Battlefield Tourism at Gallipoli: The Revival of Collective Memory, the Construction of National Identity and the Making of a Long-distance Tourism Network
Keywords:Gallipoli, Nation building, National identity, Battlefield tourism, Anzac
The Battle of the Dardanelles (Çanakkale), also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, played a crucial role in the construction and endorsement of national identity, irrespective of the immediate consequences such as the prolongation of the war or the resignation of Winston Churchill upon failure. The Battle of the Dardanelles is commemorated every year in Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, as a day of remembrance. The battlefields at Dardanelles were reinstated as the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park in 1973. The park covers numerous cemeteries of soldiers from both sides, memorials, museums and the battlefields in an area of 33,000 hectares. The park provides a vivid setting and depiction of the war experience, and stands out as the most important battlefield site in Turkey.
The aim of this paper is to analyze battlefield tourism in Çanakkale in terms of its components and its impact on domestic and international tourism in Turkey. Battlefield tourism in Çanakkale encompasses not only the battlefield itself, but also the Çanakkale Victory Day in Turkey, March 18th, and the Anzac Day in Australia, April 25th. While domestic tourism contributes to the revival of collective memory and to the building of national identity, international tourism provides representations of national heritage as a source of political legitimacy. Unique to this case, battlefield tourism plays a significant role in the construction of a long-distance tourism network between Australia, and Turkey. The annual flow of descendants of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) soldiers is an important source of tourism activity in the area.
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