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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Memorial for Battle in Turkey

CANAKKALE, Turkey -- Thousands of people, many from Australia and New Zealand, arrived in Turkey to attend remembrance ceremonies marking the 90th anniversary of the World War I battle of Gallipoli, in which hundreds of thousands of people perished.

Many Australians and New Zealanders see the campaign as a crucible of their countries' nationhood, and each year thousands of people travel to the battlefields to mark ANZAC Day -- the anniversary of the April 25, 1915, start of the battle that cost some 300,000 lives on both sides. This year, the visitors include Britain's Prince Charles, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard and New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark.

ANZACs, as the Australian and New Zealand forces who took part are known, formed the backbone of a 200,000-man, British-led army that landed at Gallipoli in an attempt to take control of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits and capture Istanbul, 290 kilometers to the east. But poor coordination between the Allies' naval and ground forces gave the Turks time to reinforce their positions. The British-led force ran into stiff resistance and ended up being evacuated from the peninsula in January 1916.

Nearly 1 million soldiers fought in the trench warfare at Gallipoli. The Allies recorded 55,000 killed in fighting at Gallipoli with 10,000 missing and 21,000 dead of disease. Turkish casualties were estimated at 250,000.