The classical music work “Symphony No: 2 Gallipoli-The 57th Regiment” composed by outstanding Turkish composer Can Atilla was performed by Turkish and American soloists together with the British Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the world’s most recognized representatives in polyphonic music.
The event was organized on 5 April 2018 by the Yunus Emre Institute under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency to commemorate the soldiers who took part in the Battle of Gallipoli and the friendship that developed among them. It was attended by Turkish Ambassador in London Abdurrahman Bilgiç, Grandson of King Edward V- Duke of Kent Prince Edward, President of the Yunus Emre Institute Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş and other representatives from Britain and ANZAC countries.
In his opening speech of the event, Ambassador Abdurrahman Bilgiç said that the concert was organized to honor those who lost their lives in the Battle of Gallipoli. Ambassador Bilgiç underlined that even though it caused heavy losses on both sides, the Battle of Gallipoli was the most gentlemanly war in the 20th century, adding that the Turkish nation, who won the war under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, demonstrated how the sufferings endured with Gallipoli spirit could be transformed into a lasting peace and extraordinary friendship.
The concert started with worldwide famous author Louis de Bernieres reading an unprecedented part of his novel “Birds Without Wings” about the background of the event and it was followed by the performance of the “Symphony No: 2 “Gallipoli”-The 57th Regiment” composed by Can Atilla on the occasion of the centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli. The orchestra was directed by Chef Burak Tüzün, one of Turkey’s leading chefs and Director of the Hacettepe University Symphony Orchestra and Instructor at the Ankara State Conservatoire and accompanied by Soprano Angela Ahıskal and Soloist Violinist Onur Şenler.
The repertoire of the “Çanakkale Friendship Concert” also included such pieces as “Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme from Thomas Tallis, “A Shropshire Lad” from Butterworth and “Enigma Variations-Nimrod& Finale” from Elgar.
The Heroic 57. Regiment of the Gallipoli Front
The dirge piece composed in nearly two years by Can Atilla tells the story of the heroic 57th Regiment in the Gallipoli Front.
Consisting of four parts, the symphony highlights, alongside the sufferings of the war, the role of Atatürk in the victory and his statements for ANZAC families.
“The heroes who shed heir blood on the land of this country! You are on the land of a friendly country. Rest in peace and tranquility. You are side by side, chest to chest with Mehmetçiks (Turkish Soldiers). The mothers who sent their sons to war from far away territories! Stop your tears! Your sons are in our bosom. They have become our sons after losing their lives on our soils.”