Monday, December 7, 2009


Gallipoli was just as we had expected it to be. Stark, rugged, peaceful, sad. It was a chilly but sunny day and we were almost the only visitors – the very few others being Turks. It was a mournful process - visiting some of the many cemeteries and graves - to see how young the soldiers were who died there – the youngest being 14.

There are of course many Turkish cemeteries – and the Turks lost more men than all the other nations combined.

The most moving monument is the one with the statement made by Atatürk in 1934.

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well”.

After looking at the places where the Anzacs landed Cate said that it seem like a pretty silly place to try to land an army - a statement with which I am sure many agreed with then and do so now.

Tomorrow I shall report on a delightful little town called Çanakkale - where we stayed for two nights.

In Çanakkale . I had my first cup of Turkish Coffee - and so that I did not hurt the proprietor’s feelings I casually walked twenty metres down the road before I poured it in the gutter.

It is certainly an acquired taste - but not something to which I am going to try to become accustomed.

But the Turks love it – hordes of men sit around in cafes drinking the stuff all day. We were both happy to get home to Jura.


  1. What a beautiful monument - thanks for posting the pictures.

  2. You were fortunate to have such solitude for your visit, I think.

    Did you ever see the plaque outside the Botanical Gardens in Sydney, opposite the State Library? I always find it very moving to read the inscription.

    It was erected "by members of the Desert Mounted Corps and friends, to the gallant horses who carried them over the Sinai Desert into Palestine, 1915 – 1919. They suffered wounds, thirst, hunger and weariness almost beyond endurance, but they never failed. They did not come home."