Gallipoli: a Turkish view

Gallipoli a Turkish viewAustralians call the campaign “Gallipoli”; to Turks, it is “Çanakkale Savasi”. As part of the First World War, soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, on one side, and soldiers of the British Empire and France, on the other, fought a long and bloody battle on the Gallipoli peninsula.

The Turkish defenders were victorious. After an eight-month-long campaign British Empire and French forces withdrew, having suffered 44,000 deaths. At least 85,000 Turkish soldiers died in the campaign.

Consequently, Gallipoli is of profound importance to the national identity of both Australia and Turkey. The events of 1915 created the Anzac legend, arguably the central national founding myth for Australia. For Turkey the defeat of foreign invasion under the charismatic command of Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic) gave Gallipoli mythic status within Turkey's national identity. The conjunction of these powerful national stories reflects the main cultural bond between Australia and Turkey. This explains the enduring attachment of both nations to the story of the campaign, and the strong mutual interest in the other's experience and memory.

How the Turks experienced Gallipoli and how their experiences were both similar to and very different from those of their enemies, including Australians, is the subject of the Australian War Memorial’s travelling exhibition Gallipoli: a Turkish view.

Through interpretation of the Memorial’s photograph collection and a selection of Turkish relics, Gallipoli: a Turkish view enables visitors of both cultures to ponder their own and their former enemy's experience of the campaign and its continuing importance. The images selected are remarkable in that they are among the very few still in existence which document the Turkish experience of Gallipoli. They depict both the heroism and the horror of Turkey's part in the campaign, coinciding with and contrasting with familiar Australian images.

This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government Program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of cultural material across Australia.

Touring schedule
Gallery City State Start Finish
Embassy of Australia Ankara TURKEY 25 April 2004  
The Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne VIC 29 October 2004 12 December 2004
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery Broken Hill NSW 17 December 2004 23 February 2005
Walter Nicholls Memorial Gallery Pt Lincoln SA 2 March 2005 10 April 2005
Migration Museum Adelaide SA 18 April 2005 12 June 2005
The Millicent Gallery Millicent SA 17 June 2005 31 July 2005
Castlemaine Historical Society Castlemaine VIC 13 August 2005 25 September 2005
Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre Bundoora VIC 7 October 2005 20 November 2005
Eden Killer Whale Museum Eden NSW 30 November 2005 29 January 2006
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery Goulburn NSW 3 February 2006 18 March 2006
Benalla Regional Art Gallery Benalla VIC 24 March 2006 7 May 2006
Manning Regional Art Gallery Taree NSW 28 May 2006 25 June 2006
Grafton Regional Gallery Grafton NSW 7 July 2006 13 August 2006
Redland Art Gallery Capalaba QLD 16 August 2006 14 September 2006
Bundaberg Arts Centre Bundaberg QLD 20 October 2006 10 December 2006
Pine Rivers Heritage Museum Kurwongbah QLD 20 December 2006 28 January 2007
Tweed River Art Gallery Murwillumbah NSW 8 March 2007 29 April 2007
Macquarie University Sydney NSW 1 August 2007 29 August 2007
Barossa Regional Gallery Tanunda SA 28 March 2008 4 May 2008
Western Australian Museum - Geraldton Geraldton WA 24 July 2008 07 September 2008
Western Australian Museum - Kalgoorlie Kalgoorlie WA 30 October 2008 8 March 2009
Western Australian Museum - Albany Albany WA 26 March 2009 19 July 2009
Camden Library Camden NSW 8 October 2009 29 November 2009
Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum Lithgow NSW 12 December 2009 25 April 2010