This Anzac Parade memorial, a crescent-shaped wall and five pillars derived from the symbol and star on the Turkish flag was dedicated on 25 April 1985 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. It honours Kemal Ataturk, commander of Turkish forces at Gallipoli and later the first president of modern Turkey, as well as the heroism and sacrifice of both the ANZAC and Turkish troops who took part in the campaign.
The words inscribed on the memorial are Ataturk’s tribute to those Anzacs who did not return from 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 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.’
On the pillars (added in 2007) are a series of interpretive panels outlining the Gallipoli campaign and the role of Ataturk.
Soil from Anzac Cove at Gallipoli was placed beneath the dedication plaque in the centre of the circular pavement. Surrounding the Memorial are pine trees – Pinus halepensis – grown from seed collected from the Gallipoli ‘lone pine’.
Behind the memorial is a small memorial garden established in return for Turkey’s gesture of adopting the name “Anzac Cove” for the place at Gallipoli peninsula where the ANZAC troops landed on 25 April 1915. Two other reciprocal gestures agreed to by the Australian Government were to name part of Lake Burley Griffin shoreline at the foot of Anzac Parade as Gallipoli Reach and to name the entrance to King George Sound, at Albany in Western Australia, as Ataturk Entrance. King George Sound is where the first ANZAC convoy assembled before departure. Another Kemal Ataturk Memorial has been built overlooking Ataturk Entrance.
Address: ANZAC Parade
This is my last CANBERRA – AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, ANZAC PARADE review.
For other Canberra reviews click HERE.