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ANZAC letters point to female soldiers in Gallipoli

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Okt 2009 9:32    Onderwerp: ANZAC letters point to female soldiers in Gallipoli Reageer met quote

ANZAC letters point to female soldiers in Gallipoli

Director of the Atatürk and Battles of Çanakkale Research Center (AÇASAM) Mete Tuncoku has said he came across letters and diaries of Australian and New Zealand soldiers that mentioned Turkish female warriors fighting against them during the Battle of Gallipoli, which was won by the defending Ottoman army in 1915 and laid the groundwork for the Turkish War of Independence and the foundation of the Turkish Republic.

Tuncoku, speaking to the Anatolia news agency, said nearly 500,000 people died during the Battle of Gallipoli and that more than 200,000 of them were Turkish soldiers. It is not widely known that women also fought during the battle, he said, causing him to research the issue in the Australian and New Zealand archives. He said he was surprised to see letters and diaries of foreign soldiers mentioning “Turkish female warriors” and “female Turkish sharp shooters.” He stated that he had first linked the references to the imagination of the soldiers who suffered from drastic wartime conditions such as hot weather, a fear of death, water shortages and plagues. “However, when I compared the times, locations and the events mentioned in those letters, the possibility of their accuracy was strengthened. I think there are still some aspects of the battles of Çanakkale that should be studied by historians,” he added.

Tuncoku discussed his research on female warriors in the battles of Çanakkale in his book titled “Çanakkale 1915: The Tip of the Iceberg.” In one of the letters, Australian soldier J.C. Davies wrote the following to his family: “A Turkish girl sharp shooter was fighting while waiting in an ambush on May 18, 1915. She sniped the whole day and killed many of our soldiers. I was still upset to see that she was shot dead before sunset by one of our soldiers.”

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