Ata Turk's address

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Nov 15, 2007

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ata Turk's address 1934

It was a public holiday on the 10th August in Turkey and a remembrance day. There was a huge service held with amplifiers, grand stands and ceremony. Bus loads of Turkish Army students came to the memorial sites to remember their fallen. It's compulsory for young Turkish men to serve for 2 years in the army. Families came on what ever transport they owned, there were many tractors to be seen. Everyone there mourned for all the soldiers who lost their lives on this shore and in these hills. It was very moving. We were among many who tried to understand the reason for this unnecessary bloodshed.

We located the monument which gave Ata Turk's most poignant address:

'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 Jonnies 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 far away countries, wipe away their 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.'

Ata Turk's given name is Mustafa Kemal founder of The Republic of Turkey, Ata Turk means father of Turkey.

Des was reading an inscription in on a wall when an old Turkish man with his prayer beads in his hand, offered Des his hand. He put his left hand on his heart, slowly bowed his head for a moment, then walked away without saying a word.

The memorial grounds, cemeteries, statues and special areas are well maintained and although it was 40C degrees when we were walking around the area, it still looked green and recently cared for. The road however needed resurfacing as heavy rains had pot holed them, and in parts, washed them away.

Also the beaches just along from Anzac Cove were littered with rubbish which brought out feral dogs and cats at night that tore at plastic bags left behind by picnickers. This made an otherwise pristine area quite unsightly.

Towards the afternoon we made our way to a beachside camp spot. We would have all loved a swim but the water looked polluted and the beach area littered so we set up our campers, cooked a meal and had a chat with the 'neighbours'. A local family passed us a couple of times before plucking up the courage to send their sons over to ask us where we were from and could they see inside the camper. The parents slowly inched forward and had a good look inside, kissed their fingertips before declaring "Super" the universal expression. The bed was a welcome sight after an emotional day.
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