Turkey criticised over Gallipoli battlefield damage

March 2nd, 2005  

Topic: Turkey criticised over Gallipoli battlefield damage

Turkey criticised over Gallipoli battlefield damage

Both Australian television and newspapers are running stories showing the massive excavations at ANZAC Cove, and the damage done to the historically significant site.


March 2— Turkey has come under fire in the Australian media for starting work on a major road development at ANZAC Cove, the site where the first Australian soldiers stepped ashore in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915.

Australia’s Nine network ran a story in its main television news bulletin showing how Turkish contractors had cut back up to 20 metres into the sides of the hills above ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, an area that Turkey said it was planning to have included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The region on and around the Cove is also of great historical importance for Turkey, as it was here on 25 April 1915 that the first shots were fired in the land battles of the Gallipoli Campaign and the first Turkish soldier fell in defence of his home soil.
Now that soil has been excavated and much of it dumped into the sea along the beach at ANZAC Cove, as was depicted by the Australian television broadcast and in photos run by the Sydney Morning Herald, one of the country’s leading dailies.

According to the paper’s article, director of Turkey’s national parks, Mustafa Kemal Yalinkilic, has ordered that road-widening work at the site be stopped pending an investigation and that no further work proceed until after 25 April.
It is on that day that thousands of Australians and New Zealanders travel to the Gallipoli battlefields to commemorate those killed on all sides in the seven month long campaign.
Turkey commemorates its victory over the invading forces on 18 March, the day that it defeated the combined British and French fleets in their attempt to force their way through the Dardanelles Strait and reach Istanbul.
However, an increasing number of Turks have started attending the 25 April commemoration services, both as a mark of respect for their own fallen and to the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who was the outstanding general of the campaign and to honour those foreign soldiers who also lie buried on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
While the roads in the region of ANZAC Cove needed to be upgraded, especially in light of the increasing number of visitors to the battlefields, plans to construct a seven metre wide road and bus drop off points above ANZAC Cove where considered by many to be excessive, the paper said.
One visitor to the construction site last week found bullets, pieces of equipment from the war and fragments of human remains amongst the excavated soil.
The controversy takes on greater significance as 2005 is the 90th anniversary of the campaign, with up to 20,000 foreign visitors expected to attend the commemoration services.


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MP sounds alert over damage to Anzac Cove


Damage to Anzac Cove is worrying New Zealand First MP Bill Gudgeon, who is urging the Turkish Government to monitor the situation.

It was reported from Canberra last month that road work around the cove was threatening to disrupt the 90th anniversary of the April 25 landing.

The report said Turkish authorities had assured Australia the roadworks would be finished by April 25, when 18,000 visitors are expected to attend the Anzac Day commemorations.

Mr Gudgeon said yesterday a road was being widened directly above the cove and earth from the hillside was being dumped on to Anzac Cove Beach. "Recent photos of parts of the site under excavation are almost unrecognisable, and Anzac Cove Beach in some places has ceased to be a beach because it is covered in dirt.

"Anzac Cove is a sacred, historical site and all efforts should be made to ensure its preservation."

He urged the Turkish Government to monitor the damage.

"Thousands of men on both sides lost their lives on the sands of Anzac Cove Beach," he said. "The construction of a new road to attract more tourists should not outweigh the significance this world heritage site holds for those who wish to honour and commemorate these men."

March 22nd, 2005  
bush musketeer
the aussie govt was the mob that asked for the road to be widened, think they are just complaining cause it aint finished yet.
April 6th, 2005  
Ah Gallipoli! a bad defeat for us!
April 6th, 2005  
I never understood the point of landing on gallipoli if it would cause so much destruction. Couldn't they have helped lawrence and have gone up the coast instead?
April 24th, 2005  
bush musketeer
Originally Posted by WarMachine
I never understood the point of landing on gallipoli if it would cause so much destruction. Couldn't they have helped lawrence and have gone up the coast instead?
unfortunatly the high command thought the turks would be easy to beat didnt turn out that way, and that they could then go on to capture constantinople.
they didnt want to help lawrence they prefered if he looked after the arabs that he fought with by himself.
The britsh high command seemed to think turks wouldn't be that hard to push off there homeland and as a result everyone there learned that wasn't the case.
April 24th, 2005  
Charge 7
The whole idea though was to open up a front against the Turks that would take some of the pressure off Russia and allow them to exert more troops against the Germans. In that they largely succeeded, however Tannenberg had already made such help inconsequential in light of how many Russians were lost in that disasterous campaign. Russia was ill-led and no amount of help from the Aliies was going to save them.