Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Sidney Başkonsolosluğu

Konuşma Metinleri

On the Occasion of the Turkish Martyrs’ Commemoration Day and , 18.03.2012

18 March 2012
Address by
Ms. Gülseren Çelik
Consul-General

On the Occasion of the Turkish Martyrs’ Commemoration Day and
the 97th Anniversary of the Canakkale Naval Battles


The Honourable Tonny Issa, representing the Honorable Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities
The Honourable Barbara Perry,
The Assistant Secretary of RSL Auburn Mr. John Glennon
Mr.İzzet Anmak Councillor for Auburn,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation for your valuable attendance to this commemoration day ceremony which marks one of the most important turning points in the Turkish history.

I also would like to extend my sincere thanks to Prof. Mete Tuncoku. He kindly accepted our invitation and travelled over 20 thousand km to share his knowledge, experience and perspective on the Canakkale Battles and its unique impact on the relations between the two friendly countries.

While we are leading up to 2015, the centenary of 1915, I hope to make this conference an annual event, by bringing eminent historians from Turkey to give our Australian friends an insight into the significance of the Dardanelles battles from the Turkish perspective.
I also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Muzaffer Orel, the Coordinator of the Turkish Chapter of the Auburn RSL Sub Branch and the distinguished members of the Turkish chapter for their cooperation and of course to the Auburn RSL Branch itself who kindly hosted us today. Last but not least I wish to thank Mrs. Ann Orel for her tireless efforts to make this organisation a success.

Distinguished Guests,
Today, the 18th of March, has a dual meaning for the Turkish nation. The 18th of March on the one hand marks the victory of the Canakkale Naval Battles, on the other hand it reminds us that in this bloodiest war in the human history thousands of Turkish soldiers have lost their lives.

The 18th of March is also marked as the Turkish Martyr’s Day on which all the martyrs of the Turkish nation are to be remembered.

Today we are gathered here to remember with deep gratitude and respect the founder of our Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, his fellow soldiers and all the heroes of the Turkish nation who sacrificed their lives for their nation throughout the history.
We also remember with profound sorrow the former Consul General of the Republic of Turkey to Sydney Mr. Şarık Arıyak and his security officer Attache Mr. Sever who were killed 31 years ago on 17 December 1980 by an Armenian terrorist organization just because they were Turkish and representing Turkey. This was only one of the 200 attacks perpetrated by Armenian terrorist groups in 21 countries and 4 continents between 1973-1984, killing 58 Turkish citizens, including 34 diplomats. We pay our respect to all who lost their lives in these attacks.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Although each war has winners and losers the tragedy which is experienced in the war is always common. In the Canakkale War we were on the winning side. The Australians, the New Zealanders and the others in the Allied Forces were on the losing side. However, the tragedy, sacrifice and the grief were common. In our view, as clearly stated in the immortal message of Atatürk in 1934 to the ANZAC mothers- there is no difference between the sorrows of the Turkish and the Australian mothers. Therefore, today, we also remember with deep respect the ANZAC soldiers who lost their lives in the battlefields of Canakkale.
Thanks to this understanding we have been able to create a unique friendship between the two peoples based on both the realities of the history and the will of building a better and peaceful future.

Within 97 years, Canakkale which used to be the battlefield between our nations has turned out to be a kind of holly city for the Australian and New Zealanders.
We are quite delighted to host thousands of Aussies and Kiwis in Canakkale every year on ANZAC day to commemorate the sacrifices of their ancestors. Today, we are here in Sydney, to commemorate the Turkish martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the Turkish nation. I cannot imagine a better example of reciprocity in terms of friendship between the two nations.
As we are approaching 2015, the centenary of 1915, I would like to reiterate the importance of will and determination to move this unique friendship further, which is based on the dignity of our ancestors.

Before concluding my words, I would like to pay, once more, my respect, to all Turkish martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their nation all around the world.
I also wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the 12 Turkish soldier serving in ISAF/ NATO who were killed in Kabul Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed on Friday the 15 of March.

Aziz şehitlerimiz ruhunuz şad olsun

Thank You.