ANKARA — Centennial commemorations of the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I initiated by the Turkish government and to be celebrated on April 24 of this year – the same date as the centennial commemorations of the Armenian genocide – have been cancelled due to the unwillingness of international leaders to visit Ankara and overshadow the genocide ceremonies in Yerevan, Sunday’s Zaman eports.
“The Gallipoli celebrations have been cancelled. All preparations have been suspended as the number of RSVPs to the invitation is not positive. Only five countries have accepted the invitation and they will not be represented by high-level officials,” an official from the government, who asked to remain anonymous, said in a talk with Sunday’s Zaman.
The suspension of the Gallipoli commemorations, which were being organized by the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sport, is part of longstanding war of words between the Turkish and Armenian leaders following an exchange of invitations by both sides urging each other to accept the request and honor their victims of the World War I in their respective countries. However, neither side appears to be compromising.
The tense ties between Armenians and Turks became particularly strained after Ankara decided to commemorate the Gallipoli Campaign on the same date as the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.