Mapping Gallipoli

  • Exhibition time

Turkish 1:5,000 scale map.

G7432.G1 S65 IX.17

This map is one of 43 covering the Gallipoli peninsula, surveyed by The Turkish Mapping Directorate, under Brigadier General Mehmet Şevki Paşa, after the evacuation of Gallipoli in December 1915 and January 1916. British fortifications are shown in blue, Turkish fortifications in red.

Place names were printed in Ottoman Turkish, with English translations added in later. The Turks naturally had different names for places at Anzac than those used by the Australians and New Zealanders. Quinn’s Post was called Bomba Sirt, meaning “bomb spur”, because of all the bombs thrown there owing to the closeness of the trenches; Plugge’s Plateau was called Khain Sirt, which means “cruel or traitorous hill” (called Khan Sirt on the map, which is translated as “ruthless enemy hill”); Walker’s Ridge was called Sercha Tepe, meaning “sparrow hill” (or “sparrow head”); and Shrapnel Valley was called Kuruku Dere, meaning “valley of fear”.

Some of the map’s interesting features include the several Christian cemeteries, the Indian Muslim cemetery, and three Turkish cemeteries. While some still remain in the same positions today, others were moved or remodelled in the 1920s. For example, the current Lone Pine cemetery was established after the war, on the position of the old trench lines, many of which were filled in to stabilise the ground. Unburied remains, isolated graves and other cemeteries at risk of erosion were moved to create the cemeteries we know today.

Above Ari Burnu are the piers established on North Beach. At the end of the first pier above Ari Burnu (called Williams Pier by the Australians and New Zealanders) is shown the ship, the Milo, which was grounded to act as a breakwater. Leading from the piers are tramways, which were used to move supplies from the piers to Anzac Cove.

Further south on Anzac Cove the map shows four grounded boats. One of these, a steel lifeboat from HMT Ascot was removed from Anzac Cove in 1921 for the Memorial’s collection; it is now on display in the Orientation Gallery. The other boats were used for scrap or eventually rusted away.