"I Had A Chest Of Steel." Gallipoli by Sirvictor

Gallipoli Travel Guide: 121 reviews and 419 photos

Canakkale Memories

I first came to Canakkale in 1947. I was 6 years old. We spent that night at the Officers Clup which was near the sea side. When I woke up in the morning I saw first time the hills of Gallipoli in front of me. Suddenly my hairs all stand. I was scared. I couldn't look towards the hills of Gallipoli. At that time I never heard about the battles of Canakkale and Gallipoli. I thought I was there during that war. Who knows?I beginned that fall to primary school in Canakkale. The name of the school was 18 Mart Ilkokulu. My teacher was Mrs. Titap Yurdatap.
My late father Major General Ahmet Hulki Saral (Infantry 1340/7)(1905-1982) was chief of staff at the fortress of Dardanelles during the years 1947-1949. He told this story that I never forget.
?At those years the commander of the fortress was Lieutenant General Arif Tanyeri. He took part in Gallipoli Campaign as a young Second Lieutanent. He was a commander of horse- driven artillary battery.
One they in 1947 or 1948 the news came that the British will visit the battlefields on the peninsula. As the chief of staff I organized a visiting programm. British came again with huge battleships. The battleships ancored at the enterence of the Dardalelles. We all remembered that bloody day March 18, 1915. But this time they were coming as friends and allies. Arif Pasha (General) as a host was leading the visitors. Then on a spot, one of the British officers began to tell something in great enthusiazm. His words was translatede into Turkish immediately.
?Here on this spot a Turkish Battery coused high losses to our men. To stop the battery we fired tons of bombs over them. But alas ! after every silence they again beginned to bomb our fortifications. We could?t stop that battery until the end of all campaign.? And asked ? who were those soldiers? Where are they??
As the words of British officer translated into Turkish a hiccough was heard. Everyone turned their attantion at that person. He was General Arif Tanyeri. The old Pasha was crying. He riped his tears and said ? Sir That was me !? and continued ? My horses were all perished. So I ordered my men to carry the guns to a sefer place at the back. Every time you gave up bombing we returned to our old tranches and fired bombs on you. You never thought to bomb behind our tranches. If you did I was surely not to be here.? After those words there was a deep silence than everyboy begun to cry like babies as if they were no soldiers. We embraced each other.?
Great Turkish soldier General Arif Pasha (Artillery 1325-3) rest in peace. There is an eternal peace between Anzacs and Turks.

Paintings from the museum of Atatürk's Mausoleum in Ankara

To the traveller

Halt, traveller! Where you step on this unknown bank,
Is the land where once an era sank!
Bow on this silent grave and put down your ear,
Heart beats of a nation is what you will hear!

Necmettin Halil Onan

What kind of war is this?

Some verses from Turkish National Anthem:

Do not ignore the ground on which you have walked,
It is not ordinary soil.
Reflect on the thousands of people who lie beneath
Without a shroud.
You are the son of a martyr ?
Do not hurts your ancestor,
Do not give away this beautiful motherland,
Even if you have the whole world.

Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936)

For The Martyrs Of Canakkale

Shot down, on their spotlessly clean foreheads they lie,
For the sake of Crescent what suns are setting, O God!
Hey Soldier! Who has fallen on the ground for this land!
It would be worth their while
For our ancestors to descend from heaven
And kiss your unsullied forehead!
How great you are; our religion is saved by your blood;
Only the lions of the Battle of Bedr were as glorious.
Who could dig the grave that won't be too small for you?
`Come', if I say, `Let's bury you into History!'
You won't be contained in it.
That book isn't large enough
For the epochs you played havoc with.
Only eternity can contain you.
Saying, `this is your tomstone'
If I could place the Kaaba on your head,
And listening to the divine inspiration of my soul
Write down your epitaph,
Then, if I could take the voult of heaven
As if it was a woollen cloak
And cover your bleeding tomb
With all the planets.
If I could build with April clouds
A dome over your tomb,
And extend the seven starred Pleiades from there;
You, enwrapped with your blood 'neath the chandelier
While lying there,
If I could bring the moon to your graveside
And make it attend on you as your keeper
Until daybreak,
And then, if I could fill your chandelier to the brim
With dawn;
If I could wrap round your wound
In the evenings with tulles of sunset,
Even then I could not say
I have done enough
To cherish your blessed memory.

  • Last visit to Gallipoli: May 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (12)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2009 at 11:32 PM

    Thanks for visiting my Gallipoli page. It is a sad place for both of us. I enjoyed my holiday in your home country.

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Modern Turkey was born on the cliffs of Gallipoli.

  • Fasulye's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2007 at 3:28 PM

    Your comment on my Köprüköy page prompted me to visit your VT pages where I read your güzel Canakkale story. Australian friends say good things about Gallipoli. A former student of mine wants to take me there when I next visit my favorite place: Türkiye.

  • wwroam's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2007 at 2:09 AM

    Wonderful page. I left Turkey , and Gallipoli in particular,with memories and emotions that will be with me for along time.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Dec 26, 2006 at 5:52 AM

    On my tour to Asia we stopped in Gallipolli and I couldn't understand why the Brits, Aussies and Kiwis were so excited to be there because as a Swiss I had never heard of this battle before and therefore had no connection whatsoever.

  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2006 at 7:12 AM

    A very moving page on Gallipoli. I will surely not miss this place whenever I visit Turkey. You know your history well.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2006 at 6:04 PM

    Wonderful - it is remarkable how much this place means to us all and how we share the pride and the grief of its history. Thank you for this. leyle

  • 2-day's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2005 at 10:21 AM

    some great historic information about your beautiful country! thanks

  • CdnJane's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2005 at 4:27 AM

    Thank you for leaving me a message on my home page. Your Gallipoli Page is so moving. So many young people killed and injured in such a battle that affected so many of numerous nationalities in many different ways.

  • Agraichen's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2005 at 11:17 PM

    You have captured history as only one that has lived in the area. My memories of sailing by Galipoli still bring a chill to my body.


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