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Gallipoli campaign remembered 100 years later as thousands honour fallen soldiers

Prince of Wales, left, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watch military parades during the Turkish International Service at Mehmetcik Abide in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, Friday, April 24, 2015.
Prince of Wales, left, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watch military parades during the Turkish International Service at Mehmetcik Abide in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, Friday, April 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

GALLIPOLI, Turkey – As dawn broke, families of soldiers, leaders and visitors gathered near former battlefields, honouring thousands of Australians and New Zealanders who fought in the World War I Gallipoli campaign on the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated British-led invasion.

Britain’s Prince Charles and the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand spoke of the soldiers’ heroism on Saturday, in an emotional ceremony marking the centennial of the dawn landings by Australian, New Zealand and other Allied troops on this peninsula.

The landings at Gallipoli marked the start of a fierce battle that lasted for eight months. Around 44,000 Allied troops and 86,000 Ottoman soldiers died.

The doomed offensive aimed to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war.

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