Memorial is an enduring symbol of the friendship forged between Australia and Turkey
A memorial was unveiled in Sydney to commemorate the famous words of former President of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who, during a speech in 1934, offered comfort to mothers of Australian soldiers who lost their lives on Turkish soil in the First World War.
Mr Dominello joined with the Consul General for the Republic of Turkey in Sydney Dr Şeyda Hanbay Arca and the Chair of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AC DSC CSM (Ret’d) at the event.
“This memorial is a fitting tribute to the inspired words delivered by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a leader who captured the generosity of spirit which has been shared between Australia and Turkey since the First World War,” Mr Dominello said.
“The values of mateship, courage and humility which were displayed on the battlefields of Gallipoli will forever be enshrined in our national character; and during the Centenary period we should remember the sacrifices of soldiers on both sides of the war.
“2015 is the Year of Turkey in Australia and this memorial in the heart of Sydney will be an enduring symbol of the friendship forged between the people of Turkey and Australia, who fought on opposite sides of the Great War.
“It will provide a place for all Australians, including those of Turkish ancestry, to reflect on what took place on the shores of Gallipoli and led to Ataturk’s speech in 1934.”
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Victor Dominello said the NSW Government and the Government of Turkey had jointly funded the $30,000 memorial, which was unveiled at Hyde Park in Sydney’s CBD and is an official NSW Centenary of Anzac initiative.
Dr Hanbay Arca said the plaque was a symbol of the friendship and mutual respect displayed by Turkish and ANZAC soldiers on the battlefields of Gallipoli.
“Our great leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s inspiring words to the Anzac mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, have come to define a unique friendship,” Dr Hanbay Arca said.
“The Government of Turkey is pleased to support this project and, in the lead up to the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, we hope to generate greater public awareness regarding the words of President Ataturk, which endeared him to the Australian people.”
The memorial will be temporarily located at Hyde Park South, before being permanently exhibited in the ANZAC Memorial after its $38 million redevelopment is completed in 2018.