||The Re-contextualization of the Battle of Gallipoli through Commemorations
15 , 2017-01-31
The Battle of Gallipoli is central to the Turkish republican historical discourse as the final Ottoman win against the Allied Forces, and as the event that introduced the founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal, and triggered the War of Independence. Until the 2000s, the historical meaning of the Battle of Gallipoli had been beyond debate; but the Justice and Development Party has shifted the narrative from a victory based on the figure of Mustafa Kemal and his military and political leadership, to an Ottoman victory based on religious faith, thereby eroding the founding myth of the Republic. Having such strong cultural, political and religious connotations, the Gallipoli Campaign and its contemporary commemorations are and will in all likelihood be subject to interventions and alterations of various power groups. This article highlights how the latter has happened in recent Turkish history,which may also serve as a more global example.