REMARKS BY SELÇUK ÜNAL, AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY ON THE OCCASION OF THE ANZAC DAY COMMEMORATION
(Ottawa, 25 April 2018, Ottawa War Museum)
Minister of Veteran Affairs,
Secretary of Defense of New Zealand,
Chief of the General Staff General Vance,
In 1915, while the world was falling apart and we were defending our country, a young commander in Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had said to his soldiers that “I am not ordering you to attack, I am ordering you to die. By the time we die, other soldiers and officers will replace us”. He later became the first President of the modern Republic of Turkey. He was among the heroes who waved the torch of lasting peace to us.
On this day, we also respectfully remember the sacrifice of the Newfoundlanders whose joining in the conflict in Çanakkale established another strong between Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Turkey who have become allies in Korea, Afghanistan and elsewhere until today. Çanakkale became a place where 50 other nations' sons and daughters have made the ultimate sacrifice. Today Turkish officials and Turkish-Canadian society members are attending all Anzac ceremonies throughout Canada including a special and meaningful delegation in St. Johns, Newfoundland.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s tribute to all fallen in Gallipoli has evolved as a manifestation of embracing peace and turning the tragedies of war into a solid friendship among all nations involved:
"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."
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