Ambassador Selçuk Ünal's National Day Message , 29.10.2016
Cumhuriyet Bayramımız kutlu olsun!
This 29 October marks the 93nd anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey under the leadership of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. On the occasion of our National Day, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to our fellow citizens in Canada. I believe that more than 60.000 fellow Turkish-Canadians carry the pride of our strong history for the future.
Proclamation of the Republic constitutes a historic occasion in the journey of the Turkish nation and the birth of a modern, democratic, pluralistic and secular Turkey. As explained in H.E. President Erdoğan’s statement in detail, this year there was a specific challenge where Fethullahist Terror Organisation unsuccessfully attempted to take over the elected Parliament. Today is another important occassion where we also commemorate all our martys lost during this foiled attempt as well as in our fight against PKK and DAESH terror organizations either in Turkey or in neighbouring countries.
Today the Turkish-Canadian community is celebrating the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey across Canada from coast to coast. Flag raising ceremonies are being organized by our community in cooperation with provincial governments. We are sure these ceremonies will increase every year like the joint commemorations for 18 March (Martyrs' Day known for the Çanakkale Naval Victory) and ANZAC ceremonies to commemorate the Çanakkale (Gallipoli) Battles in almost all provinces across Canada.
I do not need to mention that you are all our distinguished guests. But today, we have a special dignitary for Turkey. The Honourable Mr. Dwight Ball granted the honour to be at our national day as the first Premier from Newfoundland to honour us for the first time in the history of this Embassy. For those who do not know this link let me explain:
On September 20, 1915 the Newfoundland Regiment had landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The ‘blue puttees’ was the only North American unit to take part in the Gallipoli Campaign in the First War. Exactly after a century, the Regiment had a centennial commemorative ceremony at Cape Helles Memorial on 19 September 2015. Ironically, it was also the Veterans’ Day of Turkey. They then held another ceremony in Çanakkale Şehitler Abidesi - Martyrs’ Memorial. Both peoples hugged each other as they died together there next to each other 100 years ago. It became a historic visit to remember where Turks and the Newfoundlanders have carved out their friendship in the devastation of battlefield.
It is a different memory in our hearts that brings us together and will bind us from here to eternity. We succeeded in turning the tragedies of this war into a friendship among all those nations who never forget the past, but embrace the future for peace. On this day, we gratefully remember our Martyrs as we also respectfully remember the fallen Newfoundlanders in Gallipoli, this time not in St. Johns as we have been jointly doing in the last two years, but for the first time at the Turkish Residence.
I therefore would like to recognize the presence of The Honourable Mr. Dwight Ball and has the honour to invite him to the podium say a few words.