Bloody Ridge(Lone Pine) Diary

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Kaan Caglar
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Location: Izmir,Turkey

Bloody Ridge(Lone Pine) Diary

Post by Kaan Caglar » 10 Mar 2004 17:10

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Ahha! Just finished this awesome book about a diary of a Turkish officer in Gallipoli. The diary belongs to Lt. Memed Fasib,an officer in the Turkish Army,who fought in Lone Pine and survived the war.
The book is great, a must read for the ones who wonders how was the trench life in Gallipoli. And ofcourse a nice view of the Turkish side. Book has 43 unique pictures and also a map showing the trench warfare in Gallipoli. Its also pretty depressing.. A great book for the Great War readers out there! :D
Cheers
Kaan

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 10 Mar 2004 17:47

Hello Kaan,
I had a quick review on it in a bookshop,but it was Turkish edition.Is there any publications of that book in other languages?

Best
Tolga

Kaan Caglar
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Posts: 2136
Joined: 10 Jul 2003 23:14
Location: Izmir,Turkey

Post by Kaan Caglar » 10 Mar 2004 17:51

Hi Tolga,
It is "Kanlısırt Günlüğü" in Turkish but I dont think there are any other editions but an English one. Which I own.
Regards
Kaan

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 10 Mar 2004 18:00

_KaaN_ wrote:Hi Tolga,
It is "Kanlısırt Günlüğü" in Turkish but I dont think there are any other editions but an English one. Which I own.
Regards
Kaan
I saw Turkish edition,is it world wide selling book or just published in Turkey?

Kaan Caglar
Member
Posts: 2136
Joined: 10 Jul 2003 23:14
Location: Izmir,Turkey

Post by Kaan Caglar » 10 Mar 2004 18:18

Not just in Turkey, I guess.. Amazon and other online shops has this book.
Thats why I posted it here :wink:
Regards
Kaan

Tolga Alkan
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Posts: 1893
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 16:00
Location: Turkey

Post by Tolga Alkan » 10 Mar 2004 18:25

Cool,i am very glad to hear that news.Hope to more Turkish books translated to English.Esspecially,i hope "There is nothing except forgottens" by Osman Pamukoglu 8)

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seljuk
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Post by seljuk » 17 Sep 2005 17:05

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Bloody Ridge Diary of Lt. Mehmed Fasih

This is a curious publication.

Apart from 6 pages of tributes, 1 page biography of H.B. Danishman and 12 pages of ‘background’, the book contains a 2nd-hand translation of the Gallipoli diary by Lt. Mehmed Fasih, covering the period from 11th October to 19th December 1915.

As the original diary was written in Ottoman script, a translation to Turkish was first published in 1997 by Murat Çulcu, who discovered the manuscript and spent the following 4 years studying Ottoman to be able to bring this task to a good end. Afterwards, his work was apparently translated to English by H.B. Danishman and then published by Denizli Kitabevi, in fact a small antiquarian bookshop in Istanbul. Neither on the cover of this book, nor on the front page, however, can a reference to the original work by Murat Çulcu be found.

This smells fishy.

But let’s have a closer look at the different sections of this book.

1. In ‘Tributes’ we learn something about Murat Çulcu and his difficulties to decipher and interpret the original writing, but after 2 pages already H.B. Danishman’s attention starts wandering off to other Gallipoli enthousiasts, to the efforts of Denizli Kitabevi and to his own merits.

But then, things start getting stranger and stranger : Danishman starts thanking the woman who helped him to correct his English translation. Quite normal, one might think although reading pleasure is often enough spoiled by some irritating misprints that apparently escaped her attention. But no, of even greater importance seems to be the fact that this woman was married to a Turkish Korea veteran, the story of whose merits fill 33% of Danishman’s introduction. That this man had nothing whatsoever to do with this publication is quite obvious, let alone with the original translation. So why then all this page filling, one wonders. Why such an out-of place tribute? Why more about this man than about the original author who did all the hard work?

Nothing but questions. For some obscure reason, better known to Danishman, this name had to be included in the book, no matter how, and given the necessary exposure. Academically speaking however, this is pure nonsense.

2. Let’s have a closer look then at ‘Background’, the 2nd section in the book, in which one gets a short survey of the Gallipoli Campaign. Whether this was indispensible for readers not so well-acquainted with what happened in 1915 can be argued, although it might serve some purpose. On the other hand it might be wiser for such readers to try and find an introduction to the Gallipoli Campaign that does not contain so many mistakes.

Or, what should one think about the author’s reference to the big Turkish attack of ‘18th May’ (sic)? Wasn’t it the following day, the 19th, when Turkey suffered nearly 10 000 casualties? Not really a detail in history, no?

Perhaps a quotation from the text might speak better for itself. The scene is Helles, the date 25th April.

Danishman : “Finally on 25th April at dawn the British started landing troops on Turkish soil. They approached in great silence. Equally silent, Turkish units were bracing themselves for the onslaught.”

Immediately after, for even greater effect, the author then cites from a ‘witness account’ :

“On 25th April, at 4.30 hrs when intensive fire raked our shores, we blew our whistles, reserve companies were called to arms ...” etc.

Geat silence indeed.

Or what to think of, according to Danishman, the fact that “in Ertugrul Koyu (V-Beach) the British used a big troop ship and in the Seddulbahir area life-boats to land” ?

How far is V-Beach from Seddulbahir?

In short, let’s be mild and say that Mr. Danishman is not exactly the first authority I’d turn to, to learn more about 1915.

3. Mehmed Fasih’s diary itself, about 160 pages in all, covers the period between 29th October and 19th December 1915 at Lone Pine on the 400 Plateau. During this period, and certaily in this sector, the campaign had turned into static warfare.

Fasih writes about his daily trenchlife in a very precise way : every day, apart from the date, he also includes the hour of day when something happened. The only aspect of his writing that changes is that in the beginning he writes a fluent narrative language, which later on gradually changes into a more compact type of telegram style.

His diary contains a treasure of information about daily life in the Turkish trenches, with references to food, accidents, the weather, mining, daily trench routine, relations with other officers, his attitude to simple soldiers and so on.

Certainly if one can compare them to a number of Australian diaries that cover the same period, these writings contain a great deal of information for one who is interested in the human side of the 1915 Campaign.

Fasih’s narrative ends on the day that a message arrives, informing him that the British apparently have evacuated Anafarta, together with the order to prepare a reconnaissance patrol in his own sector. What they discovered there is not told anymore.

4. In an ‘Epilogue’ of 3 pages, Danishman then gives a survey of Fasih’s further career, from Lieutenant to Lieutenant-General. For the Gallipoli Campaign itself, this is not relevant.



So what to say about this book?

- Don’t read the introductory part : it is only an offence to people who try to produce and interpret historical material in a decent way.

- Don’t buy this publication for the quality of its printing, which hardly surpasses that of a photocopy, nor for some clarifying maps or pictures, of which there are none at all. The book is not exactly cheap (+/- US$ 20), but certainly looks and feels that way.

- Enjoy the diary part. Here you will find the voice of a Turkish officer, speaking his mind in 1915, taking down notes about occurrences in the trenches which he thought were not to be forgotten. In the first place not by himself, and as it turned out, not by future generations either. For the details it contains about daily life behind the Turkish lines, this diary is indeed pretty interesting.

As for the way this material was handled by the publisher(s), that is a completely different matter. On the backside of the title page, one can read : “All rights reserved. Unauthorised duplication contravenes applicable laws.”

I’m wondering how Murat Çulcu feels about this.
http://user.online.be/%7Esnelders/newpu ... bfasih.htm

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