First President and Founder of the Turkish Republic
First President and Founder of the Turkish Republic
 
 
 

Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal"Mustafa Kemal was the most imaginative, most successful officer to fight on either side at Gallipoli. At several moments in the campaign his personal intervention was almost certainly the difference between success and failure for the Ottomans. Gallipoli launched his career. He subsequently became the first President of the newly formed Republic of Turkey and the nation's acknowledged founding father.

In the past decade or so Australians have become increasingly willing to accept Turks and Turkey into the nation's annual remembrance of Anzac. This respect between Turk and Australian, born out of war against each other, is truly unique."

It was in 1934, on the visitation of Australian and New Zealanders to Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal conveyed the now famous words.

"Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives; You are now living 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."

From "Gallipoli - The Turkish Story", Allen & Unwin, 2003
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