1915, World War I’s most severe year for Ottoman Empire and nation. From East to West, North to South, silence, blood and pain on every part.
OTTOMAN’S ENTERS WORLD WAR I
Balkan War and various agreements took power from Ottoman Empire. Near this Ottoman government understand it they cannot stay away from war. That period’s Ottoman government tried to agree with Britain and France but on the other side, wanted to keep strong relationships with German Empire. Allies distraction tactics for war didn’t be succesful and Ottoman Empire made a secret a agreement with German Empire on August 2, 1914.
British Empire informed about this secret agreement between Ottoman and Germany. Near this Britain gave up from giving two warships to Ottoman. Followed by these events German warships flee to Ottoman and pass from Canakkale Bosphorus. Allies reaction after, Ottoman announced about purchasing these warships from Germany and took Ottoman flags to warships.
Ottoman navy and Germans under Ottoman flag attack to Russian ports and ships on October 29, 1914. Russia declared war after attack to Ottoman Empire and after a few hours Enver Pasha announced Ottoman Empire’s war declares. Followed this British and French Empires war declarations against Ottoman.
MARCH 18, ALLIES IN CANAKKALE BOSPHORUS
Britain’s leadership under Allied powers prepared a plan and tried to fulfill it. That period’s British Defence Minister Winston Churchill’s plan was to pass to Canakkale Bosphorus and occupy Istanbul, he was sure but anything didn’t be like what he thought.
First attacks started on February 1915 in Canakkale Bosphorus but the strongest attacks lived in March 18, 1915. British General Jean Hamilton was sure on start for he will pass Canakkale, he said; ‘We will drink our evening tea in Istanbul’.
Ottoman powers were not so strong, whereas British and French battleships had longer range and stronger armors. But something went wrong for General Hamilton and this big fleet. An Ottoman fort was shot and killed all soldiers except for one, ‘Corporal Seyit‘. He was serving in Mecidiye fort remained operational but its shell crane had been damaged. Corporal Seyit, by himself, carried three artillery shells weighing 275 kg and enabled it to continue firing on the Allied Fleet. That fire shot one of the strongest British battleship. Battleship caused dragged along to Bosphorus’s dark part and heard explosions on this region. That was Ottoman’s last sea mines (Some rumors are telling, a Turkish commander saw a dream before this attack and there this dark part showed to him with mines number. Whoever, this right or not but last mines did their work great on this defence.)
Allied fleet suffered big harm on March 18 in Canakkale Bosphorus and they gave up.
APRIL 25, ALLIES COMING BACK
After this big defeat prepared a new plan, this purpose take Ottoman batteries and they took action. British and French powers landed Gallipoli’s coasts on April 25. Allied powers have been successful in some steps but couldn’t pass Ottoman defence and gave casualties.
Ottoman army was in difficulty, food, treatment of injured and ammo but Allied powers were repulsed one more time. One of most effective sentencess from this clashes by Ottoman Commander Mustafa Kemal (who is founded Republic of Turkey after Independence War):
“I don’t order you to fight, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders can come and take our places.”
Allied powers tried one more time on August 6 but again suffered casualties and gave up. Ottoman powers against attack was be succesfuly in August 9 and 10. Last attack from Allies again resulted with big a lose.
Allied powers were withdrawn on December, 1915 and this war resulted in victory for Ottoman powers in Gallipoli.
WAR CRIMES IN GALLIPOLI
When I visited Gallipoli and war regions, what I saw that affected me so much. Near this, I witnessed Allied powers war crimes evidences and betrayal rumors.
I saw some spiked metals in museum. Documents are telling, this pieces were used by Allied powers in Gallipoli for Ottoman soldiers.They have poison and when someone touched that, they lost their arm or legs because of that.
Other documents are telling about some chokedamp in Allies explosives.
Near this about Allied powers target to hospitals conclusive evidence available. Not only Allies, here some rumors are telling about betrayal about German doctors consciously caused deaths or becoming disabled.
ANZAC, who is fighted under Britain from Australia and New Zeland in Gallipoli War. They came from far away lands to this country and died in Ottoman soils.
Documents and evidence are telling, clashes between ANZAC and Ottoman have been different than others. Because near fight, there was born a friendship and brotherhood with ANZACs in Gallipoli. Documents are telling, except fight this two part helped each other in war places. Time by time moved water or ‘chocolate’ and time by time helped each others injureds.
After war, Mustafa Kemal’s words explain everything about ANZAC:
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
ARMENIAN AND GREEK HEROES
Gallipoli War was a nation’s honor struggle. If you go there when you come to Turkey, you will understand what I mean. Maybe you will see there your city name, too. Sarajevo, Mosul, Tripoli, Bitola, Damascus, Skopje, Mostar, Kosovo, Kirkuk, Thessaloniki (…). There are sleeping in peace our grandfathers, some are Muslim, some are Christian but they are Ottoman. And more than half didn’t though anything except independence and freedom.
Ottoman youths joined the army from everywhere on this war, for this any school couldn’t give graduation. There were killed Greek youths, Armenian youths, Kurdish youths, Turkish youths, Laz youths, Circassian youths, Arab youths, Balkan youths (…). There, those people died for their unity and their name was Ottoman. Today some people ignore who is not Muslim in Gallipoli, some people still can’t understand what means Gallipoli. Hristo, Mehmet, Agop are sleeping side by side there. And they are the strongest message to us. I remember that heroes with respect and prayers.