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Gallipoli: Cemeteries, Qanakkale

Gallipoli is located in the European part of Turkey on the Gallipoli Peninsula. According to Wilcox and Spencer (2007), the First World War battle that took place at Gallipoli was one of the darkest incidents in the military history of New Zealand and Australia. Various battle memorials have been erected in Australia and New Zealand in remembrance of those who died in Gallipoli, and Gallipoli itself is home to a dramatic cemetery, revered as a holy tomb by the Turkish, Australians, and New Zealanders alike (Wilcox and Spencer 2007).

Gallipoli serves as one of the most holy attractions for the Turkish people, as it features numerous monuments that have been constructed in honor of the Turkish soldiers who died fighting against the Allied forces in the Battle of the Gallipoli. The victory over the Allies is celebrated every year on March 18, with thousands of Turks participating in the events staged at the memorial sites, cemeteries, and battlefields. The Anzac Cove is a particularly important site for New Zealanders and Australians, as it was here, on the rocks of Anzac Cove, that the New Zealander and Australian soldiers received their baptism in fire. Every year, on April 25, New Zealanders and Australians commemorate the 1915 landings and battles, flocking to

Gallipoli, on what can be considered a pilgrimage, to honor the memories of their ancestors (www.anzacgallipolitours.com).

On the Gallipoli Peninsula, there lies thirty-one battle cemeteries, twenty-one of which are in the Anzac Cove. Various memorials have been erected to commemorate the missing, with the biggest ones being the Lone Pine Memorial and the Helles Memorial, followed by the New Zealand National Memorial on Chunuk Bair. The Gallipoli cemeteries contain nearly twenty-two thousand graves, but only nine thousand of these graves are identified burials with grave markers (www. anzacsite.gov.au). When it comes to interpretation, the Gallipoli Cemeteries are well designed and provide visitors the opportunity to intimately engage with the First World War battle on Gallipoli Peninsula. Since Gallipoli serves as an important site for Turks, Australians, and New Zealanders, the area has been well maintained and evokes a powerful sense of sadness and renewed hope. With the restoration and careful preservation of all the battlefronts where soldiers had fought and the cemeteries and the monuments gracing the Gallipoli Peninsula, the area is like a living war zone. In the Gallipoli Saga Promotion Center, the Gallipoli battlefields are housed in eleven different rooms and are presented in eight different languages. Gallipoli, the most visited battlefield area in Turkey, is particularly attractive for visitors who are interested in getting a better sense of the First World War. With the provision of information to help for planning a visit and the development of adequate programs and strategies by the local municipal government to manage visiting tours, dark tourists from all over the world will be drawn to Gallipoli. Tour operators should definitely make sure to include Gallipoli on their tour itineraries to provide visitors with greater awareness about the memorable events that took place in this city.

 
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