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Pearl of the Islands Foundation organized a program to honor the fallen soldiers in World War 1, which took place in Turkiye, Gallipoli.
The night bought together the Turkish community to remember the fallen and injured Turkish soldiers that gave away their lives to protect their countries.
Coordinator of PIF’s new platform, Public Relations, Yusuf Ciftci hosted the event. He informed the audience about the toll of the deadly war.
“The Ottomans lost approx. 3 million men (lost, captured, injured and dead) as a result of the invasion from the Allied Forces. Over 2 million were civilians – not military men.”
The 3 million represented 13% of Turkey’s population at the time: the largest percentile out of all the nations that participated in the war. The Allies consisted of Australia, Canada, U.K., France, Belgium Greece, and U.S. among many others. New Zealand was also among the ranks of the British with a total loss of 18,000 men.
A video based on a Turkish author and his findings was also screened during the program. According to diary entries by the invading soldiers, Turkish men were described as cannibals who ate each other and also had tails from their Generals as an attempt to make them more aggressive during the battle. It is also referenced that they were told Turks were barbarians and aliens.
Despite this, towards the end of the war, an ironic friendship was formed between the Anzac and Turkish soldiers with exchanges of biscuits, canned food and water between trenches.
A prayer was made to the souls of all those sons-of-weeping-mothers who gave their lives.