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This Çanakkale War Exhibition you will visit is a different exhibition. There is absolutely no enemy in this exhibition. A letter written by Anafartalar Commander Mustafa Kemal Pasha after the war is the main idea of this exhibition. In this letter, the Great Leader writes the following sentence to the mothers of the martyrs of foreign countries.
“After they have given their lives in this land, they have become our sons and daughters”
This is a war that changed the world and gave us Atatürk and the heroes of the War of Independence, and gave the peoples living in British and French colonies their identities. After this war, the number of Australians who say “I am British” and Algerians who say “I am French” has decreased significantly.
This war was the last gentlemen’s war the world has ever seen, where real soldiers fought. As we have seen in recent wars, civilian areas were not bombed, and extreme care was taken to prevent bombs from falling on cities. The enemy was treated with great respect and the wounded were collected together. Tobacco and chocolate were thrown from trench to trench. The picture of a woman, an old person or a child on a dead martyr made everyone’s eyes moist.
We made sections for easy presentation in our exhibition. At the beginning, we shared postcards and pictures of warring countries, commanders, warships, prisoners of war. Then came the stories that were not known much. We presented Bombardier Ali Çavuş, the great physicist Moseley, the English poet Rupert Brook, Churchill’s famous sailor, fisherman and sailor unit Hood, the sinking of the battleship Bouvet in 3 minutes. Then we told about the collection and eating of fish killed by bombs in the war, which has never been written about until today, and the smuggling of historical artefacts by French officers.
There is a deep-rooted bond between the Istanbul Sailing Club and Çanakkale. The name of our president Süleyman Dirvana’s boat was Seddülbahir and the name of our famous teacher Orhan Akra’s boat was Kilitbahir. Our President Süleyman Dirvana was buried in Seddülbahir by his own will.
As a concluding remark, we would like to say again that we have never considered anyone as an enemy in this exhibition.