The Turkish nation changed the course of history 107 years ago, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 18, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Çanakkale Victory and the day of the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge’s inauguration, the world’s longest suspension bridge spanning the Dardanelles Strait.
The Çanakkale Battle, also known as the Gallipoli campaign, is a great heroic epic, Erdoğan said at a ceremony where he commemorated the fallen soldiers who lost their lives during naval and ground battles in Çanakkale in the First World War.
With this victory, it had been seen that there is no force or weapon that can stand against a nation determined to protect its homeland and freedom at the cost of its life, he added.
“Even though they came with the intention of invasion, I respectfully commemorate the soldiers of other nations, whom we now regard as our guests, from the moment they fell to the ground here,” Erdoğan stated.
“The Gallipoli Wars is a great heroic epic in which the high virtues of our nation, such as patriotism, self-sacrifice and courage, are displayed,” the president said.
The Turkish nation gave hope to all the oppressed with its unique struggle in Çanakkale, Erdoğan said, adding that many colonial countries started their own struggles with the inspiration they got from the Çanakkale Battle and later from the War of Independence.
Tens of thousands of soldiers died in one of the world’s most ferocious battles 107 years ago in the Gallipoli campaign in Ottoman Turkey during the First World War.
The Allied Forces started their attack on March 18, but the waters were filled with a network of mines laid by Ottoman vessels, and some greatest battleships sank as a result.
In 1915, Britain and France decided to launch the Gallipoli campaign to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war and aimed at capturing its capital,Istanbul.
Thousands of nationals and soldiers of the Ottoman Empire died, along with tens of thousands of Europeans, nearly 8,000 Australians and almost 3,000 New Zealanders.
After the victory against the Allied forces, the Turkish nation then waged a War of Independence between 1919 and 1922 and formed a republic in 1923 following several military successes.
Bridge spanning Dardanelles Strait launched on Victory Day
The bridge connecting the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Gelibolu district on the European side and the Lapseki district on the Anatolian side was opened by Erdoğan after Daily News went press on March 18.
The Çanakkale 1915 Bridge in the Dardanelles Strait is recognized as the longest suspension bridge in the world, with its main span of 2,023 meters, surpassing the Akashi Kaikyö Bridge in Japan by 32 meters.
Also, with a total height of 318 meters, the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge has become the second tallest bridge, after Istanbul’s Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, and the third tallest structure in the country.