Below is H.E. Abdullah Gül’s message on the occasion of the 97th Anniversary of the March 18 Çanakkale Victory and the Martyrs’ Day
“The august Turkish nation that has never hesitated to sacrifice anything for the sake of the land and its independence has gained many triumphs throughout history and has become a good example for other nations with its quintessential struggle.
The many sacrifices of our martyrs and war veterans which can never be compared to anything enabled our nation to live freely and independently in this beautiful land.
Considering the harsh conditions of the time, one will accept that the Çanakkale Victory was another epic and heroic saga that our nation wrote with its union and solidarity. The Çanakkale Victory with its culminations was also a turning point that influenced the world history. So great was the love our nation had for the land that it overcame all obstacles and challenged the then enemies: ‘You cannot pass through Çanakkale!”
The phenomenal struggle our nation displayed during the Battle of Gallipoli was so exceptional that it cannot be told enough in books of history as in the poem the well-known poet, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, dedicated to the Martyrs of Çanakkale.
The Çanakkale Victory boosted the Turkish nation’s honor and self-confidence. This triumph also demonstrated to the whole world our nation’s heroism, resoluteness, unshakable will, gallantry, love for the land and the affection and mercy it did not avoid showing to the enemy even on the battlefield, thus becoming a great example for humanity. The Battle of Gallipoli was exceptional in history in that it made the parties at war closer to one another.
The national struggle was first initiated in Çanakkale and Mustafa Kemal, the founder of the Republic, gained the hearts of our nation with his achievements in the land wars.
Our martyrs sacrificing their souls for the land without blinking are the proof that the values of our nation are priceless and unshakable.
We, in this vein, are doing our best to carry out country into the future in the best way, preserving and protecting their legacy. I wholeheartedly believe that our future, as long as we maintain our unity and solidarity, will be much brighter.
The Turkish nation has always cherished and appreciated its martyrs and war veterans. It has never forgotten and will never forget them.
On this very day, I hereby remember Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, all our other heroes who passed away and our martyrs with gratitude. May they rest in peace. I would like to offer my gratitude to our war veterans and extend my love and best wishes to all our citizens.”