In 2015, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, we are confident that the historical bonds of friendship between our two countries and peoples will continue to grow and deepen.
These inspirational words reflect the wisdom and the statesmanship of a victorious commander, Atatürk, who had been in the middle of the horrendous battle himself and who witnessed first hand the sorrow and suffering of thousands of soldiers.This succinct and meaningful message of Atatürk was conveyed to “The Star” newspaper through a telegram signed by Hasan Rıza Bey (Soyak), Deputy Secretary General.The message was translated into French, which was the language used for international correspondence at the time, and was published under the headline: “Turkey, Old Foe, Remembers” on 25 April 1934.Yet Thursday morning, when the Bundestag passed a resolution labeling the 1915 slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire a "genocide," the Turkish government reacted with fury.Turkey recalled its ambassador from Berlin, and President Recep Tayyip threatened to take more steps to punish Germany.In 1908, a military coup — led by the so-called "Young Turks" — took control of the Ottoman Empire, which at the time was reeling from a series of disastrous wars.
Their goal was to revive the nation, partly through liberal reforms and partly through unifying the country around Islamo-Turkic ethnic nationalism.
So this isn't just an academic dispute between the two countries; the stakes are real for the entire European continent.
To understand the German-Turkish controversy, you need to understand the Armenian genocide itself — and the political controversy that erupted in its aftermath.
The first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk delivered the following message to the Australian and New Zealander mothers in 1934 as an expression of this friendship: and magnanimous words of Atatürk were delivered on his behalf by Şükrü Kaya, the Minister of the Interior, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Çanakkale Victory and the Martyrs' Day, on 18 March 1934.
Atatürk paid tribute to the bravery of Anzac soldiers in a battle against people whom they never met, in a land which was unfamiliar and far away from their homelands, without knowing the reason or purpose of the battle.
Australians have a special place in the hearts and minds of all Turks, dating back to 1915, when Mehmets and the diggers developed a sense of deep respect regardless of the intense fighting they endured.