Address By H.e. Ambassador Koray Ertaş On The Occasion Of 100th Anniversary Of Çanakkale Naval Victory And Martyrs Day , 18.03.2015
Bucharest Turkish Cemetery, March
Members of the Turkish Tatar Community,
Today marks the
centenary of the Çanakkale Naval Victory. Galipoli Battles represent the epic
struggle of a nation to reborn out of its ashes.
of the time were defeated by a victorious effort causing the lives of a quarter
million fellow countrymen and women. We honor the memory of our martyrs, their
self-sacrifice, and altruism on this day of pride.
No matter who
wins or loses, war means catastrophe for all. In the Gallipoli Battle Turks
were the winners and the Australians, the New Zealanders and the others as part
of the Allied Forces were on the losing side. However, the great human tragedy
and suffering were inflicted upon all.
We were able to
derive friendship from this tragedy, largely thanks to the visionary leaders of
the time, notably Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, our great founding father. Indeed, in
1934 Atatürk wrote this following tribute to the Anzacs killed at Gallipoli:
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 now 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
We hope other
nations in our neighborhood could also show the similar maturity that was demonstrated
decades ago by Turkey. Instead of being haunted by the tragedies of history, we
hope the adversaries of the past could leave them behind and derive a common
understanding for their future generations.
In Turkey, we
celebrate March 18 to honor all our martyrs, who lost their lives while on
duty. In this Turkish Cemetery, we have about thousand martyrs of different
ethnic and religious origin, who fell during World War One. We are grateful for
our Romanian friends for hosting our ancestors in their eternal resting place.
We as a
generation who are proud of our history, our heroes and heroines will protect
the legacy of our martyrs with an unshakable determination and carry our country
to a brighter future.
Let me honor once
again the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, all our other heroes and martyrs
with utmost respect and gratitude. May Allah bestow his vast blessing onto all.