the Turkish soldiers during the War of Independence. And the ones murdered everyday in South East of Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should ask for God to bless us all while we're alive and not when we die or get killed.

Enough with these 90 plus year old issues and let's get on with how to make the world a better place, and pay attention to the daily war on our civil liberties that's going on in our lives as we speak.

We need to create, develop, and produce other benefits for which we can have cause to celebrate rather than year after year celebrate the independence of tit from tat.

Sean said...


Without solving the issues of the past, we cannot get on to how to make the world a better place today.

Look at Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, Iraq/Kurd/Sunni/Shiite, etc. These are issues that go back decades and will still be with us 100 years from now.

Even if the US is somehow able to pull a rabbit out of the hat and make peace in Iraq, a Civil War will break out again within 10-20 years, pulling the entire region in.

steve said...

sean said...

Without solving the issues of the past, we cannot get on to how to make the world a better place today.


Sean said...


very strong argument and well put. How can I counter that one? Clearly, you are right.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is 100% correct. One word says it all.

Sean, if you are a collector of words I will gladly toss a million your way.

az said...

Agreed, but some idiots need an explanation as well as an education Steve and anonymous.