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Ambassador's Speech Regarding Anzac Day, 25.04.2016

From the Trojan War to the 1915 Dardanelles battles of the First World War, the
motive for belligerences always remained the same; controlling the  peninsula, a channel-gate and a bridge-heat in one.

Nations,armies, commanders and heroes, however changed. A large collection of major
historical personalities ranging from Xerxes, Agamemnon, Priamos, Alexender the
Great, Çaka Bey and Mohammad the Conquer to Churchill, Lima Von Sanders, Ian
Hamilton, Enver Pasha, Kazım Karabekir and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk have been
involved in the area, ligthen to attack, to defend, to fortify or to cross.

But it is one of the many ironies of Gallipoli Campain that advance of the Anzac’s
of the day of the landing was opposed by one of the most dynamic military and
political leaders of 20th century, Colonel Mustafa Kemal, later t obe
immortalized  as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of the Turks.

On the day of the landing arriving on the hights of Conk Bayırı, he found the
Turkish defenders retreating, out of ammunition and he told the troops.

“ I don’t order you to fight, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die,
other troops and commanders can come and take our places”.

Well, this was the turning point of the compain.

And after 10 months of figthing  the Allies
decided to call off the offensive and evacuated their troops.

Australians and New Zellanders have a special place in the hearts and minds of all Turks,
dating back to 1915, when Mehmets and the diggers developed a sense of deep
respect regardless of fierce fighting they endured.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, delivered the following message to Australian and New Zellanders’
mothers on 1934.

“-Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ...

- You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

-Therefore rest in peace.

-There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours .

-You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears.

-Your sons are now lying in our bossom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Anzacs and Turks and all who fought at Gallipoli were the last heroes of Troy. And Çanakkale has now become a unique symbol of peace and friendship.

May their soul rest in peace.