By Iclal Turan
LONDON (AA) – A concert was held in London Thursday evening to commemorate the fallen soldiers of one of the world’s bloodiest military campaigns more than a century ago.
More than 700 admirers of classical music attended the Gallipoli Friendship concert at Cadogan Hall, which was organized by the Yunus Emre Institute.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Burak Tuzun, performed Turkish composer Can Atilla’s powerful 2015 requiem symphony Gallipoli – the 57th Regiment.
The event was also attended by the Duke of Kent, Prince Edward, Turkish Ambassador to London Abdurrahman Bilgic and Yunus Emre Institute President Seref Ates, as well as representatives from the ANZAC (Australia, New Zealand and Canada) countries who fought against Turkey during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.
“This concert will honor those who lost their lives at Gallipoli. We still remember the heroism of both sides, all together in friendship,” the Turkish ambassador said in his welcoming speech, referring to the Turkish and ANZAC troops.
“Today, unfortunately, we still witness brutal intolerance, conflicts and violence all around the world. I believe that the sacrifices of those who fell and die set an example of heroism and humanity. They did their duty. Now let us do ours,” Bilgic said.
British bestselling author Louis de Bernieres gave readings from his famous novel Birds Without Wings, part of which is set on the Gallipoli front.
The 57th Ottoman army regiment is known for its heroic resistance against the invading ANZAC forces at Gallipoli as most of its soldiers fell during the battles at the Ariburnu front.
According to official figures, up to 400,000 died during the Gallipoli campaign.