The Moving Words Of A Great Turk

October 15th, 2011 § 0 comments

HG does not wish anyone to infer from HG’s “Faux Pas” post that he harbors animosity toward Turkey. In fact, HG has long been an admirer of that country, its art, architecture and, of course, its cuisine. One of HG’s heroes is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first president of modern Turkey and creator of that secular state. Ataturk was the commander of the Turkish forces at Gallipoli, that misguided slaughter house of World War One where so many young soldiers from Australia, Britain, New Zealand, France, India and Newfoundland lost their lives. Obviously, the present day parallels are many.

In 1934, Ataturk unveiled a memorial to “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives at Gallipoli.” The inscription reads: “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.”

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