Tourists gather at two monuments on Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula. The monolith on the left memorialises the Anzac war dead.

Gallipoli, Turkey - During World War I many battles raged around Europe, particularly in France and Belgium, but by 1915 the Western Front was deadlocked.

In early 1915 the Russians found themselves threatened by the Turks in the Caucasus and appealed to the Allies for some relief.

The British then took the fight to Turkey and the Gallipoli Peninsula on the western shore of the Dardanelles, with Constantinople as their objective.

By capturing Constantinople, the British hoped to link up with the Russians, knock Turkey out of the war and possibly persuade the Balkan states to join the Allies.

The battle for Gallipoli was largely fought by Australian and New Zealand troops, who initially won a bridgehead at “Anzac Cove” on the Aegean side of the peninsula, but the Turkish forces were underrated by the Allies and this led to one of the most disastrous battles of World War I, with major losses on both sides.

Anzac Day celebrates the Australian and New Zealand participation in the war and commemorates all those who served and died in military operations for their countries. It is remembered the world over on April 25.

Join Trafalgar’s 14-day Best of Turkey guided holiday priced from R17 225, with a set departure of April 13 to coincide with the Anzac Day memorials. This includes first-class hotel accommodation with breakfast daily, a ferry across the Dardenelles to Canakkale, a ferry across the Sea of Marmara to Istanbul, travel by luxury air-conditioned coaches, services of a professional travel director, 12 evening meals and more.

Visit Istanbul, explore the Gallipoli Peninsula and see Anzac Cove, the site of the battle. Visit Lone Pine and Chunnuk Bair cemeteries, the final resting place of many allied soldiers. See the Dardanelles and stay overnight in Canakkale.

You will also visit the ruins of Troy and see the famous wooden horse. Explore the ancient Asclepion Medical Centre at the ancient city of Pergamon, after which you can visit the excavations at Ephesus. See the House of the Virgin Mary at Mount Koressos en route to the hot springs at Pamukkale.

Explore the impressive Antalya Archaeological Museum and the Roman cities of Perge and Aspendos. Here you will see one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in the world.

Enjoy a unique “be my guest” lunch in a century-old traditional Ottoman-style house hosted by a local family, after which you can visit the Mevlana Museum and Mausoleum, the final resting place for members of the Whirling Dervish mystic sect.

See the well-preserved Sultanhan Caravansary, journey on to biblical Cappadocia and visit the underground city of Sarhatli on the ancient Silk Road just outside Konya. Spend a day exploring the volcanic landscape in and around Urgup, dotted with caves and troglodyte dwellings. Visit the Goreme Open-air Museum and learn about pottery making in Avanos.

Take a tour with your guide to the capital, Ankara, where you will visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation and Ataturk’s Mausoleum. Hear the fascinating legend of King Midas at Gordion, and see the Great Tumulus, the city’s largest burial mound. Explore the Green Ottoman Complex and Grand Mosque at Bursa.

In Istanbul, gain an insight into the Ottoman Empire’s power and influence during your guided tour of the Topkapi Palace. Explore the Hagia Sophia, a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica. Visit the Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century.

l - Saturday Star