Gallipoli at 100: The Second Rewrite of Turkish History?

Hopefully readers can access the Smithsonian Magazine link above for a well written and vivid overview of a military horror replete with hubris, poor Allied leadership, mind boggling carnage and an attempted rewriting of history. There are many, many lessons we can derive from Gallipoli in terms of tactics, logistics, military planning, grandiosity, nationalism, destroyed reputations, as well as Churchill’s spectacular redemption that decades later helped save the Western world. As distressing as it was to learn that in a few months 180,000 Allied troops and 230,000 Turks had been killed or wounded (the horrors and disproportionate deaths of Anzacs has been well articulated in old and upcoming movies), I found the most distressing part of the article is the second Turkish rewrite of history. Most enlightened readers are well aware of the Armenian Holocaust where the numbers might be debated but whose reality was as unmistakable as so many other hate crimes , historical and contemporary. The current Turkish leadership’s rewrite was that Gallipoli was an Islamic victory, not an Ottoman and German one. Erdogan is trying to usurp the modernist Turkish icon, Mustafa Kemal, (Ataturk); Erdogan’s minions are not troubled by artifacts- they claim the beer bottles in the Turkish trenches were from the Germans, after all the heroic fighters were devout Muslims. As often saved “everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not the facts”. I guess when you have enough power facts are malleable and lessons of history are lost. The Smithsonian article brought the details of carnage I hear daily into sharper focus. What truly distresses me is hearing the machine guns of mis truth reload for the next wave of carnage, the hints of which we hear on the evening news. Let us hope the rewrite of Gallipoli do not reignite the Ghosts of Gallipoli.