Turkey marks 103rd anniversary of Canakkale victory

Turkey has got great success in its fight against terrorism in Al-Bab and Afrin regions of Syria, similar to the Battle of Canakkale (Gallipoli) when the nation made history 103 years ago, the Turkish president said on Sunday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at a ceremony held at the March 18 Stadium in the northwestern Turkish province of Canakkale to mark Canakkale Victory and Martyrs' Day.

The Battle of Canakkale which took place in the province's Gelibolu (Gallipoli) district in 1915 marked a turnaround in favor of the Turks against the Allied forces during the World War I.

Today we know very well the meaning of this struggle against terrorist organizations and the forces behind them both inside and outside our borders, Erdogan said.

He said the waves of terror against Turkey was nothing other than the efforts of reviving the Canakkale campaign a century after.

We have baffled those who think that they have created a terror corridor along our border, Erdogan said referring to the Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) success in Syria's Afrin town center.

Afrin town center was completely taken control of at 8.30 a.m.," he said.

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.

Historic legacy

The events leading up to the momentous battle started in February 1915, when Britain and France decided to launch the Gallipoli Campaign to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war as quickly as possible by reaching and capturing its capital, Istanbul.

They started their attack on March 18 -- the day, which is commemorated today as the Canakkale Naval Victory Day -- but the waters were filled with a network of mines laid by Ottoman vessels.

On April 25, allied soldiers landed on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. The troops were there as part of a plan to open the Dardanelles Strait on Turkey's Aegean coast to Allied fleets, allowing them to threaten the Ottoman capital.

The Allied forces, however, encountered strong and courageous resistance from the Turks and the campaign turned out to be a costly failure.

Tens of thousands of Turkish nationals and soldiers died, along with tens of thousands of Europeans, plus around 7,000 - 8,000 Australians and nearly 3,000 New Zealanders, referred together as Anzac troops.

Victory against the Allied forces boosted the morale of the Turkish side, who then went on to wage a war of independence between 1919 and 1922, and eventually formed a republic in 1923 from the ashes of the old empire.

Source: Anadolu Agency