April 25, 2018, Washington, DC | On April 25 at 5:45am, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) participated in the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. ATAA Art Director Hakan Dakin joined the Defense Attache’s of Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France, Korea, Canada and Turkey, to place a wreath in memory of all who gave their lives in the War of Gallipoli.
At the ceremony, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s tribute to ANZAC soldiers was read:
“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.”
Founder and the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s words and spirit have formed mutually respectful and friendly ties between Australia, New Zealand and Turkey ever since. The battles of Çanakkale, when Anzacs first encountered Turkish troops, have a special place in the history of relations between Turkey and Australia. Mutually respectful and friendly ties, borne uniquely out of a fierce battlefield, have continuously developed to this day.
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.