Gallipoli: History, Memory and National Imagination
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Gallipoli: History, Memory and National Imagination

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Gallipoli: History, Memory and National Imagination is a collection of a number of papers presented at the first and second international symposiums held on 3 April 2008 and 15-16 April 2009 respectively at the Australian National University, Canberra. The speaker were from Turkey, Canada, New Zealand and anumber of universities across Australia. The papers presented reflect a rational and multidisciplinary approach to history of the region itself prior to the campaign as well as the literature, memory and national imagination folloowing the campaign. The symposiums with their new dimensions clearly indicate that not enough has been written on the campaign and its aftermath. The campaign and the gentlemanly combats between Anzacs and Turks marked a unique relationship between Australia and Turkey and since then played a signifincant role for the development of bi-lateral relations between the two countries. Ataturk's fame first came out of this campaign, and Australia acknowledged this through reserving a significant location for Ataturk Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra.


This close relationship between Turks and Australians developed during the battles fought on a peninsula that belongs to Turks who are culturally and religiously alien not anly to Australians, but also to Newfoundlanders and British. Yet it was mainly Turks and Australians exchanging cigarettes while havin a rest in trenches, a Turkish soldier carrying a wounded Anzac on his shoulder, and another Turkish soldier giving his pocket watch - now on display in Australian War Memorial Museum - to an Anzac in exchange of a cigarette that gave rise to legends and inspirations to men of letters who have written poems and novels on various aspects of the campaign.


All the papers were academic and well presented receiving very well balanced academic and well presented receiving very well balanced academic questions and queries that stimulated the symposiums. Very few papers received criticisms, but even that lead to well balanced academic discussions. Michael Ruffles, articulated the second symposium in following words:


"Leading international scholars of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign are [at ANU] in Canberra for a two-day symposium... [to] examine national, social, economic and military aspects of the 1915 campaign that involved the Anzacs, with a focus on how archival documents, memoirs, other literature and visual media reflect this." (Canberra Times, 15 April 2009).


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