Prince Charles Arrived in Turkey to Attend Memorial Events of Gallipoli Campaign
Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, arrived at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on a private jet at 5.45pm local time to attend of a series of memorial events to mark the Gallipoli Campaign centenary events in this country scheduled to take place on Friday, 24 April.
Prince Charles was welcomed to the country by Minister of Defence İsmet Yılmaz, and Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin, at the airport.
Prince of Wales headed for Hilton Hotel for a brief resting, from where he will be participating in a ‘Peace Summit’ scheduled for Thursday evening before the memorial events on Friday.
Turkey on Friday hosts world leaders to commemorate the centenary of the World War I battle of Gallipoli, sending out a message of reconciliation — and patriotic pride over one of the most dramatic Ottoman victories of the war.
Tens of thousands lost their lives on both sides in a grinding nine month battle between the German-backed Ottoman forces and Allies including Australian, British and New Zealand troops trying to break through to take Constantinople and knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war.
Today, the fallen from both the Ottoman and Allied sides lie close together in separate cemeteries on the Gallipoli peninsula on the western edge of Turkey, in what has long been seen as a powerful symbol of reconciliation between former enemies.
In recognition of this, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host leaders of the World War I Allies, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, New Zealand Premier John Key, as well as the heir to the British throne Prince Charles and his son Harry.
The leaders will attend ceremonies throughout Friday at the beaches where the Allied troops launched their attacks, only to meet with fierce Ottoman resistance that lasted until the evacuation of the last Allied troops in January 1916 in what is widely regarded as a failed campaign.
On Saturday, the focus will be on the dawn services to remember the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who lost their lives thousands of miles from home in a sacrifice that helped forge a national consciousness in those nations and is still remembered as Anzac Day on April 25.
The Ottoman Empire, already on its last legs, would lose the war along with its German allies, but the defeat of the Allied attack created a national pride that would then be felt in the War of Independence and then the creation of the modern Turkish state in 1923.
A key Ottoman commander at Gallipoli was a lieutenant colonel named Mustafa Kemal, later known as Ataturk, who would emerge as the founder of the Turkish Republic and who remains its national icon.