Australians commemorate fallen Anzac ancestors in Gallipoli campaign
MELBOURNE – Anadolu Agency
Turks and Australians in Melbourne gathered to remember the fallen Anzac troops of the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 at a memorial service on April 23.
The event organized by the Victoria Returned and Services League (RSL) Turkey sub-branch marked the 103rd anniversary of the first landing by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops on the Gallipoli peninsula.
Former Defense Minister Kevin Andrews attended the ceremony to represent Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, while Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott, Turkey’s Consul General in Melbourne Mehmet Küçüksakallı, parliamentarians, businessmen, representatives of NGOs and citizens were also present.
“A wonderful relationship has developed out of conflict and war where people come together due to mutual respect,” Scott told state-run Anadolu Agency during the program.
“There is a deep respect for Turkish soldiers and Turkish people. And there is a deep respect for Australians and New Zealanders in Turkey,” he added.
Ramazan Altıntaş, president for Victoria RSL Turkey sub-branch, said their ancestors fought against each other “courageously” and performed their duty at Gallipoli.
“If we are eating at the same table here today with our Australian friends, it is because our martyrs and veterans have fought courageously in Gallipoli,” Altıntaş said.
Meanwhile, 1,300 visitors from Australia and New Zealand are set to observe a minute’s silence amid the graves of their grandfathers in northwestern Turkey to remember the fallen Anzac troops of the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 in a service at dawn on April 24, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official has said.
New Zealand’s Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Britain’s Europe and the Americas Minister Alan Duncan are expected to be among those paying tribute, said Turkish Foreign Minister Burak Ali Karacan on April 12.
The crowds will gather at Anzac Cove as the sun rises above the peninsula for the service.
The unsuccessful eight-month campaign saw over 44,000 British, Irish, French, Australian, New Zealander, Indian and Canadian troops killed and 87,000 Ottoman soldiers killed.
The day is commemorated in Australia and New Zealand as ANZAC Day and Gallipoli is seen as one of the defining events that ushered both countries toward nationhood.
The battle also forged links between the ANZAC countries and Turkey, which emerged as a modern state shortly after the war.