The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savaşı), was a campaign of the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in modern Turkey).
The Entente powers, Britain and France, sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire by taking control of the straits that provided a supply route to Russia, the third member of the Entente. The invaders launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula, to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople. The naval attack was repelled and after eight months’ fighting, with many casualties on both sides, the land campaign was abandoned and the invasion force was withdrawn. It was a costly and humiliating defeat for the Allies and for the sponsors, especially Winston Churchill.
In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the history of the state, a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled.
Arabs formed a substantial force in the Gallipoli Peninsula being part of the 72nd and 77th regiments. According to several sources, Arabs made up two thirds of the 19th division under Colonel Mustafa Kemal. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the declaration of the Republic of Turkey eight years later, with Mustafa Kemal (Kemal Atatürk) who rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli, as President.
The campaign’s main significance to the Turkish people lies in the role it played in the emergence of Mustafa Kemal, who became the first president of the Republic of Turkey after the war.“Çanakkale geçilmez” (Çanakkale is impassable) became a common phrase to express the state’s pride at repulsing the attack and the song “Çanakkale içinde” (A Ballad for Chanakkale) commemorates the Turkish youth who fell during the battle. Turkish filmmaker Sinan Cetin, created a movie called “Children of Canakkale”.