Gallipoli today

The Gallipoli Peninsula is in a beautiful part of the world, beside the sparkling waters of the Aegean Sea, as you can see in this film from the BBC, viewed from a drone.  It’s hard to imagine that a century ago it was a scene of violence, pain and horror, with thousands of men dug into the cliffsides, smoke and shrapnel filling the air and the dark shapes of warships stretching along the horizon.  Today Gallipoli is a Turkish National Park and due to its isolation and lack of good land for farming it has remained undeveloped.  A century on, the evidence of the battlefield is still strong: there are wrecked boats on the beaches, cannons dotted around the clifftops, trenches and bunkers on the high ground and the remains of equipment such as rum jars and cartridge cases hiding in the undergrowth, as you can see in the videos below.

 

There are also cemeteries, of course: many were set up where the battles took place, and there are huge memorials for the thousands of unidentified bodies.

Tour guide Keith Dolan has visited Gallipoli many times and is always struck by contrast between the beautiful setting and the savagery and sacrifice which took place there a century ago.