Afternoon Talk on Turkish Martyrs Day

“The heroic resilience and line of defense raised by Turkish defenders during the Battles of Dardanelles in 1915 brought world powers to their knees and changed the course of history.”


Rumi Forum held an exclusive afternoon talk on occasion of the 101st commemoration of the Turkish Martyrs Day and Canakkale Victory at its Islamabad Center on March 18, 2016.


The chief guest of the program was Senator Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qayyum, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defense Production. Prof. Dr. Samina Awan, Chairperson, Department of History AIOU was the keynote speaker of the afternoon talk.


Welcoming the audience, Mr. Mustafa Yilmaz, Director Islamabad Chapter of Rumi Forum introduced the Rumi Forum and quoted a number of anecdotes regarding the importance of March 18 in Turkish and world history. He highlighted that nations which do not know about their history cannot look confidently into the future.


Mr. Suat Erguvan, Executive President of Rumi Forum made a pictorial presentation about the March 18, 1915 naval attack by the Allied Forces Armada and the heroic defense of the Turkish soldiers who lost more than 250,000 souls but did not let the intruders pass to capture the capital, Istanbul.


The keynote speaker of the afternoon talk, Prof. Dr. Samina Awan talked about the response of the Subcontinent to the Ottoman Turkish struggle during the World War 1 and especially during the Battle of Dardanelles (Canakkale). She expressed that the heroism of Ottoman Turks were eulogized in newspapers and poems by journalists and men of letters such as Allama Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jauhar. Dr. Awan also mentioned that the Muslims of the Subcontinent were vigilantly following and celebrating the achievements made by Ottoman Turks during World War 1.


The chief guest of the program, Senator Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qayyum stated that Pakistan and Turkey are two time-tested brotherly countries and that the history of Turks is of great pride to Pakistanis. Commemorating the Turkish martyrs who lost their lives during the Battle of Dardanelles and in the World War 1, Senator Abdul Qayyum also mentioned that the Turkish victory in the Dardanelles and the Gallipoli Campaign cannot be attributed to their supremacy of weaponry and military might. Ottoman soldiers had to fight in multiple front during the World War 1. Having lost many of their young generations to the evil of war, Ottoman Turkey fought many battles of survival merely by their unshakable faith. He concluded by saying that generations should know about their history to be aware of potential challenges.


The Turkish victory on March 18, 1915 at the Strait of Dardanelles against the Allied Navy changed the course of history in the World War One and emerged a leader like Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who later founded the modern Republic of Turkey.