A Turkish wine commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign has been released.
Produced by Gali Winery which is located on the Gallipoli peninsula, the special edition wine is a Merlot-based blend from Gali’s 24 hectare vineyard plantings, made by winemaker Hakan Kavur and is being presented as “a potent symbol of the special relationship between Turkey and ‘Anzacs’”.
The label, designed by Istanbul firm Ajans Medya, features a poppy, the striking little flower whose appearance on the artillery-shattered battlefields of the First World War has made it such a symbol of that conflict.
The battle of Gallipoli (or Çanakkale as it is called in Turkey) is an important part of the national identities of the chief protagonists Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.
Modern Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal ‘Atatürk’, fought at the battle, while for Australia and New Zealand it is the war’s most famous symbol of sacrifice and tragedy, comparable to the Somme or Passchendaele for the British and Verdun for the French.
The British and Anzac troops suffered a quarter of a million casualties during the 10 month battle between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, as did their Turkish opponents. ‘Anzac Day’, when the ‘Australian New Zealand Army Corp’ (ANZAC) landed at what is now Anzac Cove is still commemorated on 25 April every year.
An idea proposed by then Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, as a way of knocking the Ottoman Empire out of the war, the campaign was marred by poor Allied leadership which condemned hundreds of thousands of Allied troops to a miserable, hellishly dangerous and ultimately futile battle of attrition.
The one bright spot in an otherwise unmitigated failure was that the eventual evacuation, carried out under the noses of the Turks, was so successful that no one was killed.
The wine is not commercially available in the UK or Australia but is available for export on request, “to Australia, New Zealand, UK and any person or place in the world that feels connected to the legend of Gallipoli.”