TO THE MARTYRS OF CANAKKALE
This Dardanelles war – without equal in the world
Four or five mighty armies are pressed and are hurled
To reach the Sea of Marmara by hill and pass
So many fleets have surrounded a small mass…
The Old World and the New World, all have come this way,
Bubbling like sand, like a flood, or like Judgement Day;
The seven climes of the world stand opposite you
Australia, beside which observe Canada too!
Different are these hordes in face and skin and sound
Only their violence, forsooth, is equal all round.
Outstretched he lies there, shot right through his spotless brow,
For this Crescent O Lord, what suns are setting no.
O soldier, for this earth’s sake fallen to the dust,
If your heavenly forbears kissed your brow, “twere just”
Brave you are, your blood makes “God is one” victorious,
Only the lions of Badr could be as glorious.
Who can dig a sepulchre great enough for you?
History itself, say I, cannot contain you.
That book records the epochs upturned in this race…
Eternities are needed to give you your place.
You, who destroyed the onslaught of the last crusade,
From the dearest sultan of the East, Saladin,
And from Kılıç Arslan who earned high accolade
You who took the iron hoop hemming Islam in
And shattered into pieces on your own strong breast
You with whose spirit move the legends of your name
The iron hoop that robbed Islam of all its rest;
Ages of history overflow with your fame…
No more these horizons for you no more this test…
Martyr son of martyr ask me not for a grave,
The prophet open armed awaits his warrior his warrior brave.
Mehmet Akif Ersoy