Shared remembrance

Three different memorials in three different countries share the same words of tribute and commemoration.

The Ari Burnu Memorial at Gallipoli in Turkey.(external link)

The Ari Burnu Memorial at Gallipoli in Turkey – Attaturkswords5 by Robtobbi, 2005. Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

Context

These two memorials, as well as a third in Canberra, symbolise the ongoing relationship between Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand in remembering the soldiers who fought and died at Gallipoli. The Ari Burnu Memorial is very close to the Ari Burnu Cemetery, at Gallipoli, where there are 34 known graves of New Zealand servicemen. The Wellington and Canberra memorials both have samples of soil from Anzac Cove placed nearby. The Wellington memorial is at Tarakena Bay, chosen because its landscape is similar to that found at Gallipoli.

The memorials carry the same message, words written by Kemal Atatürk, the president of the Republic of Turkey, who had been a Turkish commander on the battlefields at Gallipoli. In 1934, he wrote this tribute to the Anzacs killed at Gallipoli:

Those heroes that 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 here in this country of ours . . . You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway 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 have become our sons as well.

Kemal Atatürk

Key questions

  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view these memorials in different ways?

Possible discussion questions

  • What are the similarities and differences between the memorial in your town and these three memorials?
  • How does the link between the memorials in Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand make the nature of this commemoration different to that of other commemorations?
  • Can you think of other ways that Turkey, New Zealand, and Australia commemorate together?
  • Why do you think that these countries commemorate together and not other countries such as Germany?
  • What do you think Kemal Atatürk was trying to achieve with his tribute?
  • Do we commemorate German soldiers who died in the First World War?
  • How do you think people at the time felt about those who died at war being buried overseas?
  • Do you think we would show a similar degree of respect to soldiers from overseas if they died while invading New Zealand?
  • CM
  • Print.
  • Share.