57th Infantry Regiment (Ottoman Empire)

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57th Infantry Regiment
57.Alay Şehitliği (57th Regiment) - Turkish memorial and cementery (8709797084).jpg
Country Ottoman Empire
Branch 19th Division
Engagements Landing at Anzac Cove, 1915 World War I
Kaymakam Hüseyin Avni

The 57th Infantry Regiment (Turkish: 57 nci Piyade Alayı or Elli Yedinci Piyade Alayı) or simply 57th Regiment (Turkish: 57 nci Alay or Elli Yedinci Alay) was established on February 1, 1915 in Tekirdağ (Rodosto) and received its regimental colours (sancak) on February 22, 1915.[1] The regiment's command was given to Yarbay Hüseyin Avni Bey (Arıburnu) on February 23, and the regiment departed to Çanakkale and arrived at Eceabat (Maydos) on February 25. After relocating the Bigali Village on March 26, 1915 they trained until April 24 under the command of Lt. Colonel Hüseyin Avni.


Mustafa Kemal issued his order, "I am not ordering you to attack, I order you to die! In the time which passes until we die, other troops and commanders can take our place!".[2] and later noted the 57th Regiment was "a famous regiment this, because it was completely wiped out".[3]

When the ANZAC first landed they encountered small groups of Turks who, after doing what they could, withdrew back over the ridges. The main Ottoman forces in the area had been held in reserve to see just where the British Empire troops were going to land on the peninsula. By 6.30 am a report had reached the commander of the 19th Division of the Ottoman Army, Yarbay Mustafa Kemal, that an enemy force had scaled the heights at Ari Burnu. Mustafa Kemal's troops were at Bigalı, a small village off to the east beyond the main range, and he ordered his whole division to prepare to march to the coast. He himself set off riding at the head of the 57th Regiment. By about 9.30 am Mustafa Kemal stood at Chunuk Bair with some other officers. He could see the British warships and transports off Anzac Cove and also, coming rapidly up the hill towards him, a group of Ottoman soldiers who had been tasked with defending Hill 261 (Battleship Hill).[citation needed]




A long-standing urban legend in Turkey claims that the flag of the 57th regiment was captured by Australian forces, who found it hanging on a tree branch above the dead body of the last surviving member of the regiment, and that it is now on display at the Melbourne Museum. The Museum and the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne both field many calls from the Turkish community about the flag around ANZAC Day each year, but assure all enquirers that they have never had the flag.


  1. ^ Edward J. Erickson, Ottoman Army Effectiveness in World War I: A comparative study, Routledge, 2007, ISBN 978-0-415-77099-6, p. 26.
  2. ^ Edward J. Erickson, Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War, Contributions in Military Studies, Number 201, Greenwood Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-313-31516-9, p. 83.
  3. ^ Michael Hickey, Gallipoli, John Murray, 1995, ISBN 978-0-7195-6142-9, p. 119.