Preparations for Gallipoli centennial commemorations not yet begun

Citizens are barred from the memorial site as no preparations have been made for the centennial commemorations of the Battle of Gallipoli that are scheduled to take place on March 18, April 24 and April 25, Today’s Zaman reports. 

Because the naval battles were the turning point of an Ottoman Turkish victory, yearly “Remembrance of Soldiers” and “Gallipoli Naval Victory” ceremonies are held on March 18.

The paper notes that “April 24 and 25 have also been set aside for ceremonies, sparking controversy as April 24 is also the date of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.”

There has been much speculation over the proceedings because, though the president’s office has sent many invitations to international leaders, few have been accepted. The ceremonies were announced five years ago.

The dates approach, and despite the establishment of a Çanakkale Governor’s Office 2015 Coordination Center three years ago and several meetings held by the offices of the Çanakkale Governor’s Office and the prime minister, no decisions have been made concerning the ceremonies.

Çanakkale (Gallipoli) Municipal Mayor Ülgür Gökhan has admitted that progress has been thwarted, saying; “Work concerning the centennial is not going well. We have neither a budget nor staff. We are trying to make it work with own means but they are not enough.”

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