Monument to the nation: the changing face of war memorials in Gallipoli
Bobbitt, Catherine Elizabeth (2011) Monument to the nation: the changing face of war memorials in Gallipoli. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1379275 (Table of Contents)
The battlefields and monuments of Gallipoli are considered to be among the most important cultural heritage sites in Turkey and in official historiography understood to represent many of the values on which the nation and state is supposedly based. The role of the nine-anda- half month battle has considerable importance in official (and unofficial) discourse as the origin of Turkish nationhood. This is - according to the official narrative - when Mustafa Kemal stepped into his role as ''fearless leader'', ''transporting Turkey into the modern age''. A historical moment attributed with such importance has been marked with monuments and memorials commemorating the battles and their victory against ''imperialist invaders'' seeking to prevent the emergence of an independent Turkish state. Nationalist discourses often refer to these battlefields in precisely this way, stating that they were crucial to the nation's formation. Despite the importance the official discourse assigns to the Gallipoli Campaign, the display of the monuments is constantly in flux. The explanation may lie in the changing discourses of the state (or other actors), and the way that the memorials are used by different discourses over the course of time. This study does not seek to determine exactly what the memorials represent, or whether these representations are faithful to the events that occurred. Rather, this study investigates the divergent meanings, preferences and preoccupations in the process of monumentalizing and commemorating Gallipoli at different historical conjunctures through Turkish history textbooks, historical accounts of the event, and comparative examples within other contexts.
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