Our UK group was warmly welcomed at the coach station by Mr Ali Isikgor and colleagues. Mr Isikgor is President of the Association for the 19th Division and 57th Regiment. During the Gallipoli Campaign Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was appointed Commander of the Division which was founded on lst February 1915. This made our visit extremely significant to us.
We first visited a Monument to the 19th Division and 57th Regiment where flowers were jointly laid by Mr Isikgor and the President of G&DI. It was a very moving ceremony. Mr Sedat Akbiyik explained the significance of the location to us.
We were then treated to a special local dish of meat balls at a waterside restaurant with wonderful views. Mr Isikgor was presented with a G&DI shield. The oldest member of our UK group Arthur Coxon aged 88 years gave an account of when, as the Captain of a cargo ship some years before he had sailed past where we were lunching.
Following the excellent lunch the two Presidents jointly laid flowers at The Military Cemetery and Mr Sedat Akbiyik explained the history to us. It was a most impressive location and once again very moving.
There then followed a visit to an archaeological museum thanks to Mr Akif Isin, a former Director, assisted by Mr Sedat Akbiyik.
The final visit was made to the Mayor Mr Kadir Albayrak. He was presented with a G&DI by the President. Mr Kadir Albayrak then graciously agreed to be a Patron of G&DI. On leaving, all members of the UK group were presented with a bag of souvenirs.
It was a wonderful day in every way. G&DI is grateful for such warmth, hospitality and friendship encountered on this centenary visit. We intend to retain the links and build on the relationship we have started. A big thanks to Dr Haldun Solmazturk and Gelibolu Dernegi for arranging this memorable trip.