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Feature Quote

  • “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 now here in this country of ours… you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well”

    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
  • Author:
    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, words delivered on his behalf by Şükrü Kaya, the Minister of the Interior, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Çanakkale Victory and the Martyrs' Day, on 18 March 1934.

    Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938) was a Turkish divisional commander at Gallipoli, admired for his strategic leadership and bravery which inspired his troops during the Battle of the Landing and during the August Offensive. After the war, Atatürk went on to become Turkey’s first president, a revered statesman who promoted fundamental political and social reform in Turkey, including the secularisation of the state, the emancipation of women and internationally pursuing a policy of neutrality in the region. In 1934, Atatürk sent words of solace to an official Australian, New Zealand and British party visiting Anzac Cove as a tribute to those ANZACs who died in Gallipoli. These words are inscribed on the Atatürk Memorial at Gallipoli, the Kemal Atatürk Memorial in Canberra and now on the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture adjacent to the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne.

    Image by Cemal Işıksel (1905-1989), Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

    Sources and further reading:

    Feroz Ahmad, The Making of Modern Turkey (Routledge, 1993)
    M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography (Princeton University Press, 2011)
    Andrew Mango, Ataturk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, Peter Mayer Publishers, 2002)