Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

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ATATÜRK MEMORIAL STATEMENT BY HER EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR DAMLA YEŞİM SAY 2015, 30.04.2015

STATEMENT BY HER EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR DAMLA YEŞİM SAY
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE BEGINNING OF ÇANAKKALE LAND BATTLES
(25 April 2015 – Atatürk Memorial, Tarakena Bay)

The Honourable Maggie Barry, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage,

The Honourable Annete King, MP for Rongotai, and Ray Lind,

Her Worship Celia Wade Brown, Mayor of Wellington,

Lieutenant-General Don McIver, (former National President, RSA)

Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short, Vice Chief of Defence Force,

Major Piero Bertocchi, Assistant Defence Adviser to the Australian High Commissioner,

Ms. Joanna Kempkers, Chief of Protocol,

Mr Peter Jackson,

Members of the Turkish community and our New Zealander friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kia Ora, İyi Günler, Good Afternoon,

It is a great honour for me to stand before you at this momentous occasion. We gathered here in this beautifully serene place to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the beginning of the Gallipoli Campaign. While we pay tribute and honour our forefathers who have sacrificed their lives for their countries at this moment, at this very special memorial; thousands of New Zealanders and Australians who have travelled to Turkey will be witnessing shortly a very special Dawn Ceremony in Turkey at the Anzac Cove with their Turkish friends.

Today, in Wellington and all around New Zealand, and in Çanakkale and all around Turkey, we remember Anzak Koyu, Kanlı Sırt, Conk Bayırı and all other battles on the peninsula. They are called “Anzac Cove”, “Lone Pine” and “Chunuk Bair” in English, but to all the soldiers who fought there, they meant untold sufferings, but also bravery, gallantry and integrity.

It is true that at one hundred, memories of war are still heart-breaking and deeply affect us all. With devastating casualty numbers, there are few families, if any, that are not scarred by the war’s effects. Nonetheless, our resolve for reconciliation has always brought us together to share memories. I am delighted to be able to say that we have set an example for the world on how to forge a unique friendship out of painful memories.

We, as Turks and New Zealanders, have successfully demonstrated over the past century that our maturity and our resolve for peace could overcome bitter memories.

There is no better way to describe that shared resolve by standing here a century later, side by side, for a common cause: To honour our fallen, to cherish their memories, and to stand proudly together as two great nations.

As it was Atatürk’s famous address to Anzac mothers that brought us together, in peace instead of war, I can think of no better place to pay tribute to Atatürk, founder of our republic than this memorial, overlooking the breath-taking Tarakena Bay on this very special day.

Its similarity to Anzac Cove in Gallipoli is a striking reminder to us all that we are not at all different, that we mourn our fallen; that we share the joys and sorrows of life together.

Please join me in remembering the legacy of Atatürk, who had the integrity to say that “unless a nation faces lethal peril, war is murder”. It is befitting that we gather here on the one hundredth anniversary of his first encounter with New Zealand troops in Gallipoli, as we now embody the realization of this great peacemaker’s wishes.

Let us remember him, his comrades and all those we have adopted as our sons long before.

As today is the day of rememberance, respect and reflection, Let us once again pay tribute to all who voluntarily have given their lives for their countries.

Çanakkale Kara Savaşlarının başlamasının Yüzüncü yıldönümü vesilesi ile ülkemizden binlerce kilometre uzakta büyük Atamımızın adına inşa edilmiş olan bu anıtta yapmakta olduğumuz bu tören, yüz yıl önce düşman saflarda yer alan Türkiye ile Yeni Zelanda’nın savaşın küllerinden derin bir dostluk ilişkisi yaratılabileceğini tüm dünyaya bir defa daha göstermektedir. Bu tören vesilesiyle başta Cumhuriyetimiz kurucusu Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ve silah arkadaşları olmak üzere vatanımız için canlarını feda eden tüm şehitlerimizi saygı ile anıyorum. Ruhları ruhları şadolsun. Bıraktıkları emaneti şartlar nasıl olursa olsun muhafaza etmeye devam edeceğiz.