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Censuring Mustafa Kemal in 1915

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At the most critical stage of the First World War, the British War Council planned to conquer Istanbul by passing through the Dardanelles. Despite the British Navy’s heavy artillery attacks on the Ottoman bastions guarding the Gallipoli Strait for one month starting in February 1915, they could not reach their goal. The biggest attack was launched on March 18, 1915. That was also repelled by the Ottoman army.

Every March 18, we commemorate that historic defense as the “Gallipoli Naval Victory.”

Despite their defeat at the sea, the allied powers did not give up. They decided to seize the Ottoman bastions at the shore with their land forces. Under the flag of the United Kingdom, the Australian New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), with the support of the French, landed in the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, 1915 from five different spots. Land wars began.

For almost three-and-a-half months, cutthroat clashes occurred yet the stubborn resistance of the Ottoman army was not broken. The landing at the Suvla Bay north of Arıburnu on August 6, 1915 also failed because of the Ottoman army’s resistance. On August 9, 1915, the Ottoman attack, called the First Suvla Bay Battle, occurred. ANZAC troops withdrew to the shore. One day later, the Ottoman attack on the Chunuk Bair line further pushed back the ANZAC units. The Second Suvla Bay Battle ended with the victory of the Ottoman defense. The ANZAC and French forces were forced to leave the Gallipoli Peninsula in December 1915.

All Turkish citizens, who have attended up until junior high, know by heart this summary of the Gallipoli resistance; and also, the role of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the Gallipoli Battle.

He set foot on the Gallipoli Peninsula on Feb. 25, 1915 as a lieutenant-colonel and warred for nine months and 13 days. He was promoted to colonelship in the field. In the Suvla Bay and Chunuk Bair battles, he staged unprecedented commandership. He left the Gallipoli front on Dec. 10, 1915. At that date, the ANZAC troops........

© Hürriyet Daily News