Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Day 61: Gelibolu(Gallipoli) to Anzac Cove and Canakkale 80km, 30degC

It is almost impossible to imagine the recklessness of war that happened in this area in 1915..
All the photographs are black and white.
No azure skies and turquoise seas and golden beaches in the Gallipoli war images.
Black and white, stoicism, death...

Today we set of from Gelibolu and rode to Anzac Cove.
A lovely curved beach with scrub covered hills, not overly steep, as the backdrop.
Hallowed ground when men  'are thought to be buried'
Men in their 20's. 
Simple memorial limestone blocks with a cross and the name and country of the soldier. 
No fern leaves here.

It is such a small area.
Such a pretty bay. 
So many died.
 Allies 141,113 killed and wounded, NZ 
New Zealand 7991 killed or wounded (87% casualty rate)
 Turkey 195,000 killed and wounded.

We were alone, the only visitors at Anzac Cove and Lone Pine.
When we visited  Chunuk Bair there were around about 100 Turks visiting. The victory at Gallipoli is a turning point in Turkish history. The beginning of modern Turkey.
Chunuk Bair is the location of the  New Zealand cemetery and a cenotaph erected by the Turks alongside a magnificent statue of  Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

We talked with a Turkish man who explained about how he saw the Turkish attitude to New Zealanders.
He said that they can't understand why we came from so far away to fight someone else's war.
'You came from the uttermost ends of the earth.
You were tricked by the British'
Later we saw the notion of being tricked repeated an interactive display at Canakkale.

He told us we were welcome in Turkey.

These images follow our ride from Gelibolu to the Gallipoli battle areas.

Ataturk's words to the Anzac mothers in 1934, delivered during the first visit to Gallipoli by British, Australians and New Zealanders.
"There is no difference between the Johnnies  and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours..."

Anzac cove.

Lone Pine
New Zealand cenotaph at Chunuk Bair.
'From the uttermost ends of the earth'



On the ferry to Canakkale.
'Peace is possible' emblazoned on the side of our ferry.


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