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Turkey digging in at Gallipoli... again


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Hi Pals,

Connor, in answer to your query, at the moment, the only work being conducted by Turkish contractors or National Park officials on the battlefields is at one of the Turkish batteries overlooking the Dardanelles, which played a pivotal role in the fighting on March 18. The position is the one made famous by Seyit Onbasi (Corporal Seyit), who lifted a heavy shell, weighing either 275 kilograms or 150, depending on reports), loaded the artillery piece he was serving and fired the gun, again reportedly hitting the French battleship the Bouvet).

Cheers

Bill

My understanding is that the gun in question is the 13.5" Krupp gun that sits in front of the Askeri Mueze at Istanbul, the very same gun. (I believe that that was produced about 1875.) It is the last of these guns still in Turkish possession. I understand that another similar gun was being loaded on a barge for shipment to Istanbul, and there was a mishap, and the gun was dropped into the Dardanelles. If this is true, with modern technology it would be possible to both find and raise the gun, which might weigh (I am guessing here) about 60 or 70 tons. (Not an easy job, but do-able.) I understand that the gun before the Mueze has been named for Seyit Onbasi.

If he was on the crew of a 13.5" gun, the shell would certainly weigh about 275 kilos, and certainly not 150 kilos, which might be a typical weight for a gun of about 9" bore. In fact, I believe that the famous 12" (30.5 cm) Austrian Moto=Moersern shell weighed about 400 kilos. Shells for big guns can weigh significantly different amounts; the famous 42 cm howitzers had, I believe, shell models weighing between 1900 and 3100 lbs, although the "bunker-buster" shells used against the French and Belgian forts weighed 2550 lbs.

So, hats off to Seyit Onbasi, he deserves his fame!

Bob Lembke.

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Hi Bob,

hats off indeed, though according to the research carried out by Piotr Nykiel (to be found in the articles section of his excellent website www.navyingallipoli.com), the heaviest guns in the Rumeli Mecidiye battery, where Seyit served, were 280mm, which indeed fired a shell of 276 kilogrammes. However, these guns did not fire on March 18, the battery's 240mm guns being the ones in action, which threw a 150 kilo shell. A mighty lift for all that.

Cheers

Bill

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Hi all,

this article, a rough translation of a story carried by some Turkish media produced by the Turkish state news agency, suggests that progress is being made on the long stalled archaeological and historical survey of the Anzac battlefields, first agreed to in April 2005.

Good to see though the planned study does not cover other sectors of the campaign.

Cheers

Bill

Australia, New Zealand join Turkey's works on Gelibolu history

Wednesday, 09 September 2009 10:17

Turkish, Australian and New Zealander historians will carry out historical studies in the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsula.

Turkish, Australian and New Zealander historians will carry out historical studies in the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsula.

Australian Ambassador to Turkey Peter Doyle; Ian Campbell, a secretary of the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs; and Matthew Cartledge, the adviser to the secretary; paid a visit to the Onsekiz Mart University (COMU) rector, Ali Akdemir, in the western province of Canakkale.

During the meeting, the Turkish and Australian authorities discussed launching of joint studies in the historical national park in Gelibolu Peninsula.

Ian Campbell said that Turkish, Australian and New Zealander historians and archeologists would launch joint historical and archeological studies in the Anzac Cave, where Anzac soldiers landed during the Canakkale Battles.

Campbell also said he hoped the studies would illuminate many unknown issues regarding the Anzac Cave.

The Battle of Canakkale took place at Gelibolu Peninsula in the west of Turkey from April 25, 1915 to January 9, 1916, during the World War I.

A joint British Empire and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides.

In Australia and New Zealand, the campaign was the first major battle undertaken by a joint military formation, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in both of these countries. Anzac Day (April 25) remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in Australia and New Zealand, surpassing Armistice Day/Remembrance Day.

Each year, thousands of people, many of them Australians and New Zealanders, travel to the battlefields in northwestern Turkey on Anzac Day, the anniversary of the April 25th, 1915, start of the campaign.

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That sounds promising, Bill. Let's hope that the existence of the study group and the presence of its personnel on the ground will not only produce good work in itself, but also deter any inappropriate digging etc by agencies at local level.

... many unknown issues regarding the Anzac Cave.

So the study group will include speliologists ...? :P

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Thanks Bill,

An interesting development, will be interesting to see where this leads. To my knowledge, nothing from the Dept Vet Affairs over here as yet, but no-doubt a statement will follow.

Please keep us informed of development's from over there, as such information will be needed to scrutinise Australia's position with the proposed Historical Study.

What has happened to the earlier Historical Study to be undertaken by leading Gallipoli experts, that was proposed?

Cheers,

Jeff

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Hi all,

regarding Jeff's question "What has happened to the earlier Historical Study to be undertaken by leading Gallipoli experts, that was proposed?"

as I understand it, this is the joint study as agreed to in April 2005.

Concerning Anzac Cove mysteries, the local authorities are keen to determine if there was a tunnel leading from the beach to Birdwood's headquarters. If so, it has been said, this could be a reason not to build a retaining wall at the base of the cliff on te beach.

Bill

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  • 2 months later...

Interesting discussions about Lausanne Treaty, you need to ask yourself a few questions Bill,

1. Is Lausanne Treaty in force in its original form today?

2. "The land to be granted by the Turkish Government will include in particular, as regards the British Empire, the area in the region known as Anzac (Ari Burnu)" Isn't there a difference between "...the area..." and "...ALL THE AREA..."

3. Australian Gov took legal advice on the matter, did you? If you did not, then, doesn't your interpretation still sound novice?

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Seddulbahir,

The Treaty of Lausanne is still technically enforceable. It may be outdated due to progress and modern ways but that doesn't mean it should simply be ignored or it's clauses unnecessarily breached.

The word 'all' would be superfluous in the context of the sentence and have absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Quite clearly, 'the region' refers to the entire Gallipoli Peninsula and 'the area' comprises the Anzac (Ari Burnu) sector. In fact the unnecessary use of "all" would be poor sentence structure in terms of the English language. Quite simply, the area IS the area and by definition encompasses everything within it. If it was only ever meant to refer to smaller individual places within that area then they would need to be separately specified.

Might I suggest that before you call someone else a 'novice', make sure that you have full understanding of the topic yourself. Otherwise you may find yourself appearing very foolish.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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I have no idea whether there is any fundamental difference between "area" and "all the area", although in British legal documents relating to land development use one often sees "all the area" used.

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There is no fundamental difference John. They both mean exactly the same thing and that's why the use of the word 'all' is superfluous. Basically it's used just to emphasise the point but has no bearing on the actual meaning.

Take these two sentences for example:

"The area bounded by a,b,c and d belongs to me."

"All of the area bounded by a,b,c and d belongs to me."

I think the problem lies with Seddulbahir misinterpreting the sentence. If I'm correct he's reading it as "the area in the region known as Anzac (Ari Burnu)" whereas it actually means "the area in the region known as Anzac (Ari Burnu)"

Quite obviously the first reading makes no sense because a specific area hasn't been defined and hence his confusion but the second correct interpretation supplies a clear set of boundaries - the Anzac (Ari Burnu) sector.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Hi Seddulbahir and welcome to the forum.

OK, took your advice and asked myself some questions. Got some answers too.

In brief,

1. Yes,

2. No

3. Yes actually and not really.

Hope this clarifies things for you.

Should you like a more detailed response, read the preceding postings on this thread my many members, or other threads dealing with similar issues.

Cheers

Bill

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Hello All and Hello Tim,

I think one can approach the interpretation of this provision not only from a grammatical sense (and i agree with "all" being superfluous) but also by considering the intention of the parties when the treaty was signed which puts the sentence in its proper context. Considering the spirit of the treaty, what was intended and how that intention is expressed, one asks what interpretation makes sense in light of all the former. As you have concluded: it is referring to the Anzac sector.

just my thoughts,

peter

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Hi Bill,

I thought of answering in almost the identical fashion :D

I dunno but somehow I get the feeling we've welcomed Seddulbahir to the forum before...........umm, but maybe in a different guise!

Peter,

Absolutely correct on both grammar and intention.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Interesting discussions about Lausanne Treaty, you need to ask yourself a few questions Bill,

1. Is Lausanne Treaty in force in its original form today?

2. "The land to be granted by the Turkish Government will include in particular, as regards the British Empire, the area in the region known as Anzac (Ari Burnu)" Isn't there a difference between "...the area..." and "...ALL THE AREA..."

3. Australian Gov took legal advice on the matter, did you? If you did not, then, doesn't your interpretation still sound novice?

Seddulbahir

Welcome on your maiden address to the forum.

There are many questions that forum members might ask you, but would you please oblige, as Bill did, by answering the several questions posed in that address.

Brian

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I would be careful quoting article 129 as it is a addendum to article 129 as the bodies were spread more widely at Anzac. Nor does 129 stop the Turks building roads and paths to memorials and cenetries.

Though obviously Map three of the treaty is required to define the commonwelath area at Anzac, here is the text of Articles 128 & 129:

ARTICLE 127.

In order to complete the general provisions included in Articles 124 and 125, the Governments of the British Empire, France and Italy on the one hand and the Turkish and Greek Governments on the other agree to the special provisions contained in Articles 128 to 136.

ARTICLE 128.

The Turkish Government undertakes to grant to the Governments of the British Empire, France and Italy respectively and in perpetuity the land within the Turkish territory in which are situated the graves, cemeteries, ossuaries or memorials of their soldiers and sailors who fell in action or died of wounds, accident or disease, as well as those of prisoners of war and interned civil- ians who died in captivity.

The Turkish Government will also grant to those Governments the land which the Commissions provided for in Article 130 shall consider necessary for the establishment of cemeteries for the regrouping of graves, for ossuaries or memorials.

The Turkish Government undertakes further to give free access to these graves, cemeteries, ossuaries and memorials, and if need be to authorise the construction of the necessary roads and pathways.

The Greek Government undertakes to fulfil the same obligations in so far as concerns its territory.

The above provisions shall not affect Turkish or Greek sovereignty over the land thus granted.

ARTICLE 129.

The land to be granted by the Turkish Government will include in particular, as regards the British Empire, the area in the region known as Anzac (Ari Burnu), which is shown on Map No. 3. [see Introduction.] The occupation of the above-mentioned area shall be subject to the following conditions:

(1) This area shall not be applied to any purpose other than that laid down in the present Treaty; consequently it shall not be utilised for any military or commercial object nor for any other object foreign to the purpose mentioned above;

(2) The Turkish Government shall, at all times, have the right to cause this area, including the cemeteries, to be inspected;

(3) The number of civil custodians appointed to look after the cemeteries shall not exceed one custodian to each cemetery. There shall not be any special custodians for the parts of the area Iying outside the cemeteries;

(4) No dwelling houses may be erected in the area, either inslde or outside the cemeteries, except such as are strictly necessary for the custodians;

(5) On the sea shore of the area no quay, jetty or wharfs may be built to facilitate the landing or embarkation of persons or goods;

(6) Such formalities as may be required may only be fulfilled on the coast inside the Straits and access to the area by the coast on the AEgean Sea shall only be permitted after these formalities have been fulfilled. The Turkish Government agrees that these formalities, which shall be as simple as possible, shall not be, without prejudice to the other stipulations of this Article, more onerous than those imposed on other foreigners entering Turkey, and that they should be fulfilled under conditions tending to avoid all unnecessary delay;

(7) Persons who desire to visit the area must not be armed, and the Turkish Government have the right to see to the enforcement of this strict prohibition;

(8) The Turkish Government must be informed at least a week in advance of the arrival of any party of visitors exceeding 150 persons.

ARTICLE 130.

Each of the British, French and Italian Governments shall appoint a commission, on which the Turkish and Greek Governments will appoint a representative, to which will be entrusted the duty of regulating on the spot questions affecting the graves, cemeteries, ossuaries and memorials. The duties of these commissions shall extend particularly to:

(1) the offficial recognition of the zones where burials have or may have already taken place and the registration of cemeteries, ossuaries, or memorials already existing;

(2) fixing the conditions in which, if necessary, graves may in future be concentrated, and deciding, in conjunction with the Turkish representative in Turkish territory and the Greek representative in Greek territory, the sites of the cemeteries, ossuaries and memorials still to be established, and defining the boundaries of these sites in such a way as shall restrict the land to be occupied within the limits indispensable for the purpose;

(3) communicating to the Turkish and Greek Governments in the name of the respective Governments a final plan of their graves, cemeteries, ossuaries and memorials, whether already established or to be established.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 1 year later...

It sounds like Bill has personal problem with Turkish authorities and pursuing provocation at any opportunity. Have a look at the following newspaper article. If you don't understand, get someone to translate it for you.

It writes "..... National Parks Director Prof. Mustafa Kemal Yalınkılıç was inspecting the works in the region, bumps into Bill and asks if he has work permit, he asks Bill to leave the area when he learns Bill has no work permit, Bill's response was - WHO ARE YOU TELLING TO GET OUT ON WHOSE SOIL" Meaning this is my soil not yours..

http://www.milligaze...emesi-86882.htm

Isn't that interesting?

Perhaps Bill can clarify if he uttered those words to the official, and if he did, why?

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Agreed Michael,

Seddulbahir has only appeared here twice. The first time in 2009 incorrectly interpreting the Treaty of Lausanne as a way to take a dig at Bill and now having another pot shot at him over a Turkish news article that appeared nearly seven years ago!!

It's hardly startling new information. In fact the only inference it gives is that Seddulbahir obviously has a personal 'beef' with Bill and will twist anything to try and score points. The fact that he has typed the quote attributed to Bill in uppercase to make it look like he was yelling and being rude shows his distinct lack of knowledge regarding what really happened. This incident occured amidst the Anzac Cove road debarcle and at that time all the authorities were denying and trying to cover-up the damage that had been done (which included publicly slandering Bill for trying to make the facts known). If Seddulbahir would care to recall, the truth about the irrepairable damage to Anzac Cove was ultimately exposed and Bill vindicated as correct.

Time to build a bridge Seddulbahir and get over it.

Tim L.

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Tim,

I think that your guess may well be correct here; raking over such old coals gives off the whiff of an agenda.

My understanding, picked up on a visit last year, is that the situation has moved on, as indeed have some of the officials who were previously involved. This is not say however that a foreign journalist is going to have an easy time of it, but it does hold out the hope of better co-operation in remembering a shared period of history and sacrifice.

regards

Michael

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Hello again Seddulbahir

you have asked, in reference to the article that appeared in Milligazette in 2005 concerning a conversation that took place in 2004 whether "Bill can clarify if he uttered those words to the official, and if he did, why?"

In response:

1) Yes I can clarify.

2) No, those words were never uttered.

And here ends the discussion.

Regards and seasonal good wishes to all.

Bill Sellars

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Glad "those words were never uttered" . Bill, you should ask that newspaper to publish an apology, it sounds like you are being stigmatized as an agent provocateur.

auimfo - no personal "beef" with anybody, you need to learn how to post meaningful replies without twisting the facts.

michaeldr - my next post may be in 2014, hope that is ok with you.

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auimfo - no personal "beef" with anybody, you need to learn how to post meaningful replies without twisting the facts.

Not like you do then ?

"Meaning this is my soil not yours" - providing your own interpertation of what Bill ment, interesting

Grant

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Seddulbahir,

Cant see any twisted facts in my posts. If you read a little more carefully you'll notice I said it was an 'inference' your posts gave and based on what few comments you've made so far, I stand by my opinion unless you clarify otherwise.

To be honest, I read your suggestion that I was twisting facts and my immediate reaction was :lol:

Cheers

Tim L.

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