Anafartalar Group Staff, Senior Staff Colonel Mustafa Kemal Anafartalar Group Staff Senior Colonel Mustafa Kemal in front of Kireçtepe Martyrdom. (11.1915)

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Anafartalar Group Staff, Senior Staff Colonel Mustafa Kemal, in front of the Kireçtepe Martyrdom, which was built from cannon shell casings by the soldiers of the 9th Division, who fought on the right side of the Anafartalar. (November 1915)


Atatürk was also invited to the commemoration ceremony held at the place where the martyrdoms are located on the Gallipoli Peninsula due to the anniversary of the 18 March Çanakkale Victory. Representatives of the states that fought in Çanakkale and gave tens of thousands of victims also attended the ceremony. There was no passing wreath. Wreaths were placed on the monuments of the French and English unknown soldiers, the national anthems were played, but there was a hesitation about the place where the Mehmetçik wreath would be placed, as there was no Turkish monument yet.

When they could not find a place to put the wreath at the ceremony that day, they immediately ran to Atatürk:

- “Pasha, where should we put our wreath?” they asked.

Anafartalar Commander, who was looking at the horizon with absent-minded eyes in the area where the most terrible defense and attack of history took place, turned to the Governor, the commander and his entourage, who were waiting for an answer from him:

- “ Every corner of these lands, watered with Turkish blood, is a Turkish monument. Put the wreath wherever you want, it doesn't matter . "

In 1935, the members of the Turkish Historical Society were taken on a historical tour by the order of Atatürk. The first stop of the program was Anafartalar and Conkbayırı. Members held a moment of silence in memory of thousands of martyred Mehmetçi who gave their lives for these lands. There were many foreign monuments there. There was no Mehmetçik monument.

After returning, Prof. Dr. While Afet İnan told Atatürk about his travel memories, he also mentioned the Mehmetçik monument. He asked why a Mehmetçik monument was not built there. Atatürk replied as follows:

- " You are very right. We should also build very big monuments to commemorate our Mehmetçik. But this is a matter of time and opportunity. But let me also say that Mehmetçik has already built the biggest monument himself, as it remains within the borders of these lands."

While the Minister of Interior Şükrü Kaya was going to inspect the Çanakkale Region, Atatürk said to him:

-  "When you go to Çanakkale, do not forget to visit our saintly martyrs. I have no doubt that you will do this duty. What kind of speech will you make there?"

When Atatürk saw that Şükrü Kaya was thinking about the speech he was going to give, he said:

"Wait, let me tell you how to talk."

There you will say:

“O our dear martyrs who lie here, we remember you with respect.” Then, in the speech you will make at the Mehmetçik monument: “Rest here in peace and comfort. If it weren't for you, the enemy would have spread across our holy land”.

When Şükrü Kaya told Atatürk that he would speak like this, Atatürk objected:

- " No, you won't talk like that. You'll talk better than that."

In Çanakkale, you will commemorate not only our martyrs, but also the foreign fighters who shed their blood on these lands with respect. You will say:

“ Heroes who shed their blood on the soil of this country. Here you are in the land of a friendly homeland. Sleep in peace and quiet. You are sheep and sheep with the Mehmetçik."

Sukru Kaya opposed this:

- "Pasha, I can't do that." Atatürk got angry when he said:

- " You will say it. You will talk to Cihan like this."

You will say:

“Mothers who sent their sons to war from distant lands. Soothe your tears. Our children are in our bosom. He sleeps peacefully. After they gave their lives on this land, they became our children now.”

We listened to these words of Atatürk with goosebumps.

My Lord, what a great person this was, what a great man with lofty thoughts? Which great statesman in history has ever said such a word?

This speech that Şükrü Kaya said at the head of the Mehmetçik monument in Çanakkale, reflecting Atatürk's high feelings of humanity towards the nations he defeated, was spread around the world by foreign journalists who were there. Before a week had passed, telegrams began pouring in to Şükrü Kaya from Australia, New Zealand and many other places.

Anafartalar Group Staff Senior Colonel Mustafa Kemal in front of Kireçtepe Martyrdom.  (11.1915)

During the Dardanelles Wars, there was also a Turkish monument in the form of a pyramid, which was formed from the bullets thrown at the enemy, which was deteriorated over time and its remains were lost. A photograph of Atatürk, taken while laying a wreath on this monument at that time, was also published on the cover of Harbi Umumi Magazine.

Harp Magazine Issue-4 is one of the two photographs of Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal in the Harp Magazine in Kireçtepe, Çanakkale.

Source:  Atatürk’ün Uşağının Gizli Defteri, Cemal Granda, Kentkitap 2008, 2. Baskı, ISBN: 978-9944-915-03-8. Sayfa:281-283

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Anafartalar Group Staff, Senior Staff Colonel Mustafa Kemal Anafartalar Group Staff Senior Colonel Mustafa Kemal in front of Kireçtepe Martyrdom. (11.1915)