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Turkey digging in at Gallipoli... again


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#76 michaeldr

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 06:51 PM

Regarding developments at or near Fusilier Bluff/Gully Ravine:
I have just received the following from a contact in Turkey
"I've heard that some part of the fields around Nuri Yamut Memorial has been graded and compacted for a proper parking area for the many coaches taking Turkish groups there which -for me again- was also a necessity."

I hope that sometime soon, someone can pay a visit to the area and provide further details and reassurance on this

regards
Michael

#77 Ozzie

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:27 AM

Any news from Gallipoli?

Kim

#78 Salfordian

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:17 PM

QUOTE (Thales @ Oct 27 2008, 06:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If enough people care and act, we can get this sort of thing stopped. The legacy of the sacrifice of those in WW1 is that we can have our democratic say which is why in addition to proudly being a member of this forum, I am also an active supporter of Amnesty International.

Amnesty encourage people to write letters to the appropriate authorities in cases of human rights abuse and as Chris suggests above this is one way in which we can attempt to bring about change with regard to recent upsetting events in the Gallipoli peninsula. Letter writing can be extremely effective e.g. the recent stay of execution of Troy Davis in USA – no offence intended to those in USA by the way.

I would suggest (in the case of those living in UK) writing to the Turkish Ambassador in London and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. The details are:

His Excellency Mr Mehmet Yigit Alpogan, The Ambassador of Turkey
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
43 Belgrave Square
LONDON
SW1X 8PA

[Form of address in the letter: either Excellency or Dear Mr Ambassador]

Mr Ali Babacan
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Balgat
ANKARA
Turkey 06100

[Form of address in the letter: Dear Mr Babacan]

It would be presumptuous for me to lay down the content of this letter, but as a suggestion for those with no prior experience in such matters:

Be courteous no matter how incensed you feel
Write in your normal style – no high flown language necessary
Try to avoid being long winded

The format usually followed is three paragraphs:
• State the problem (ample information here from Bill’s postings)
• State why it affects you (e.g. ‘I am a former serving officer in HM Forces with a father who fought in Gallipoli in 1915. He had a very high regard for his Turkish opponents and I feel strongly that the remains of the fallen on both side should not be treated in this way…..’)
• Say what you want done about it. (e.g. ‘I would like an assurance that your officials will abide by undertakings given to the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand three years ago not to carry out excavations on a battlefield prior to survey by historians and archaeologists’. )

Turkey are aspiring members of the EU and I am sure if everybody who reads this thread writes as recommended the message will get home. At worst we can have the consolation of knowing we have done at least something for those who did so much for us.

John





John

You are so spot on. I am a member of Amnesty, and its one of the reason I will never go to Turkey - even though I would love to go to Gallipoli because of Turkey's human rights record. But something has to be done. I suggest to write to the Turkish High Commissioner, MPs from the UK, Australia and NZ. If anyone has a website place details of what is going on together with addresses where people can write (I will be doing this on mine).

Turkey will worry if enough people from the EU complain - if they want to join the EU then they have to respect the dead of EU countries (and obviously the brave Anzacs) but also their own war dead.

Steve


#79 Salfordian

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:52 PM

I have emailed the embassy. Suggest all do !

#80 green_acorn

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:39 PM

The wires out, stand-to called and I'm putting my helmet and flak jacket on, whilst also furiously digging to Stage 3.

As an Australian I direct this primarily at other Australians and by default New Zealanders.

Don't we all sometimes get a bit too emotive over the Gallipoli Peninsula? For example, do we make the same demands of Belgium, French, Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian and many other authorities about their battlefield sites? No. Do we insist that the authorities of other nations not improve roads, simply because it is where some of the remains of "our" unknown may be? No. If it was we would insist that Ypres, Fromelles and so forth not been rebuilt after WW1.

From the opposite side of the fence, what about the New Zealanders destroying the Turkish Memorial at Chunuk Bair, in order to construct their own, ninety years ago?

Then there is the issue of who benefits from the roadworks, just Turkish visitors? No of course not, all of us who visit do, by the Turks making the area accesible. Sure some areas may get destroyed, but it is "progress" and we can't stop it.

Now the issues should be to "manage" the change in a proper way, but in a nation with far more important antiquities to preserve (all that Roman marble lying around in Istanbul for one), ninety year old collapsed and weathered trenches don't really count for much when their is no money provided to protect it.


That's me for the moment, incoming has been called!

Cheers,
Hendo

#81 Ozzie

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:50 PM

Incoming ETA....when I can get your points arranged in my head.

Belgium and France have a different outlook on war dead cause we were Allies not enemies.
Israel and Palestine are still current war sites, so protection of ancients is not on the must do list.
Ypres was recreated as it was before the war.

Take politics out of the Gallipoli question, and remember the May truce. (24th?. I'll check later. )
Respect of each other at under Big Brass Level, not only on Gallipoli, but in the desert as well.

As I have said before, let them walk.
These days you cannot drive to certain areas because they are internationally environmentally heritage listed, and that is to protect Flora and Fauna, so the war dead don't count as much as Flora and Fauna?

Yep, appreciated the antiquities of Istanbul and Troy, loved every minute of walking to see them. (Troy was very hot!)

I'll shut up now, but look forward to a convo over a drink in March. tongue.gif

Cheers
Kim




#82 Ozzie

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:57 PM

PS
It is not so much the works, but the Gungho way in which it is done.
A known war dead site, and yet no planning nor clearence of remains before the works are commenced, and then removal of the bones in a hush hush way????

Turkey could take lessons from France. It would improve their standing in the eyes of many overseas interests.


K


#83 michaeldr

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 07:47 PM

Quote from my previous post
I have just received the following from a contact in Turkey
"I've heard that some part of the fields around Nuri Yamut Memorial has been graded and compacted for a proper parking area for the many coaches taking Turkish groups there which -for me again- was also a necessity."
I hope that sometime soon, someone can pay a visit to the area and provide further details and reassurance on this


That same friend living on the peninsula, has kindly sent me some photographs of the recent works. The photographs are not his own, but were given to him by a third party whom I do not know; therefore I regret that I am unable to reproduce them here

However, as regards the work at Helles, they indicate it to indeed be in the very immediate vicinity of the Turkish NURI YAMUT MEMORIAL (which appears in some of the shots)

This memorial and the nearby Sargiyeri Cemetery are particularly important to Turks;
representing as they do "... the bloodiest actions fought during the campaign, resulting in the highest casualties. During the fighting between June 28 and July 5, Turkish losses amounted to 14,000 killed and wounded." (from 'Canakkale Muharebe Alanlari Gezi Rehberi - Gallipoli Battlefield Guide' by Gursel Goncu & Sahin Aldogan [ISBN 975-9191-07-5])

To me therefore, however regrettable the intrusion onto the battlefield, it is nevertheless understandable that from the Turkish point of view, today, more coach/car parking facilities are required at this important spot

Whether or not this could have been better handled, from an international PR point of view, is an entirely different question

Regards
Michael


#84 Krithia

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (michaeldr @ Dec 28 2008, 07:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To me therefore, however regrettable the intrusion onto the battlefield, it is nevertheless understandable that from the Turkish point of view, today, more coach/car parking facilities are required at this important spot

Whether or not this could have been better handled, from an international PR point of view, is an entirely different question

Regards
Michael

Hi Michael,

I can only partly agree with this. Even if it is necessary for a coach park (and don't forget the plastic porta-loos, tacky souvenier stands and the like), you do not lay tons of concrete and place them directly over the bodies of the men who died on this hallowed ground. There is ample space on the approach road before you reach Nuri Yamut.

If possible could you email me the photos for non public use of course.

thanks, Steve


#85 nthornton19179

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:15 PM


As a new member I have only just caught up with this thread and would like to add my disgust to this topic !

My Great Uncle Pte Albert Edward Steele lost his life at Gully Ravine with KOSB and I hoped one day to visit the site.

I may have to rethink my wishes ?

Neil

#86 michaeldr

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 05:54 PM

Steve, I've sent you a PM on this
...............................................

Neil,

Get yourself to Gallipoli and spend a day walking in Gully Ravine - you wont regret it
In the peace and quiet there you can respect you Great Uncle's memory
and if you do not wish to go on to visit the Nuri Yamut Memorial or the Sargiyeri Cemetery, then you don't have to

regards
Michael

#87 Dogan Sahin

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:56 AM

QUOTE (Fedelmar @ Oct 28 2008, 01:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
http://www.thewest.c...ontentID=104889


News report from Western Australian newspapers.


Bright Blessings
Sandra


Now,
I had posted this news under another heading and I later couldnt find the thread. So thinking that I must of placed it in the wrong spot ( I dont think the thread could have been deleted without letting meknow of the reason why) I enter it once more. Seems more relevant under this thread:


Gentleman and Ladies

I do not live in Canakkale. So I rely greatly on info supplied by subscribers to this and other forums, which I find are immensely beneficial and informative.
However, today I became aware of a report , properly titled " Australian senate Finance and Public Administration reference Committee :Inquiry into matters relating to Gallipoli peninsula", by Senator John Watson and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells", which I found disturbing, given the fact that all information I have obtained from here and other site are "correct", on good will....I await an answer.

This report basically stated that the allegations regarding the roadworks (which we all know were raised a couple of months ago by one of the members- all over the media-, whom I considered, was led to believe to be an expert) were a bunch of lies, perpetrated to gain financial benefit as well as journalistic benefit. Now, I will only be content with "cut-copying" of parts of report that disturbed me greatly; shattered my confidence in the info I received on this platform (and I am only an amateur researcher). No offense is intended and I expect some satisfying answers as a junior member. Now I must stress here that this particular report was written in response to a majority report...

"


The Report fails to adequately and correctly reflect the overwhelming bulk of the written and oral evidence given to the Committee and instead relies on conflicting evidence from Mr Sellars that is beyond his area of expertise, is often baseless and invariably at odds with the evidence of other learned persons giving evidence before this Committee. Mr Sellars, a self-styled historian and journalist (who conceded he has no formal qualifications in history or archaeology) was the source of the media allegations regarding the discovery of alleged human remains and bones during roadworks undertaken by the Turkish authorities. Mr Sellars makes serial appearances around ANZAC Day and tellingly, conceded in evidence that he has financially benefited from his sensationalised media assertions."

" Turkey and Australia share a history in Gallipoli. Over the years, goodwill has prevailed and there has been a very positive relationship to date. It would be a very disturbing if the politicisation of this issue caused damage to the relationship between Australia and Turkey. Accordingly, it is important that we rise above the issue and address the facts before this Committee, rather than the hyperbole and innuendo, to


ensure that the goodwill, positive relationship and cooperation with the Turkish Government continue."



Minister Downer reported to the House as follows on 14 March 2005:163 The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which operates in the Gallipoli area, advised her that they inspected the area thoroughly before and during the roadworks and found no evidence of remains. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission also advised that they thought it very unlikely that any human remains would be found, because the area was thoroughly searched for remains in the 1920s and any remains found then were interred in local cemeteries. Given the sensational allegations made by Mr Sellars, Ambassador Dunn spoke with Mr Sellars during her visit. It is interesting to note that Mr Sellars was unable to produce the two bone fragments that he alleged to have photographed. Minister Downer relayed to the House on 14 March 2005 the information provided by Mr Sellars to Ambassador Dunn:164 A man called Bill Sellars, who is an Australian who lives in the area and has an intense interest in the preservation of Gallipoli, has told our ambassador that of two bone fragments that he had photographed one had disappeared and he could not relocate the other. In response, Ambassador Dunn also requested Mr Sellars to advise Australian authorities and of course, the CWGC of any further alleged finds:165 The Ambassador has asked him to advise us and of course the Commonwealth War Graves Commission if he does find any further remains, in particular so those remains can be treated respectfully and in the appropriate way. It is interesting to note that on the one hand Mr Sellars holds himself out to be a person allegedly versed in history and understanding of military heritage, but on the other hand, demonstrates a rather cavalier and inappropriate attitude in relation to the care and attention of remains which he alleged were human. One would have thought at the very least, he would have promptly contacted the CWGC and informed them of the find so that the find could have been verified and the bones interred in an appropriate and respectful manner by appropriately qualified archaeologists. Instead, 163 Cited in Submission 4, Attachment C 164 Cited in Submission 4, Attachment C 165 Cited in Submission 4, Attachment B 130 it would appear that Mr Sellars opted instead to parade his alleged find through sensationalised media avenues . here and abroad. The Majority Report states that both articles noted Mr Sellars' claims that the roadworks must have dug up human remains as many Australians and Turks were hastily buried on the beach and Cliffside . not that bones were dug up but a mere hypothesis that the roadworks "must have" dug up remains. Again, sensationalism not based on solid facts, but on a mere hypothesis from an unqualified amateur archaeologist. Again, Mr Sellars' testimony regarding the bones he allegedly dug up is questionable. In short, he asserts that because he has allegedly found bones in the past, then the roadworks must have "dug up remains this time". The following extract from his testimony demonstrates the lack of credibility of this witness:92 Senator Fierravanti-Wells.We do not have a copy of that but it would be useful if you could provide a copy of it as well. In the article in the Age of 6 March 2005, you are quoted as saying that the roadworks must have also unearthed human remains. You were not sure about that, were you? Mr Sellars.I was positively sure, because I had seen human remains before that time. Senator Fierravanti-Wells.From the way it is attributed to you, it does not seem clear. Mr Sellars.It may not be. Senator Watson.It was your story.Mr Sellars.but I can assure you that I have seen human remains prior to 6 March. Senator Fierravanti-Wells.You say, .I am always finding bones from soldiers that were buried.. 92 Committee Hansard, pp 19-21 107 Mr Sellars.Is that in a story by-lined by Mr Russell Skelton or by me? I think I heard Senator Watson saying, .It was your story.. Senator Fierravanti-Wells .I did not say it was your story, Mr Sellars. I am just saying that there are comments. Mr Sellars.Does my name appear. Chair.Order! We can only have one speaker at a time, please. Senator Fierravanti-Wells .I do not wish to pursue it. Mr Sellars, the article quotes you as saying, .I am always finding bones from soldiers that were buried there in the first few days of battle to get ashore.. So what is your basis for asserting that you are so sure that they were all there from the first few days? You told me before that you do not have archaeological qualifications so how can you make that sort of assertion? Mr Sellars.Probabaly the assertion could be made.not as an archaeologist but in some ways as a historian.that that area was only fought over extensively on the first day of the campaign. There was extensive shelling of the area.as I have also written in another article.throughout the campaign, rom the morning of the landing until the final evacuation of the ANZAC beachhead in December. So, yes, the case is that I have often found human remains in that area. Senator Fierravanti-Wells .Thank you, Mr Sellars. Mr Sellars.That story was not by me. I would not have quoted myself in my own story, so it was written by another journalist. Senator Fierravanti-Wells .I did say that, but they do quote you in inverted commas.


Mr Sellars.Yes.


Senator Fierravanti-Wells .Are you saying that you have been misquoted?


Mr Sellars.In reference to this story, no, I have not. I can think of one other story in which I was misquoted, yes. The journalist later acknowledged that he had not accurately reflected my comments.


Senator Fierravanti-Wells .In this case, Mr Sellars, you agree with me that you have not been misquoted?


Mr Sellars.I do not believe that I have. I have not got the exact story in front of me. It was some time back. There is a high probability that there are human remains in that area which may well have come from the initial day.s fighting.


108


Alternatively, they may have been generated through casualties from indirect artillery fire later in the campaign or from erosion of the battlefields bringing debris down over the last 90 years. Senator Fierravanti-Wells .But you are not sure, Mr Sellars and that is very clear from the comments that were made by and attributed to you. So you are not really sure, are you?


Mr Sellars.No. Not to the extent of.


Senator Fierravanti-Wells .Thank you.


On 12 March 2005, Mr Sellars himself authorised articles in the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, which allegedly produced photographs of: 93 what appear to be leg and hip bones at the road construction site. The articles claimed that the photographs refuted statements by the Australian and Turkish Governments that no human remains have been dug up at Gallipoli. We refute the veracity of these assertions and indeed, the Inquiry was offered no proof of the authenticity of any of the photographs including when the photographs were allegedly taken, by whom and where they were taken. The Committee heard evidence from Mr Sellars concerning his comments on the unearthing of bone fragments. Mr Sellars alleges that on 1 March 2005, Fairfax journalist Russell Skelton, Turkish tourism operator Ilhami Gezici and his wife Bernina, and 'a number of other people' were all present when the bones were found.94 Mr Sellars subsequently identified these other people as his wife, Ms Serpil Karacan Sellars, and a tour guide with 'Hassle Free' tour agency named Baris.95 Interestingly, no evidence was proffered by any of these five people that supported Mr Sellars' allegations.


It is particularly important to note that Mr Sellars alleges Mr Skelton was present at the time when the bones were allegedly found. However, in his articles of 10 April 2005 in the Sun Herald and in the Sunday Age, or in his article of 17 April 2005 in the Sunday Age Mr Skelton does not disclose that he was present when the bones were allegedly found. Given this was the key complaint in the articles, it would not be unreasonable to assume that if Mr Skelton had indeed witnessed so important an event as the alleged discovery of human bones, he would have specifically and deliberately stated this in his articles? We believe this casts some doubt on the circumstances of 93 B. Sellars, 'Photos reveal truth of ANZAC remains', Daily Telegraph, 12 March 2005, p.5; B.


Sellars, 'Gallipoli's bones of contention', Herald Sun, 12 March 2005, p.4


94 Committee Hansard, p.18


95 Mr Sellars explained that 'Baris' was working with Mr Skelton as a translator and guide.


(Correspondence, 26 June 2005)


109 the alleged finding of bones and at the very least, calls for further corroboration of Mr Sellars' claim that Mr Skelton was present when human remains where discovered. In his opening statement, Mr Sellars told the Inquiry that in mid-March 2005, the Australian Ambassador to Turkey, HE Ms Jean Dunn, had discussed these allegations with him. Mr Sellars asserted that he explained to the Ambassador that one of the bones had been removed soon after he, Mr Skelton, and the others present had found it at the site. The Inquiry was told however, that Turkish employees of the company carrying out the roadworks had removed the bone fragment.96 This seems a curious turn of events that, having made allegations of finding bone fragments, the alleged find mysteriously disappears. Mr Sellars held himself out to be a "writer and historian".97 It is surprising that, for someone who professes to have such a love and respect for the Gallipoli Peninsula, he is remarkably ignorant of the proper way of dealing with the finding of bones. He stated that: 98 I live on this peninsula because I choose to do so and I have the greatest respect for all the soldiers of all nations who served and fell here. My concern, as a mark of respect to the men and indeed some women of all nations who were involved in this campaign, is to preserve the battlefield in the best way that it can be using best management practices and causing the least amount of damage to this site that is of great historical and heritage importance to the people of our country and, in particular, the people of Turkey and New Zealand. Notwithstanding this, it is clear from his own evidence that Mr Sellars was not aware of the proper process for the discovery, identification and disposal of human remains. He sought advice "many years ago and have since acted on that advice."99 There are a number of troubling features and inconsistencies about Mr Sellars' evidence on this point: • his clear lack of knowledge of the proper procedure for dealing with human remains; • his failure to acquaint himself with the proper procedures given his comment that he is "always finding bones from soldiers that were buried there in the first few days of battle to get ashore";100 • given his self-styled expertise as a "writer and historian",101 one would assume that he would not only have made an effort to contact the CWGC and appraise 96 Committee Hansard, p.4


97 Committee Hansard, p.2


98 Committee Hansard, p.23

<DIV align=left><FONT face=Arial>99 Committee Hansard<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 100%">

#88 bob lembke

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 08:02 AM

Just a narrow point of information.

Several Pals have referred to the Turkish desire to join the EU as a lever which with to push the Turks in a certain direction.

The process by which conditions for EU membership have been put to the Turks, and after they are met the goal-posts are moved, has been going on for 30 or more years, and I understand that most Turks are sick and tired of it. I understand that polling of the population indicate that approval of Turkey joining the EU has dropped from 70-odd percent to 30-odd percent; in other words supposedly only one in three Turks still want to join the EU. First the EU inspectors came and said: "No more torture. No more capital punishment." (reasonable requests, IMHO). The Turks said: "OK, we can do that." Now the EU inspectors reappeared, and said: "The Turks should stop eating tripe sandwiches!" It turns out that the Turks like their tripe sandwiches a lot. The current mildly Islamist government is still soldiering on toward EU membership, but most people don't care a lot. Until the recent world economic melt-down, hatched in US banks, the Turks were enjoying several years of 8% annual real growth in a row, probably more than any western European country in that time period. Lots of people in Europe simply don't want Turkey in "Europe"; for example the Pope's recent comments,and the Turks are beginning to smell the coffee. Incidentally, I believe that Turkish approval of the US has dropped from 52% in 2000 to 9% in 2007, much lower than Iranian approval of the US, ironically. (Iran, interestingly, is one of the last places in the Middle East where many of the people really still like the US.)

Bob Lembke

PS: Dogan; yes, it was surprising when that thread vanished a few hours ago.

#89 Ozzie

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:54 AM

Don't be taken in by political scrapegoating.
I met and have spoken with the Minister in Charge at that time. I have met and spoken with people on the ground at Gallipolli at that time.
I have also met Mr Sellars.
I would believe Mr Sellars over any of our politicans any time. He is not bound by party politics or Public relations. He can and does report what goes on at Gallipoli, and does so with honesty and interigity, something that the politicans who were part of that inquiry, sadly lacked. Only one politican actually asked the right questions. Strange he was from the other party. He did seem genuinely interested in the truth. One man.

The politicians were doing all they could to deflect notice away from their lack of interest and care, and they tried to make Mr Sellars the scrapegoat, when all he did, was report the truth!
If you knew the political participants of the enquiry, and Australian politics, you would understand a lot more than what you have read.

It runs very deep, and unfortunately, politics gets in the way of doing what is right.

Kim

#90 centurion

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:22 AM

Ozzie

Have you read The last continent by Terry Pratchet? In it thecontinent of XXXX is a sort of other Australia (with all the stereotypes). One character says something to the effect "Oh we always send our politicians to jail as soon as they're elected. It saves so much time later" From what you say it sounds not too far from the truth!

#91 More Majorum

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:24 AM

Dogan Sahin, Günaydın

As an Australian, and the descendant of a Gallipoli veteran, I personally put very little credence, or credibility, to the extracts from the: " Australian Senate Finance and Public Administration Reference Committee :Inquiry into matters relating to Gallipoli peninsula", by Senator John Watson and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells", that you have posted.

In 2005 the then Howard Liberal Federal Government were in denial to the concerns being raised over road works at Anzac Cove, and as history has shown us, adopted the usual form of rebuttal of ’shoot the messenger’.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells, a well know conservative Liberal spokesperson, was doing her best to denigrate and discredit Bill Sellars at this Senate inquiry, as per your extracts.
As you have also briefly noted, the majority finding of the Senate inquiry fell in favour of the concerns raised by Bill Sellars to the road works being undertaken at Anzac Cove.
To draw any conclusions to the character or integrity of Mr Sellars from these assertions would be a grave mistake, not only are they unjust, but quite erroneous.

Despite the Federal Governments attempts to brush aside the controversy, they were eventually forced, through the pressure of public opinion in Australia, to adjust the Governments stance on the matter, and as seen by the following press release, attempts to placate public concerns were now being made.


Saturday March 10, 2007, 04:54 PM

Anzac Cove road in Turkey under repairs

Turkish authorities are planning to expand controversial roadworks on the Gallipoli peninsula site, the federal government says.

Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Billson said work had began to repair weather damage to the Anzac Cove road ahead of this year's commemoration service on April 25.

But more significant roadworks would take place later, he said.

"Following Anzac Day, it is anticipated that Turkish authorities will undertake further roadwork," Mr Bilson said in a statement.

The government faced criticism over roadworks at the site ahead of the 90th anniversary commemoration of the Gallipoli landing in 2005.

It emerged the area had been substantially altered by roadworks that were undertaken by Turkish authorities at the Australian government's request.

The roadworks were said to have uncovered bone fragments and damaged war relics.

Temporary roadworks were needed last year to repair weather damage, prompting Labor to call for a permanent solution that protected the historic and archaeological integrity of Anzac Cove.

Mr Bilson moved Saturday to assure Australians the additional roadworks would not disturb the sacred site.

"This work will be within current road profiles, with minimal impact to the Anzac Cove environs," he said.

Mr Bilson said the Australian and Turkish governments shared a commitment to the continued protection of the Gallipoli Peace Park including the Anzac Battlefield area.

Each year, thousands of Australians make the pilgrimage to the World War I battleground, where about 130,000 combatants died.

According to the Australian War Memorial, there were 26,111 Australian casualties from the Gallipoli operation, including 8,141 deaths, with 2,700 New Zealanders killed.

"While Gallipoli is of special significance to Australians, it is also of great importance to the Turkish people, who defended their sovereignty with the loss of some 87,000 lives," Mr Bilson said.

"We will continue to work cooperatively to provide appropriate and dignified commemorations on Anzac Day."

It should also be mentioned that it was not only Bill Sellars drawing attention to the problems at Anzac Cove, but a number of Turkish citizens as well. The difference being that Bill Sellars, as an Australian journalist living on the Gallipoli Peninsula, had the capacity to draw attention to this, not only in Australia, but internationally.

I personally am eternally grateful to the efforts undertaken by Bill to keep us informed of developments on Gallipoli through this forum, and this despite the continuing attempts to denigrate and discredit his credibility.

If one goes back to the earlier thread of the road works at Anzac Cove, it begins to reveal the history of this ongoing saga, such posts as the following by Bill demonstrate the necessity for continued vigilance.

Bill Mar 14 2007, 03:13 AM

I know that Australian authorities have held talks with their Turkish counterparts regarding the road, but apart from Billson’s statement little has been forthcoming. However, it should be noted that the official Australian-Turkish-NZ archaeological, historical and geological study that was supposed to be carried out by a joint team of experts before any further work was done in the ANZAC sector is still a non-starter, two years after the Australian and Turkish PMs agreed to it.


Mar 18 2007, 07:56 PM
I cannot agree more that the road works and associated developments have been poorly planned and even more poorly executed. The only hope is that, through continued scrutinising of future plans and of ongoing pressure here in Turkey, New Zealand and Australia, no more shockers are perpetuated.

Of particular concern is the road along Second Ridge, running from below Lone Pine up to Chunuk Bair. This road in many places runs along what was the old no mans land and any major construction work there would destroy front line trenches, tunnels and other sites of vital historical importance, not to mention unearthing the remains of many soldiers of both sides who fell in this area.

Currently, Turkish authorities have appeared to have dropped plans for a much wider new road along the lines of that at ANZAC Cove, instead opting to reseal the existing road, which is in need of repair. If they keep to this, it is damn good thing, and a victory for public action in Turkey and abroad. If they don't it is back to chucking rocks at bulldozers.

Cheers
Bill

To follow this reveals some startling Déjà vu to the whole sorry saga of road works on Gallipoli.

Andrew P Mar 27 2007, 04:11 PM
Latest message from Minister of Veterans Affairs

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Mailing List.

VA033 Tuesday 27 March 2007


GALLIPOLI PLANS FOR ANZAC DAY 2007 UNVEILED


Many months of planning and consultation supported by successful international cooperation have gone into preparing the upcoming 2007 Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Bruce Billson said today.

Launching Gallipoli 2007, which will mark the 92nd anniversary of the Anzac landings on April 25, Mr Billson was joined by the New Zealand Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Rick Barker, and the Turkish Ambassador to Australia, Murat Ersavci.

“International cooperation between Australia, New Zealand and Turkey is the key to ensuring appropriate Anzac Day commemorations are conducted at Gallipoli,” Mr Billson said.

“The dignified and insightful commemorations at Gallipoli in 2006 were evidence of the strong relationship we have forged with New Zealand and Turkey. As we build on the success of last year, I am certain that those in attendance at the 2007 commemorations will be deeply moved by an unforgettable experience,” he said.

Mr Billson said careful and detailed preparation was essential to conducting commemorative activities that run seamlessly for visitors.

“Logistically, this is a very large undertaking. Almost overnight we transport in facilities to accommodate 10,000 to 15,000 visitors, with minimal impact to the Anzac Cove environment,” he said.

“The Dawn Service and Australian memorial service at Lone Pine follow traditional orders of service. To enhance the experience of the thousands of people from many nations who gather at the site, an overnight interpretive program; featuring documentaries, live interviews and period music; is organised to contribute to their understanding of the Gallipoli campaign and its legacy to Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.

“In the hour before dawn, as those at the Anzac Commemorative Site wait for the Dawn Service, a feature of the overnight program, Spirit of Place, will seek to create an atmosphere for contemplation and reflection.

“The names and epitaphs of some of those Australian and New Zealand soldiers who lie forever on the Gallipoli Peninsula will symbolise all who died there, while the symphonic piece, Thoughts of Home, composed by Australian Peter Sculthorpe, will evoke the spirit of Gallipoli.”

Mr Billson said the Australian Government was fully committed to honouring and remembering the service and sacrifice of our veterans and had committed some $45.8 million for commemorative activities during 2006-07.

“While there are no longer any survivors of the Gallipoli campaign still with us, we must ensure that their sacrifice and contribution to our nation will never be forgotten.”

Visitors to the commemorations will proceed through security checkpoints where bags will be searched. In the interest of both safety and the dignity of the occasion, large backpacks, camping equipment, alcohol and weapons will be prohibited. A special crowd liaison team will be on hand to assist visitors.

Up to this point of time the following post by Bill Sellars clearly demonstrates the ongoing problems associated with the so-called improvements to the battlefield amenities for the sake of improved tourism.

Eceabat Mar 29 2007, 03:05 AM

Pals,

regarding the road issue on the Peninsula, the newspaper The Age ran an article on March 27. If you indulge me I'll drop in the article and then comment below.


Gallipoli probe finds no evidence of remains

AN INVESTIGATION at Gallipoli has found no evidence that human bones were dug up during road works there in 2005, the Federal Government says.

Unveiling plans for this year's low-key Anzac Day ceremonies, Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Billson said it was not possible to validate the claim because no human remains were recovered, none were available for analysis and there were no remains identified in the area of the work.

When Turkish ambassador Murat Ersavci was asked if he thought the claims were a deliberate misrepresentation, he responded: "I don't think I should say that. It's not easy to say that but there was certainly a lot of speculation."

Those who said they found bones have insisted that they left them in position, out of respect for the dead.

Veteran Affairs department secretary Mark Sullivan said the department tried to investigate claims that human remains were found but the bones were lost.

"The people who found the bone lost the bone, don't remember where they put it and said it was a human bone," Mr Sullivan said.

"And we said 'show us where it is and we'll have a look at it'.

"But there's no bone, and where did it come from? We don't know."

Security will be tight for the 92nd anniversary of the landings. The bags and equipment of everyone entering the site will be searched and all visitors will have to wear a wristband to show they have been screened.



OK, now for my bit.

The majority report of the Australian Senate inquiry found that human remains had been disturbed. Now I realise that the press conference giving details of the forthcoming ANZAC Day commemorations here on the Peninsula could be looked on as a diplomatic affair, what with having the Turkish ambassador present and all, but what was said did not square with the truth.

As one of those who found human remains that had been uncovered by the road work, and reported this to authorities, I take a bit of a dim view of this repeated denial, especially as it contradicts comments made by some pretty senior Australian officials.

Just ahead of 25 April 2005, Prime Minister John Howard said something along the lines of it was inevitable that human remains would be uncovered during excavations on a field of conflict. (I have the exact quote somewhere).

In a statement before a budget estimates hearing by the Australian Senate's Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on February 14 this year, Mr Sullivan said:

"We still believe there is creditable evidence that human remains were uncovered in the Turkish road works of two years ago."

Of course, there could be a typo and the word "no" could be missing from the official Hansard record of proceedings before the word credible.

However, Mr Sullivan had just previously told the inquiry that human remains were uncovered after every winter’s rains. He later said that the reporting of human remains being found was a regular occurrence.

I do take exception, on behalf of the many people who saw human remains disturbed by the roadwork, to the following.

"The people who found the bone lost the bone, don't remember where they put it and said it was a human bone," Mr Sullivan said.

"And we said 'show us where it is and we'll have a look at it'.

"But there's no bone, and where did it come from? We don't know."

As the only two people who I know of who reported finding remains and who were asked about this issue by Australian authorities were my wife Serpil and myself I can say that we were never at any time asked to accompany any official out to the battle site, though we offered to do so.

There was no question of having lost any remains, how does one lose something one has not taken possession of. Any remains were left where they lay, though some were immediately removed by Turkish road workers after their foreman had been informed of their presence and shown their location. It should be said that Turkish authorities had given a pledge that if any remains were uncovered work on the road would be halted and a through study undertaken. Funny, no bones, no interruption to work.

Other human remains, not shown to Turkish officials or workers were still in the same place where they were found days after Serpil and I met with Australian officials.

Yes, the bones were human. I may not be a doctor (a failing of mine raised by a government senator during the senate inquiry) but I can recognise a fragment of a human jaw when I see one (clue: farm animals, especially those in Turkey, usually don’t have fillings in their teeth).

In one instance, a Sydney Morning Herald writer, Jonathan King, was shown a bone by one of the road workers just ahead of April 25, 2005. He had it tested by a Turkish doctor who confirmed it was human. The bone was then given to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

At the time of writing, a boot with bones inside has just been included in a display at a new state owned museum at Cape Helles. The boot was uncovered while excavations were taking place to restore the Turkish battery above V Beach. This was confirmed by the workers who undertook the excavations. Now, of course, the boot and the bones could have belonged to a sartorially elegant cow, but I somewhat doubt it.

I am sorry if this rant sounds like a response to a ***** at my pride. It isn’t actually, it is more of a plea that officials from all sides accept that due care was not taken during the road works of 2005, and in other Turkish projects on the Peninsula and that due respect was not paid to the fallen or the historic fabric of the battlefields.

Want beer, need beer, end rant

Bill

It is now from the posts of this thread that it can be plainly seen that continued vigilance must be maintained. The mistakes and mismanagement of works undertaken continues.
Here also, the attempts to discredit those who raise concerns, again rises to the fore, whether factual or truthful, fair or just, is of no matter.
What is totally apparent, those who truly respect the commemoration, and the dignity, of the fallen of all nations, those who attempt to conserve and protect the historic sites, and to promote the history of the Gallipoli campaign for future generations, of all nations, are derided, ridiculed and, at worst, threatened.

In conclusion, I personally put greater trust and more belief to the assertions of the whistle blowers, than to the politically convenient and self-serving utterances, and actions, of Politicians and Government bureaucrats.

As an Australian descendant, Gallipoli holds a very special place in my heat and mind, to have walked in the footsteps of my Grandfather, and of the Diggers, was an inspiring, unforgettable, and spiritual experience.
To see such unnecessary disturbance and degradation of the original sites, is to me, quite disturbing and somewhat distressing to the honour and remembrance of both allied and Turkish soldiers who gave their lives for their countries.
Of the Turkish people I met in 2007, one could not have asked for more welcoming, cheerful, helpful and considerate folk, even with putting up with my complete lack of the Turkish language.
Apart from my desire to protect and preserve my cultural heritage on Turkish soil, it is to the Turkish people themselves, that the protection of their heritage and history concerns me most.

Lastly, the Howard Liberal Government were swept from office in the last Australian Federal election, and I would contend that such actions as this issue, were indicative of the reasons behind the rejection of the Liberal Party by the majority of Australian voters.

Jeff


#92 Eceabat

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:11 PM

[Dear Pals,

I am afraid that this is going to be a somewhat long and at times bitter posting, so readers may want to go and get a cup of coffee or something stronger before progressing further. I will try and answer as many queries as I can, clarify a few points and provide an update of the situation.

First off, please accept my apologies for not posting an update here sooner. My wife Serpil and I have not been out to the battlefields as often as usual of late, for a number of reasons, and as such have not taken all of the photos and assessed the latest situation at Nuri Yamut (Fusilier Bluff) in particular.

One of the reasons we have limited our visits to the battlefields is we find it odious to be stopped while on the roads by officials and be questioned as to where we are going, where we have been and what we are doing.

In addition, we have had rather a lot of our time taken up with legal matters. As some of you may have read, Serpil and I, along with local taxi driver Anil Dinc, were detained over allegations made by the director of the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park. I hope you will indulge me if I go into some detail over this. We were initially detained and our home searched on November 3, having been told we were alleged to have carried out digging on the battlefields and removed historical artifacts.

However, subsequently we were able to gain access to the investigation file being compiled by the prosecutor. In it was a signed statement by the park director stating we had dug up human remains, placed them for the media to view and then stored them in our home. This being a public forum, I am not able to fully put into words our reaction to these vile claims. In fact, our home was not searched to find relics from the battlefields but to locate the remains of fallen soldiers whose graves we were accused of desecrating.

Not surprisingly, no remains were found in our house and no evidence, apart from the claims of park officials, were presented to the prosecutor. Almost two months down the track, the prosecutor has said he will not be pressing charges against us, though this has yet to be formalised by his writing up his decision. This ruling, when formalised, will also be subject to appeal by Turkish authorities. In all, this legal process could go on for another six months.

Delightfully, the prosecutor told us that the press was free in Turkey, though he then went on to say we should ask permission from officials before we wrote anything.

It is worthy of note that similar allegations were lodged by the park director against three Turkish citizens, all authorities on the Gallipoli Campaign and indeed members of an advisory committee to the national park. All three had spoken out strongly in the Turkish media over the damage done to Second Ridge and the uncovering of human remains during work conducted by officials. Happily, all three have been exonerated by a prosecution investigation and no charges laid, though two have been threatened with having their guiding permits revoked.

As part of his investigation, the prosecutor obtained a report from an independent archaeologist who stated clearly that, having studied the area where we where accused of having dug up human remains, there was no sign of excavation work but that the area had been damaged by work conducted by the state.

In an echo of 2005, certain sections of the Turkish media have pilloried Serpil and I. I have been described as an enemy of Turkey and there have been calls for me to be expelled from the country. Serpil has been described as not actually being Turkish and working for foreign powers, with both of us aiming to subvert the sovereignty of Turkey (an offence that carries a heavy prison term by the way).

Now, as to more recent developments and to the Gully Ravine area in particular.

Michael, I am afraid your informant was misinformed. About the only thing they haven’t built in the Fusilier Bluff area is a new car park, though we expect that to come. They have improved the existing car park, actually reducing the umber of vehicles that can park there.

Work in this area started in October, with two main sites being developed. One is around the area of the existing Turkish memorial, dating from the 1940s known as Nuri Yamut, located right on Fusilier Bluff at the point of the British front lines at the end of the campaign.

The area around the memorial was cleared using bulldozers and a wall built to enclose the memorial. This enclosed area, roughly 80x80 metres has partly filled in part of one of the mine craters on the site and destroyed the rest. I and others found human remains uncovered by the digging work, along with British buttons and other fragments of equipment. Work on this site is just about complete.

A track has been cut using a bulldozer from the existing memorial above Gully Ravine going south. This track forks after about 150 metres, one arm leading down into the ravine towards the site of Border Barricade. An area inside the gully, roughly 40x60 metres, near this site has been cleared and flattened. I have been informed that this clearing work was done so a memorial could be built here but the contractor had read the plans incorrectly and had cleared the wrong area. This site may be used as a car park, I have been told.

Bulldozers have also been used to excavate earth from the floor of Gully Ravine in this area, the earth being used a fill at other sites. Again, human remains and fragments of British equipment were found at this site on November 30 and in mid December.

Not only has the work damaged the historic terrain but it will also be subject to erosion now that the winter rains have set in.

The other arm of the road leads to an area some 400 metres to the south of the Nuri Yamut memorial, just above the western edge of Gully Ravine, where a new memorial site is being constructed. This will be about the largest memorial site built on the peninsula in recent years, covering an area roughly 10,000 square metres. It is due to be completed before March 18, so it can be opened by the Turkish prime minister.

Most of the area covered by this memorial had long since been returned to farmland, so little actual damage was done to remaining historical sites on the surface. That said, I have been shown photos of the site when initial excavations were being carried out, and again, human remains and items of British and Turkish equipment were unearthed by the work. In addition, waste from the construction work, such as cement bags, broken stone and excess concrete has been dumped into the undergrowth at the edge of the ravine.

I have just taken new photos of this work and will post them shortly, when I reduce them in size.

Now back to other matters.

Unfortunately, Dogan’s posting with extracts from the Senate inquiry of 2005 is no longer here. Senator John Watson and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells did indeed spend much of the three and a half hours that I was addressing the inquiry trying to discredit me and digging through the transcripts or the minority report will come up with some damning statements. However, as Jeff has kindly posted, there were equally strong replies, and other evidence at the inquiry and elsewhere, which undermined what the two senators tried to say and do.

Whether or not I am regarded as a charlatan, the facts remain that significant historical sites, important to Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, were damaged or destroyed in 2005. Three and a half years later, more damage has been done of Second Ridge and at Gully Ravine. In all cases, the historic fabric of the terrain was damaged, relics from the campaign dug up and removed and the remains of soldiers who fell in the fighting uncovered. Further attempts to discredit me, whether by dredging up old quotes, or through the use of new claims, are not going to change the fundamental truth.

In closing, I ask for forgiveness if I sound heated over all of this. In the past two months, Serpil and I have been taken into custody; accused of foul and disgusting crimes; our home has been ransacked; beloved personal belongings removed and, we are told not to be returned because the Turkish state deems items such as my personal pocket watch or the old school hand bell we had on our bar of historical or cultural importance; our dog has been baited and killed; we have been stopped by paramilitary police when out driving and questioned; accused in the local press of being antiques smugglers; friend of ours have been told by senior officials that if they are seen with us out on the battlefields they will be charged with illegally guiding a foreigner without a proper license; in hard economic times we have had to incur large expenses to try and ward off prosecution; and even the status of our eight year long marriage questioned (a senior police officer and friend recently telling us he had had inquiries made as to why we didn’t have children, which he was told was evidence of the fact our marriage was a sham and that we were in fact spies).

Actually, I will share one last incident. Serpil and I have two cats, who live inside. They have their very own covered kitty litter box with a flap door to meet nature’s basic requirements. During the search of our home, one of the Gendarme got down his hands and knees and reached into the box to check if we had hidden any bones in there. The look on the poor chap’s face as he slowly removed his hand and was directed to the bathroom was priceless.

That look almost makes up for all the grief we are being put through.

Cheers
Bill



#93 chrisharley9

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:29 PM

laugh.gif Not the kitty litter - unsure.gif

Bill & Serpil

I wonder if the Turkish government is going to realise the harm that they are going to do to their chances of ever entering the EU if they continue with this kind of actions against people

Please do take care of yourselves & hope to see you next year

Chris

#94 Eceabat

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:30 PM

Sorry Pals, me again.

Having just seen a posting by Dogan on the Axis history forum regarding this issue. Hmmmm, interesting. A reply will be forthcoming in time and posted there.

Bill



#95 Siege Gunner

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:46 PM

The same material appears on this thread at post #87, so could the response be posted here as well as on the Axis forum.

#96 Dogan Sahin

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 05:18 PM

QUOTE (Siege Gunner @ Dec 30 2008, 02:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The same material appears on this thread at post #87, so could the response be posted here as well as on the Axis forum.



Dear History Buffs, Historians, academics and experts and observers, grandsons and daughters and learned people;

I am a truly an amateur, interested party to all of this learned discussion, though we may look at the situation from different angles.
I intend no offence.
I did post the "extract" of report to two forums ( I can post the lot if you wish), which I have benefited for the last two years or so.
I have no political intentions but I do evaluate political chit chat and I am intelligent enough to evaluate opinions of major5ity as well as minority..
I am not one for EU membership for those interested. I believe in sovereignty of Turkey on this land, just as I believe in sovereignty of australia over tasmania(without having to delve into discussions about the extinction of aboriginals over there)

FAIR ENOUGH, I can see the difficulties faced by Bill and Serpil clearly ( I feel it is atrocious thattheir dog may be murdered!). I am the one who supported him when he was making his declaratioıns a few months ago( check previous posts!). I dont think they deserve to be "harassed". No one does,. But as I said, I was disturbed by the report (full 120 pages) . Should you blame me? Would you think that I would full heartedly believe in Howard and cronies?

However, I am the one who has been trying to contact Bill for a while now for his opinion, direction, assistance in matters we all discuss about here , to no avail. Bill has never replied to my emails and there have been more than a couple of emails I sent ( especially following the AE2 workshop in april in istanbul, which I attended, a savas karakas, TINA involved!---so many players in a historical game ). So I decided to post my questions here and will do so in the future rather than trying to contact the "players", for I believe the game is much more complicated than I am aware of. It is better to submit my queries to public opinion (YOU).

I kindly ask now ; do any of you have any "projects-plans" as to what should be done in Canakkale to accomodate ever increasing tourist numbers and the damage caused by nature? Is there really a plan you have? (mind you Turkey overall is one large battle ground and there are millions and billions of bones, artifacts , objects found wherever you dig). Are there any engineering reports, drafts etc. that I am not aware of?

It is easy to critisize but what sort of a project do any of you have for proper running of the site? When I check through the forums, I can see none offered...
regards

#97 Krithia

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:25 PM

The primary objective must be to preserve history for future generations, not destroy it by ill-decision.

Now, I understand that there must be a trade off somewhere down the line, a parley between the officials and the historians would be a start. This is a problem historians and archaeologists have faced all over the world, not just in Turkey. Look at Stonehenge in England with the A303 ploughing right through it. But lessons must be learnt from past mistakes ... if we all learnt from history the world would be a better place.

With the mass of visitors each year I also understand that there is also the need for the health and safety concerns, which must be one of the concerns of the National Park. However if this is to the detriment of what the organisation is suppose to be preserving, it should be avoided at all costs. There are always alternatives. At Fusilier Bluff a car park a few yards north of Yuri Yamut would have been an alternative, and probably accepted by the vast majority of those who have voiced opinion. At Anzac I would go as far as suggesting that the road along the Second Ridge should be closed altogether and allow walking tours to be dropped off at either end. The vast majority of regular tours only go to Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair anyway, so service to these areas from the beach road and Third Ridge would suffice.

What we have seen is the mindless widening and building of roads, car parks and the like without any (as far as I can see) consideration to the historic area beneath the foot. There are many good Turkish, Australian and British historians who feel as strongly as Bill Sellars on this front so why do we not see some liaison between these people and the officials.

It would be interesting to understand the CWGC view on this. The quote "The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which operates in the Gallipoli area, advised her that they inspected the area thoroughly before and during the roadworks and found no evidence of remains. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission also advised that they thought it very unlikely that any human remains would be found, because the area was thoroughly searched for remains in the 1920s and any remains found then were interred in local cemeteries"

I do not want to sound critical of the CWGC as they have a challenging job, but I find this statement very interesting, they obviously didn’t look that hard. I have been visiting the battlefield since the early 1990's and even after the road widening have found human bones in the area. You don't have to be a qualified doctor to identify a human bone, this we learn in secondary school. With the amount of human remains that have been uncovered since the 1920's, how many official burials have there been of identified or unidentified allied soldiers at Gallipoli? Can anyone answer this? I am sure they do get reported but maybe without identification they could, and probably are, Turkish so not the respnsibility of the CWGC.

Dogan sounds critical and implies no one is offering help. There are many of us who would like to help but words so far appear to be falling on deaf ears. If you can get the officials in Turkey (and elsewhere) to listen to the historians, this would be a first step. The situation could be a lot worst and there has been much good work done by the park authorities in the peninsula, all we ask is for current and future projects to be discussed openly. I can wear and understand the issues from a business perspective as well so I know alternatives could work. As they say, there are many ways to crack an egg!

#98 Dogan Sahin

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:06 AM

QUOTE (Krithia @ Dec 30 2008, 10:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The primary objective must be to preserve history for future generations, not destroy it by ill-decision.

...Dogan sounds critical and implies no one is offering help. There are many of us who would like to help but words so far appear to be falling on deaf ears.!
...


Krithia,
I am critical tothe extent that Bill Sellars should have let us know of events fully, the replies by Australian government etc. as well as Turkish authorities(, which he did promptly). When I look at past replies I see not much info about his "interrogation" by australian authorities.
Seconly, I agree that State mechanism is slow and many times deaf to calls but in any case a group made up of historians, arhaelogists, engineers etc. could have been formed and a formal report/suggestion could have been submitted, whether through the media or otherwise. I dont think this was done. We are dealing with state authorities here and they need to be contacted properly. Whereas we hear events through media and a public outcry is created both in turkey and australia through the media, which has a damaging effect on relations ( eg. one contributor suggests this will effect Turkey EU relations etc . smile.gif) ). On top of this, I learn through an australian report much later that all this may have been done inorder to" gain financial benefits". Now, surely I will be suspicious, given the fact that I have tried to contact Mr. Sellars few times to no avail..
Regards

#99 Krithia

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:51 PM

Hi Dogan,

If you are referring to the 2005 report (I think this has already been published and discussed fully on the forum soon after that event), I find it rather comical, and what they say is only trying to discredit Bill Sellars because of the embarrassment the Australian authorities found themselves in. You need to ask yourself why it has to come to the press breaking the story and admittedly sensationalising it as they do best. It was done to open the eyes of the world to what were then allegedly hush-hush plans of the authorities, so well done Press!

1. "his failure to acquaint himself with the proper procedures given his comment that he is "always finding bones from soldiers that were buried there in the first few days of battle to get ashore" ... Can you tell me what the proper procedures are for reporting bone discoveries? For any of those who have spent time on the Peninsula you cannot go a day without finding bones, same goes for the Western Front as well. Many museums have bones on public display in Gallipoli so these would be the first that need reporting, but to whom?

2. "given his self-styled expertise as a "writer and historian"" ... I am not sure what they are getting at here, he is a journalist with a deep interest and passion in the Gallipoli campaign, self-styled or otherwise.

3. "one would assume that he would not only have made an effort to contact the CWGC" ... umm, I'll leave that one for Bill to answer. This is the same as point 1. They know about the bones, so why don't the museum displays with bones get removed and given a proper burial.

Gallipoli is one big cemetery and the area should be respected as such. The Australian government should know this.

Re your second point about the State mechanism etc, the only way I can see it happening is if we getting senior sponsorship / buy-in from the Turkish Government/armed forces. This can only happen if we can get eminent Turkish officials and historians involved.

I am not sure what the Australian report is referring to when you quote to "gain financial benefits". I doubt very much that Bill Sellars has gained any financial benefit. Maybe it is referring to the local tarmac contractors ... who knows!

In summary it is easy to focus on the recent roadworks etc on the Peninsula, however we mustn't lose the fact that Gallipoli still remains on the whole an area of outstanding natural beauty thankfully to the National Park, I personally think it is being maintained as well as they can do, in the circumstances. If they were not there all the beaches would have holiday homes along the shoreline by now. So in balance some historical sacrifice occassionally has to be made and we see carparks getting built over original trenches. We are never going to get all interested parties in agreement, but lets try somehow and make sure future works are not to the detriment of all our fallen ancestors, may they rest in peace.

Regards, Krithia



#100 Ozzie

Ozzie

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,581 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:North east Vic. Aust.
  • Interests:Reading, Reading, reading.Lighthorse, Aussies on the Western Front.
    At present side tracked with restaurant but have an interior brick wall built in 1914 in the function room that houses my WW1 stuff. It draws a lot of interest.

Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:03 PM

Holiday homes at Gallipoli? Don't speak too soon.
A little birdie in Australian politics told me that there were plans afoot to build hotels along the Gallipoli shoreline. They did not say whether or not these plans had been squashed.

Kim