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Conflict after conflict: music in the memorialisation of the Gallipoli Campaign

O'Connell, John Morgan ORCID: 2021. Conflict after conflict: music in the memorialisation of the Gallipoli Campaign. Ethnomusicology Forum 30 (2) , pp. 283-301. 10.1080/17411912.2021.1957700

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When does war end and peace begin? Does commemoration serve indelibly to bracket conflict from post–conflict? In this article, I argue that memorial rituals serve to extend an ongoing conflict by concealing retribution in the guise of reconciliation. With specific reference to the centennial commemoration of the Gallipoli Campaign (2015), I focus on a musical performance of the iconic number entitled: Çanakkale Türküsü (lit. ‘The Dardanelles Folksong’) sponsored by the Turkish Navy, which was broadcast on Turkish television to mark the centennial celebration of the Gallipoli landings. The message of the performance is one of power, a resurgent Turkey on the high seas of world diplomacy – and also one of normality, a tacit recognition that war is every day. Significantly, the musical arrangement of the famous folksong is socially organised to emphasise consensus and inclusiveness. Further, the musical performance reinforces the theme of reconciliation between old enemies from abroad and new enemies at home. That the event was scheduled to coincide with the centennial commemoration of the Armenian deportations is no coincidence. In this way, a song of reconciliation might become a song of retribution by extending a longstanding conflict into an era that is apparently post conflict.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1741-1912
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 April 2021
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 18:58

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