New Gallipoli Campaign Research Centre in Çanakkale

The Gallipoli Association, represented by Michael Robson, Dr Jochen Schrader and Thomas Iredale, was invited in early May 2023 to visit the new Research Centre – in full, “Çanakkale Savaşları Araştırma Merkezi”, which focusses on the Gallipoli Campaign 1915. Situated on the Dardanelles water-front promenade at Çanakkale, diagonally opposite the Trojan Horse and next to the Akol Hotel, the Centre is easy to reach on foot. It is housed in the renovated villa, built in 1910 by Godfrey Whittall, son-in-law of the then HM Consul Frank Calvert.

We were welcomed by the Centre’s Historian, Ms Sıdıka Yamaç, who told us that it was established by the Gallipoli Historic Site Directorate for use by students, historians and those with a legitimate interest in the military aspects of the Campaign. She went on to say that all facilities are state of the art as far as modern technology goes, free of charge and the Centre is open seven days-a-week, except public holidays. Describing the collection, she said that at the moment, some 7,000 books, magazines and maps are in the collection, both digital and physical. Although most publications are in Turkish, there is an extensive collection of English titles. For example, books by well-known British authors like Peter Hart and Stephen Chambers are available in both the original language and in Turkish. There is also a beautiful leather-bound collection of every edition of the Gallipoli Association’s magazine “The Gallipolian”, dating back to 1969! As well as a unique collection of original artefacts, including documents signed by Mustafa Kemal.

Ms Yamaç elaborated and demonstrated how access to the collection is via the Centre’s visitor accessible computer-terminals and that their search language can be switched to English. After entering a keyword or search term, the results are listed and by clicking on the chosen book, the display will tell you if it has been digitised or not. Only books published before 1952 have been digitised. If it has not been digitised, note the book reference number and search on the bookshelves.

Foreign visitors to the Centre should seek assistance from the helpful staff, as the online process for system registration of non-Turkish nationals is still being developed. A small museum is also situated in the building.

The Research Centre
Ms Sıdıka Yamaç demonstrating state of the art technology
A view of a section of bookshelves
The Turkish edition of a Stephen Chambers’ book
Two students working in the Centre
The magazine section
First page dated 1969 of the leather-bound series of “The Gallipolian”
Viewing an original Mustafa Kemal artifact to Michael Robson (l) Dr Jochen Schrader (m) and Thomas Iredale (r)
The original order signed by Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal (ATATÜRK) Bey, Commander of the 19th Division, requesting 27th Regiment to support the 14th Regiment. dated 29 May 1915