Remarks By Selçuk Ünal, Ambassador Of The Republic Of Turkey On The Occasion Of The Anzac Day Commemoration (ottawa, 25 April 2015, Ottawa War Museum)
His Excellency Governor General,
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Gallipoli Campaign as part of Çanakkale Battles in the First World War. April 25th, beginning of the first landings in Gallipoli, is commemorated as the ANZAC Day across the world including Canada. It is dedicated to the cherished memories of the Australian, New Zealander, Canadian, Turkish as well as 50 other nations' soldiers who took part in the Gallipoli Campaign, and made the ultimate sacrifice.
On this day, we also respectfully remember the sacrifice of the Newfoundlanders during the First World War. It was the first battlefield where the young members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment took part in the Great War where its members landed just to see a good fight.
It has become the turning point in the history of modern Turkey as well as for Australia and New Zealand. All those heroes waived the torch of lasting peace to us. A young commander-in-chief in Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who later became the first President of the Republic of Turkey, was also among them. His tribute to all fallen in Gallipoli has become a manifestation of embracing peace and turning the tragedies of this war into a friendship among all nations involved from here to eternity:
"Those heroes who 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 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 become our sons as well."
We will remember.
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