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Turkey digging in at Gallipoli... again


Eceabat
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Obviously a dab hand at Microsoft's 'cut and paste' commands.

It really shows how seriously he considers the welfare of the peninsula when that's the best he can come up with. It only goes to reinforce the veracity of Bill Sell....er, Gamm....er, whichever's version of events.

Cheers,

Tim L

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Forgive me for posting this twice but I want to make sure Pals who may have missed this on one thread but hear reports get the story right regarding stories that my wife Serpil and I were arrested on November 3.

Hi Pals,

just thought I would try and clarify things briefly, as you can understand this is rather a busy time for us.

First off, no one has been arrested.

Serpil, Anil Dinc and I had our homes searched late yesterday afternoon, after a warrant was issued by the local prosecutor. We were then taken to give statements to the Gendarme, a process that saw us detained for some four hours. At no time was there any hassle from the Gendarme or other officials, they acted with great professionalism and good manners. Nether Serpil and I have any complaints to make over our treatment from the Gendarme at any stage of this process. A complaint has been made, the prosecutor as is his duty acted upon it and the Gendarme did what was required of them.

We are apparently being investigated over allegations we have carried out digging on the battlefields and removed relics from the area.

This is not the case and our statements reflected this.

These statements have been forwarded to the prosecutor for his evaluation. At this point we do not know if this process stops here or if formal charges will be laid.

Both Serpil and I thank you for your kind thoughts, it is appreciated.

Cheers

Bill Sellars

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Mate, Having met you and Serpil and seen your dedication to the truth of Gallipoli, I hope that this matter will be sorted out quickly, and the instigators of this nonsense will realise that you have only the protection of the Battlefields, and the respect and rememberance of all those who fought, and died, no matter their nationality, as your concern.

I dare say some officials are embarressed and looking for a scrapegoat. No need to Acker that one.

Cheers and Best Regards

Kim

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Hi Bill and Serpil, Keep the chin's held high , as Kim has already said some one out there is looking for a Scrapegoat.

All the best

Peter

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Bill,

I'm just catching up on this one and wanted to add my Thanks for all your work here

Actually, 'thanks' seems a very weak response, for though we share the heart ache,

we are nowhere near the front line, unlike you, your family and good friends

Please take good care

and for what its worth - thanks again

Michael

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Bill,

No doubt someone is trying to intimidate yourself, Serpil and Anil as retribution for exposing their ineptitude. It amazes me that 'officials' still exist who believe that this clumsy form of bullying would go unnoticed or even tolerated by the international community you have strong links with.

The actions of those who instigated these absurd claims against you only serves to cement the truth of what you've been saying and their own complicity in it.

Keep your chin up and remember, although the preservation of the Gallipoli peninsula is of great importance, the safety of yourself, Serpil and all the others is paramount.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Bill

As I said in an earlier post, for whatever comfort it may be there are many people in different countries around the world who are aware of your predicament and are watching developments closely. Rest assured that I for one would not stand idly by if events escalated.

Sadly, I have to report that to date my letters to the Turkish Ambassador in London and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ankara have not been acknowledged or answered. I did make sure I paid the correct postage! I suppose its early days yet.

G'Luck old son

John

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An alert to Amnesty International might not go amiss. This is the kind of clumsy bullying one would expect from a dictatorship rather than from a state which is clamouring to be part of the European Union. Or am I being "political"?

Chris C

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An alert to Amnesty International might not go amiss. This is the kind of clumsy bullying one would expect from a dictatorship rather than from a state which is clamouring to be part of the European Union. Or am I being "political"?

Chris C

Chris

As an Amnesty member, I doubt if things have got as serious yet to start thinking about sending them a dossier, though its certainly an option if things were to escalate.

In fairness to the authorities in Turkey, they may have an obligation to investigate if allegations have been made, as indeed they would in UK, and it would come as no surprise to discover that somebody somewhere had made unfounded and malicious allegations against Bill in order to harrass him. Were they to pursue things in the absence of evidence it becomes a different issue. As I said in my previous posting, it may be best to just keep a very close watch on developments for the time being?

John

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Dear friends of Gallipoli,

joining this site after a long time (I moved to Pakistan) I am shocked about the things going on at Gallipoli. On the other hand I am not very much surprised because all the construction work, which took place during the last years and destroyed even more hidden graves and historical places. I remember when I was wandering along Shrapnel Valley and found incidently a piece of a skull - how much I was excited and touched and brought that human remnance to the nearest cemetery. And now this!

Is this the same Turkey, which built recently more than 30 new Turkish cemeteries around Gallipoli? Unbelievable!

Folks - if I would read this earlier I had stopped an interview and article, which will be published on Monday, 10th November in the Sydny Morning Tribune. This is about the German contribution during the battle of Gallipoli and my view about LTC Mustafa Kemals contribution. The Turkish side will certainly not like this and probaly will see this article as a kind of revanche. (Probaly Eric has to wait a long time before I am again allowed to visit the country - if anyway. But this article appeared completely independend and is only related to my book "Gallipoli 1915", which was published this summer and will hopefully come in English next year.

Thanks to Bill and all other very much engaged friends - I know after 4 years living and working experience in Turkey what kind of attitude and threat is facing you. Stay calm but solid!

Yours

Klaus

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quote from Chris: Has anyone brought this to the attention of the Gallipoli Association? Use any connections you can ...

Thanks for the timely prod here Chris

This has now been acted upon and I understand that first steps are being taken to get more background information from TGA contacts in Turkey

The question has been raised with me regarding the need for further details of the work referred to as taking place at/near Fusilier Bluff

[see post # 1; The Turkish authorities are also carrying out a massive project near the head of Gully Ravine, putting new car parks and memorials on top of Fusilier Bluff that will cover 10,000 square metres. Again, traces from the campaign, including two mine craters, are to be destroyed.]

If anyone can get us any further information on this particular point, then I will pass it on, or again draw TGA's attention to this very useful thread

Regards

Michael

Edited by michaeldr
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quote: my book "Gallipoli 1915", which was published this summer and will hopefully come in English next year.

Great to hear from you again Klaus

Don't forget to let us (mono-linguists) know when your book is published in English

with best regards

Michael

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Hi Pals,

below is a brief article by the Australian Associated Press, issued on November 10, with further info on the state of play on Second Ridge.

Cheers

Bill

Gallipol roadworks to go ahead

November 10

The Turkish government is to carry out minor road works at Gallipoli near where human remains were unearthed recently.

Veterans' Affairs Minister Alan Griffin said the Turkish authorities had agreed to halt work on the Second Ridge Road a few days ago after the Australian government raised concerns.

However, the Turkish Embassy released a statement saying minor repair work would be carried out in the area to ensure the safe travel of tourists to the Gallipoli Peninsula.

More than 18,000 tourists visit Gallipoli each year.

The Turkish Embassy said that if any human remains were found during the work they would be reinterred in the area where they were found.

Mr Griffin said that the finalisation of the remaining 400-metre section of the road leading to Chunuk Bair memorial would begin in the next few days.

"All work will be undertaken by the National Road Works Department and monitored and directed by the Gallipoli Historical National Park's archaeologist," Mr Griffin said.

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Yeh, right...........

What they say and what they do seem to be two different things.

Will a CWGC member be there? Will a TGA member be there? Will a representative of the Allied forces be there?

Need I go on?

Considering that Turkish visitors to the Peninsular are starting to out number OS visitors, they can hardly keep trotting out that the road works are for the OS visitors. Isn't the latest at Gully Ravine for Turkish monuments?

Don't read this wrong. The Turkish people have every right to visit, shame that the infrastructure is not done in a professional and sensitive way, including having historians, forensic, archaeological and military advisers on hand, and the CWGC.

Sorry,for getting angry ...no I am not sorry....with a bit more planning and consideration, the desecration of the resting places of both Turkish and Allied soldiers could be treated with much more respect and care.

Kim

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Well said Kim, as you say "what they say and what they do are very different things". Any new update on the state of play, have they stopped all work ?

Peter

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If they have stopped work, it is after the damage has been done.

And I gather that the damage is worse than first thought.

We can only hope that the Allied politicans grow 'you know whats', and respond in a manner worthy of those that fell on the Gallipoli Peninsular.

Let's spare a thought for men like Anil, the taxi driver who spoke up, and has been subjected to false allegations, his home searched, all because he brought to attention, the wileful disregard of the war dead being torn from their resting place. War Dead , both Allied and Turkish!

The contrast of Fromelles and Second Ridge is glaring!

For tomorrow, the 11 of the 11,

Lest We Forget, all of them.

Kim

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Hi folks,

between all the bad news you still can be happy because at least your cemeteries are still there. It went worse for the German Wargraves, which all more or less secretly disappeared. The cemetery on Kilia Tepe (Marine-Landungsabteilung) had a fence with a solid chain, at least seven graves and a monument, which you might recognize on the picture.

Schweder, a war reporter, wrote 1916 after he visited Kilia Tepe:

„Even today, where the flags of victory are flying over Gallipoli and the straigths, there is a huge monument on top of the dominant peak of Kilia-Tepe for some of the German soldiers of the battle of Gallipoli [...] On the highest peak the heros of our marinecorps are resting, who died in the fightings at Ariburnu, Anafarta and Sedd-ul-Bahr and were burried here by their comrades in the view of the one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world. I saw the graves of Leutnant zur See Hildebrandt, four seamen (Obermatrosen, one navy sergeant and to other seamen, who stayed in the time between July until end of 1915. On top of the hill stands a huge monument made from granite, on which stands an old anchor. The Maschinengewehrabteilung carried it as well as dozens of old stonenballs fromTurkish guns uphill, to create their dead comrades a lasting memorial. Calm and peaceful is it around the restingplace of the blue boys.“

Schweder, Pau, Im Türkischen Hauptquartier, 1916, Leipzig, Hesse & Becker

Regards

Klaus

post-22005-1226326176.jpg

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Now exactely at the same spot there stands a radar tower....

Any questions?

God knows, where the remnants are today? Germany still don't have any place at Gallipoli to rememnance the some 80 deads on Gallipoli and over 533 fallen soldiers in the campaign nor any records exist in the Turkish history. Even today the Sydney Morning Herald had not the guts to print the article about this subject - too much pressure from the Turkish side I guess. Where are the strong and fearless Aussies?

regards

Klaus

post-22005-1226326640.jpg

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Thanks Klaus for posting those Photos, for once I am really stuck for words. It really brings it all home. Stay safe Klaus.

Peter

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Dear Klaus,

don't know about the fearless Aussies, but I do know that when the plans were first announced many years ago for that radar tower, local environmentalists and historians protested against its being located on that hill, saying the construction work would harm historic sites, though if I remember (I was living in Istanbul at the time) the objections were more focused on the presence of ancient ruins than that of the German cemetery.

I have to say that until your work, I did not know there was a German cemetery and memorial sited on the hill, and always (incorrectly) believed that all those German soldiers who fell in the campaign had had their graves relocated to Istanbul. This is one none too strong and somewhat nervous Australian (and I am sure there would be others here) who would have objected to damage to the site above Kilia had we but known.

For what little it is worth, as my wife Serpil and I were returning from the very moving ceremony held at Beach Cemetery to mark Armistice Day, I looked up at the hill where the German memorial should have been and thought of those who lay there.

Cheers

Bill

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Dear Bill,

thank your very much for your kind words and thoughts on todays Remembrance Day. I also believe, that many Turkish people would had protested if they had known this. It was also the fault of Germany who just forgot their fallen soldiers in Turkey. In any case - the Commonwealth War Graves Commission did a very honourable duty in taking care of those dead bodies of the "Breslau" in January 1918, which were washed up on the shores of Lemnos and Imbros (56 from 336 losses). I also have a letter from the the German Embassy from 28 June 1938 that the CWGC offered their help to Germany to take care for the German war gaves at Gallipoli. The German side didn't take this offer but reported this to the Turkish side in order to get the help from the former Allies - which didn't take place.

Here is a text about the dying of the seamen of the Breslau as reported - their grave now is the cold sea...

A very moving description of the last minutes of the crew of the sinking cruiser Breslau in front of the island Imbros was reported by Sergeant de Grignis, who wrote this in a letter to his former commandant Captain von Knorr: „Finally the whole crew, as far as they were still alive, in the water and now the most important moments came closer, who witenessed, that German seamen even in face of their dead are dignified of their Fatherland. The ship raised with it’s bow, keeped some seconds like silent and with roaring toast to the sinking ship and the German Fatherland it left unbeaten in the sea. Now someone started singing native country songs and everybody participated. The temperatur was not much above 6 degrees and slowly the death-struggle started for most of them. Captain, they all died silent and faithful, nearly no wail, only here and there the heads bend over and again a brave comrade gave everything to his Fatherland what he was able to give“ (Source: Thaus / Dönitz, Kreuzerfahrten der Goeben und Breslau, S. 272)

Über die letzten Minuten der Besatzung des Kreuzers Breslau, der vor der Insel Imbros unterging, gibt es einen bewegenden Bericht von Bootsmann de Grignis, den dieser an einen seiner früheren Vorgesetzten, Korvettenkapitän v. Knorr geschrieben hatte: „Schließlich war die ganze Besatzung, soweit sie noch am Leben war, im Wasser, und jetzt kam der größte Augenblick, der bewies, daß deutsche Seeleute doch angesichts des Todes würdig ihres großen Vaterlandes sich zeigten. Das Schiff stellte sich auf und nieder, mit dem Bug nach oben, stand einige Sekunden wie still, und mit einem brausenden Hoch auf das stolze Schiff und das deutsche Vaterland verschwand es unbesiegt in den Fluten. Jetzt wurden Heimatslieder gesungen, und alles fiel ein. Das Wasser hatte etwas über 6 Grad, und allmählich setzte bei den meisten der Todeskampf ein. Herr Kapitän, sie starben alle still und ergeben, fast keinen Klagelaut hörte man, nur da und dort ein Nachvornesinken des Kopfes, und wieder hatte ein braver Kamerad seinem Vaterland all das gegeben, was er geben konnte“. (Quelle: Thaus / Dönitz, Kreuzerfahrten der Goeben und Breslau, S. 272)

The picture shows one building of the German baracks on the Kilia Tepe - in his description Schweder also told about a part of an old fortification, which the used a storage room. Totally there must have been more than 10 stone buildings. We tried together with Eric to find some remnance but we were not very sure if those small stone piles once belonged to those houses. In the background the cemetery.

Best regards

Klaus

post-22005-1226418831.jpg

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