Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Abuja Büyükelçiliği

Konuşma Metinleri

Çanakkale Savaşları Anma Töreni Konuşması, 25.04.2013

Ambassador Richardson, Ambassadors, Members of the Diplomatic Community, Military Attaches, Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are gathered this morning to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, encountering Turkish and ANZAC troops, which has a very special place in our history and carries a huge significance in our relations with Australia and New Zealand.

This war left deep impact on our respective nations, the last survivors from both sides of which have gone to their final rest, including my grandfather. We wish all of them may rest in peace.

The Campaign of Gallipoli for the Anzac troops did not carry much significance, and may even be deemed as meaningless. They sacrificed their lives for a cause which had little or no relevance to their countries. Yet, they still carried out their duties in a heroic spirit, which has won the admiration of later generations.

However, for us the Turks, many things were at stake. The War of Çanakkale; as we call Gallipoli in Turkish was a matter of life or death. If the Gallipoli Campaign had succeeded, Turkey would have lost it’s the then capital and control of a very strategic part of her land and vital sea ways.

The war, also named as “The War of the Gentlemen”, was fought heroically on both sides, resulted with the loss of hundreds of thousands of precious lives. While creating immense devastation and losses, it contributed to the development of national identity among our peoples.

It had many consequences; from the Soviet Revolution to the prolongation of the I. WW, however the most significant result of it is dialogue, understanding and friendship it created among the then adversaries, whose hundreds of thousands lay side by side in one of the most beautiful parts of Turkey.

To our pleasure, mutual respect and friendly ties, borne uniquely out of this fierce battlefield, have continuously developed to this day. In 2015, we will be marking the centenary of the conflict at Gallipoli, which will surely further deepen and strengthen our bonds and enable our future generations to better understand and appreciate each other.

Our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk delivered the following message to the Australian and New Zealander mothers in 1934 as an expression of this unique friendship:

“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 lay 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 bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well”.