Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations - Research

Bios of Turkish/German Participants

Note: 'Bey' is an honorific Turkish address-e.g. Esquire, Mr, for which there is no real equivalent. Most senior Ottoman officers were called 'Bey' after their first names as there were no surnames for Turks in 1915. Surnames were introduced for Turks by President Kemal Ataturk in the early 1930s. 
'Pasha' is another honorific Turkish address given usually to Ottoman and Turkish generals.

modernhistory_research_gallipoli_ottolimanOTTO LIMAN VON SANDERS

Inspector-General of the Turkish Army, then commander of the 5th Ottoman Army.
Born  in Stolp, Pomerania 17 Feb 1855; died at Munich on 22 August 1929.
Von Sanders was appointed commander of the 5th Army at Gallipoli on 26 March 1915.  He quickly reorganised the existing defences along the Gallipoli Peninsula after being warned by the premature naval attacks. He successfully achieved his goal of reinvigorating the Turkish Army earning a place in history with his defeat of the British and Allied forces in Gallipoli.


modernhistory_research_gallipoli_esatpashaBRIGADIER GENERAL ESAT PASHA

Commander of 3rd Corps, Ottoman 5th Army. Born 1862 in Yanyana. Died 1952.
Commanded the main Turkish force in the Anzac landing area. He was a formally trained and seasoned career officer with previous combat experience and had been previously stationed on the Gallipoli Peninsula by 1915. He was in command of the local defence against the Anzac forces and under frequent stress brought a measure of calm to a desperate situation. After Gallipoli he became a respected general later in command of 1st Army in Istanbul.


modernhistory_research_gallipoli_mehmetLT COLONEL MEHMET SEFIK BEY (later took the surname 'AKER')

Commander of the 27th Regiment, Ottoman 5th Army. Born 1877; died 6 Feb 1964 Sefik Bey led the first main Ottoman force from near Maidos to move against the ANZAC landing. His long accounts of the battles in Anzac Cove, written in 1935, have contributed greatly to knowledge of the Ottoman Gallipoli operations.



modernhistory_research_gallipoli_halisbeyMAJOR HALIS BEY (later took the surname 'ATAKSOR')

Commander of 3rd Battalion, 27th Regiment, Ottoman 5th Army.
Born in Aydin, Turkey, 1876; died in Usak, Turkey, 8 October, 1933
Major Halis Bey was the local battalion commander nearest the Anzac landings, at Kaba Tepe.  His diary of events provides valuable insights into Ottoman Gallipoli operations.

Related websites: Gallipoli-1915.orgB¿NBA¿I HAL¿S ATAKSOR K¿MD¿R?

modernhistory_research_gallipoli_mustafakemalLT COLONEL MUSTAFA KEMAL (ATATURK)

Commander of 19th Division, Ottoman 5th Army
Born Salonika, 1881; died Istanbul November 10th 1938.
An experienced officer, Kemal served in earlier campaigns in Libya and the Balkans after being commissioned in 1904. Prior to the war, he was a member of the Young Turk Movement. He was given command of the 19th Division, which he trained hard.
Along with Lt.Col ¿efik Bey, he commanded the fighting defence of the main ridge and Anzac Sector. His strategic move in turning back his own retreating soldiers and issuing his famous order forcing them to die ("I don't order you to attack, I order you to die.  By the time we are dead, other units and commanders will have come to take our place.") was a turning point on the first day as it bought crucial time for Turkish reinforcements to arrive. Later he was to provide effective operational leadership throughout the campaign. The official British historian observed of Kemal: 
Seldom in the history can the actions of a single divisional commander have exercised so profound an influence not only on the course of the battle, but perhaps on the fate of a campaign and even the destiny of a nation.
After the 1914-1918 War ended Turkey was occupied with troops from Britain, Greece, Italy and France. Kemal, who was fiercely patriotic and nationalistic, led a newly-raised army and waged the so-called 'War of Salvation' or 'War of Independence' from 1919-23. On 29 October 1923, he became the first President of the Turkish Republic and in the next 15 years, he instituted many reforms. Kemal adopted the name Ataturk in 1933, which means Father of the Turks. His mausoleum is located in Ankara, Turkey's capital.

modernhistory_research_gallipoli_huseyinavniMAJOR HUSEYIN AVNI BEY

Commander of the 57th Regiment,

Major Avni Bey, under orders from Lt. Col. Mustafa Kemal, led the first Turkish counter attack against the forward Anzac units on Baby 700 on the morning of 25th April 1915. Kemal praised his work and was distressed when Major Avni died of his wounds later in the campaign.  


modernhistory_research_gallipoli_faikCAPTAIN FAIK

Commander of 4 Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, Ottoman 5th Army.
Background unknown, but led the initial company reaction to the landing, being positioned in his Field H.Q. on the second ridge. Went with the local platoon to cover the landing on North Beach from high on Russell's Top.  He was wounded later on the first day and withdrew for medical attention.


modernhistory_research_gallipoli_zekibeyMAJOR ZEKI BEY

Commander of 1st Battalion, 57th Regiment, 19th Division.
Zeki Bey was responsible for leading the attack of his battalion against the leading groups of Australians on Battleship Hill and Baby 700 at great cost to the ANZACs on the morning of 25th April.


modernhistory_research_gallipoli_privateadilPRIVATE ADIL (later took the surname 'SAHIN')

2nd  Platoon, 4 Co, 2nd Batt. 27 Regiment, Ottoman 5th Army.
Born in 1885; died in early 1990s.
From Buyuk Anafarta village north of Hill 971, Adil was a shepherd, aged 16 when he was recruited in 1914. He was interviewed in 1985 and 1987 for ABC TV documentaries. He was situated in a shallow trench on Hell Spit at the landing and fired on the landing Australians before retreating with his unit to the Third Ridge, where he fought during the rest of the day.

modernhistory_research_gallipoli_kokaPRIVATE MUSTAFA (later took the surname KOCA, pron.Kodja)

19th Division, 5th Army
Born 1898; died late 1980s
From the area of Biga, near Çanakkale. He lost his left hand when trying to throw back an Australian grenade. He was interviewed in 1985 for an ABC TV documentary and featured in the 1990 ABC TV documentary "The Boys Who Came Home".


modernhistory_research_gallipoli_bayraktarPRIVATE MEMISH (later took the surname 'BAYRAKTAR')

27th Regiment, 5th Army
born: not known; died late 1980s.
From the area of Can in Çanakkale province, Memish saw his first action as part of the reserve units of 27th Regiment at the ANZAC landing. He was interviewed in 1985 for an ABC TV documentary featured in the 1990 ABC TV documentary "The Boys Who Came Home".