15 Oct

PKK/YPG is Not Australia’s Ally

On September 10, 2001, a 22-year-old student from the Central Coast of New South Wales, Amanda Rigg died in a suicide bombing while holidaying in Istanbul.

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by one of the PKK affiliates, the DHKP/C.
The PKK is a terrorist network, which actively recruits citizens of Australia for its bloody campaign in Syrian.

The Gold Coast man Reece Harding, a former ADF soldier Jamie Bright, and the 28-year old Ashley Kent Johnston have all been lured to Middle East by the Australian-based supporters of PKK/YPG  and lost their lives.

This is the group some Australian politicians are very concerned about at the moment.
Please read below some of the misconceptions about Turkey’s attack on YPG/PKK.

How does this affect us in Australia?

More than 150,000 Turks from many different political affiliations are concerned about the lack of understanding in Australia. Our family and friends have been murdered at the hands of PKK, which is the biggest obstacle for peace in the region.

PKK sympathisers carry violent attacks against Turkish community in diaspora countries in Europe. In the past, PKK sympathisers even burned themselves in Town Hall Sydney. When they receive more support from politicians, they will be more brazen, potentially getting violent in the streets of Melbourne and Sydney.

Is Turkey attacking Kurds? 

This argument is akin to claiming war on ISIS and Al Qaida is a war on Islam. Turkey is attacking PKK and YPG/PYD. PKK is a designated terrorist organisation with 10+ other names listed under the Criminal Code (Terrorist Organisation—Kurdistan Workers’ Party) Regulations 2018. YPG is PKK’s Syria arm, and share the same command structure, this is confirmed by the US senate reports.

But PKK/YPG has helped us defeat ISIS…

Only after the territory they claim as theirs, was attacked by ISIS, PKK/YPG asked for western help. Receiving arms, training and money, PKK joined the international coalition of which Turkey is a party. Turkey is the only anti-ISIS coalition nation that went in to Syria to fight ISIS – lost its soldiers. Turkey has paid the heaviest price to ISIS terrorism with attacks in major cities.

The world is a more dangerous place with PKK/YPG not guarding ISIS detainees, fighting the group.

The world is a more dangerous place since the Obama administration shattered the global coalition of liberal democracies against terrorism established after 9/11 by supporting a designated terrorist organisation. The west has given Turkey the message: your terrorist can be my ally.

Turkey saw 10 terror attacks by ISIS on its soil that claimed the loves of 304 people. Turkish army is the only anti-ISIS coalition who went in to Syria to fight ISIS, loosing 71 soldier. Two of them were brutally set on fire while alive, the video recordings was widely shared over the social media to break Turkey’s will to fight the ISIS.  Turkish special forces deal with ISIS appropriately, while dealing with PKK/YPG terrorists.

We can’t betray our allies.

Turkey has been betrayed with the first delivery of arms to PKK/YPG. Turkey fought alongside with NATO and Australia on battlefields from Korea to Afghanistan.

There will be civilian casualties, a humanitarian catastrophy

The PKK/YPG sees civilian casualties as a collateral to their cause. Turkey has the technology, intelligence and experience to protect civilians within its area of operations. Turkey’s record in previous operations against ISIS in Euphrates Shield and again PKK/YPG in Olive Branch demonstrates the sensitivity Turkey has shown to protecting civilians. It is the PKK/YPG who often fight in civilian clothes, with a view to claiming dead fighters as civilians.

It is rather absurd to hear Australian politicians now raising concerns about the humanitarian catastrophy after 8 years of inaction, 6 million refugees, and 100 thousand dead in the region.

We share the same values with PKK/YPG. 

Since 2011, PKK/YPG killed at least 52 Kurdish politicians in the region. PKK/YPG recruited child soldiers according to the Amnesty and UN. PKK/YPG is a marxist communist party. Private property does not exist in the Kurdish autonomous region they want to establish at the expense of the Syrian people. They hate religion. PKK/YPG launched suicide bomb attacks against civilians in Turkey. PKK/YPG sees civilian casualties an acceptable collateral in their campaign for autonomy.

Isn’t Turkey attacking minorities 

The simple answer is no. In fact, Turkey has received support for its intervention from Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen tribal leaders, as well as from Christian groups such as the Aramean Syriacs, who the PKK/YPG has sought to displace, and suppress the practice of their religion.

What would Australia do in a similar situation?  

We have asked this question to the PM and the cabinet. No one knows the importance of border protection and national security than this Australian government. We wonder, what Morrison government would do if a terrorist organisation settles in a neighbouring failed state to Australia and launch attacks in Sydney and Melbourne? We wonder how Australian government would deal with 1 million refugees  (5% of Australian population)  ?


18 Mar

We Must Unite in Fighting Against Hate

The Australian Turkish community condemns the terrorist attack that cost the lives of at least 50 innocent people in Christchurch, New Zealand.

We pray for the victims and give our heartfelt condolences to everyone touched by this tragedy.

We know so well the loss and pain caused by senseless and barbaric acts of those deranged people motivated by extreme ideologies.   

We will do our best to help our New Zealander brothers and sisters, with whom we commemorate the fallen at the Gallipoli together, heal from this tragedy.  

Among the victims are three Turkish citizens, according to the authorities in Turkey.

The Australian Turkish community, with dozens of mosques across the country, is particularly concerned about the reference to Turks in the terrorist’s manifesto. These references include his views on Istanbul and the Turkish people.

ATAA Director Visits Survivors

ATAA Director Hank Evecek and a group of Turkish community leaders rushed to Chirstchurch following the attack to see how could the Turkish community in Australia help.

The statement reflects the views of some fringe elements in certain communities and hate groups in Australia and New Zealand. We are well aware that many extreme ideologies dehumanising “the others” have support in Australia and elsewhere.

As the former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull once rightfully expressed, without defeating the extreme ideologies that breed terrorists, we cannot succeed in defeating terrorism.

It is our duty, as peace-loving citizens of the world, to call out every single incident of racial profiling and culturism.

We hope the ensuing public debate will focus on the mainstream ideas and actions of those in the public domain that provide such people “legitimacy” for their actions.

We call upon politicians, community leaders and media personalities to reflect on their own views concerning sensitive issues, both contemporary, such as migration and Islamophobia, and historic.

The tragic events in Christchurch are a timely reminder to us as Australians, that regardless of our ethnic backgrounds we need to stand strong together in the face of all forms of violence, hate and extremism.

The Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance will continue to work closely with the authorities, leaders and communities to eradicate these toxic ideologies from these lands to create a better world for all.


05 Jun

Lobbyists Must Stop Meddling With the Editorial Policies of SBS


Media plays a powerful role in shaping the public opinion. It is therefore important to highlight when lobbyists try meddling with the independence and editorial integrity of our public broadcasters.

George Rennie, a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, specialises in lobbying and interest groups. Rennie points out to the threat of lobby groups on our democracy in a recent article on The Conversation:

“…The ability of powerful concentrated interests to drown out other voices in public debate, presents significant challenges for Australian democracy.”

For lobbyists, it is essential to use the most widely cited source of news in order to influence and shape public opinion in Australia, hence the recent unprecedent attacks on the independence and editorial integrity of SBS.

Concerned about this, newly appointed NSW Senator Kristina Keneally has put the question to the head of SBS, Michael Ebeid during senate estimates hearing. Here is a short excerpt transcript from that hearing:

Ms Keneally: Has the SBS ever been lobbied by any organisation to sensor its coverage or change its coverage of the Armenian genocide?

Mr Ebeid: I have been lobbied on many, many occasions by various people from the Armenian community. I have never in my seven years at SBS had a single meeting with anybody from the Turkish community to discuss anything around this issue. I’ve tried explaining that to many of our Armenian audiences and community members. They do have a false view that I’ve been lobbied by the Turkish community, which is absolutely false.

Powerful lobby groups remain a threat to our democracy.

SBS, like most respected international media outlets including Reuters, BBC, New York Times and Associated Press do not refer to the tragedy of Ottoman Armenians as genocide.

There is a reason for this common cross-boundary editorial position.

Firstly, unlike Srebrenica or Rwanda genocides, there is no court verdict by a competent international authority to label the events of 1915 as such. According to the European Court of Human Rights, genocide is a strictly defined legal term. The only tribunal set to investigate whether or not the Ottoman’s committed crimes against humanity, failed to deliver any verdict due to lack of evidence. The crown prosecutor advised the tribunal, any judgement would be nothing but political.

Secondly, the historical debate among the students of Ottoman history continues about the events of 1915.

No one denies the tragedy suffered by the Ottoman Armenians. The debate rages on about whether or not there was an intention to exterminate Armenian population, or it was a forced relocation operation that went wrong.

In fact, most prominent Middle East historian, the late Bernard Lewis once told media:

“There is clear evidence of a decision by the Turkish government to deport the Armenian population from sensitive areas, which meant virtually the whole of Anatolia not including the Arab provinces which were then part of the Ottoman Empire. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A DECISION TO MASSACRE (Armenians), ON THE CONTRARY THERE IS CONSIDERABLE EVIDENCE OF ATTEMPTS TO PREVENT IT (by the Ottoman Turks)…the massacres carried out by irregulars, local villagers responding to what had happened to them (During Armenian revolts earlier) and number of other ways but to MAKE THIS PARALLEL TO THE HOLOCAUST IN GERMANY…SEEMS TO ME A RATHER ABSURD PARALLEL.”

Threats to our press freedom and independence, concerning events of over 100 years ago on another continent, are not conducive to an inclusive, multicultural and democratic Australian society.

List of historians and scholars who reject the “Armenian Genocide” narrative or who express views on historical events that are not congruent with this narrative (also contains those who have passed away)


  1. Alan Fisher, Professor of History, Michigan State University, East Lansing/Michigan/USA
  2. Alon Ben-Meir, Professor and Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute – Focuses on Middle East politics and affairs
  3. Andrew Mango (deceased), researcher, author, and historian – PhD in Persian Literature, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
  4. Armand Sag, Drs., Dutch scholar specializing in Turkish History – Chairman and Senior Researcher at Institute for Turkish Studies, Utrecht/The Netherlands
  5. Atahan Paşayev, Director of the Azerbaijani National Archive Administration
  6. Avigdor Levy, Professor of History, Brandeis University, Waltham/Massachusetts/USA
  7. Ayten Mustafayeva, PhD in Law from Baku State University, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
  8. Bernard Lewis (deceased), Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University – He was a highly recognized British-American historian specializing in Oriental Studies, and Ottoman and Turkish History
  9. Bertil Dunér, Senior Researcher, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm/Sweden
  10. Brendon J. Cannon, Assistant Professor at the Institute of International and Civil Security (IICS) at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi/UAE.
  11. Brian Glyn Williams, Associate Professor of Islamic History at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth/Massachusetts/USA – PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Central Asian History. University of Wisconsin, Madison/ Wisconsin/USA
  12. Caroline F. Finkel, British historian and writer – PhD in Ottoman History from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
  13. Christian Johannes Henrich, Dr., former faculty member of the Research Center for South Europe and the Caucasus at Siegen University, Siegen/Germany
  14. Christopher Gunn, Assistant Professor of History, Coastal Carolina University, Conway/ South Carolina/USA
  15. Cornell Fischer, Assistant Professor of History, University of Chicago
  16. Dankwart A. Rustow (deceased), Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center of City the University of New York – Middle East expert
  17. Donald Cameron Watts (deceased), Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Head of the International History Department
  18. Eberhard Jackel, Professor Emeritus of Modern World history, Stuttgart University, Germany – He has conducted comparative work on genocide and reached the conclusion that the Holocaust is unique
  19. Edward J. Erickson, retired US Army officer, former Professor of Military History at the Marine Corps Command & Staff College in Quantico, Virginia/USA – PhD in History with a specialization in Ottoman military history
  20. Elizabeth-Anne Wheal, she was a history scholar at Cambridge University
  21. Ezel Kural Shaw, Professor Emeritus of History at California State University, Northridge/California/USA
  22. Feroz Ahmad, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston/USA – member of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Yeditepe University, Istanbul/Turkey
  23. Firuz Kazemzadeh (deceased), Professor at Yale University – MA from Stanford University, Ph.D. from Harvard University – Chairman of the Yale Committee for Middle East Studies (1979-1983) – Editor of World Order (1966-2000)
  24. Gilles Veinstein(deceased), Professor of Ottoman History at the Collège de France – Specialized in Turkish and Ottoman History
  25. Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst/USA
  26. Gwynne Dyer, historian and military journalist – PhD in Military and Middle Eastern History from King’s College London
  27. Halil Inalcik (deceased), Professor of Ottoman History & Member of the American Academy of Art & Sciences, University of Chicago – Department of History of Bilkent University, Ankara/Turkey
  28. Hasan Guliyev (deceased), , Institute of Philosophy and Political-Legal Studies at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences – He was member of the editorial boards of several international scholarly publications with five fundamental works and over 50 articles
  29. Heath Ward Lowry, he was the Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies at Princeton University
  30. Hew Strachan, Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews/Scotland/UK – Military historian, well known for his work on the administration of the British Army and the history of the First World War.
  31. Hikmet Özdemir, Professor of Political Science specializing in Turkish Political History – PhD in Political Science from Ankara University – author of many Turkish-language books concerning the Turkish-Armenian controversy
  32. Hüseyin Bağcı, Professor of International Relations at the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara/Turkey
  33. İlber Ortaylı, Professor of History at Bilkent University, Ankara and Galatasaray University, Istanbul
  34. C. Hurewitz (deceased), Professor and Former Director of the Middle East Institute, Columbia University
  35. Jean-Luis Mattei, French historian and author – Graduated from the Department of French Literature and Latin-Ancient Greek, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Aix-en-Provence and earned his master’s degree from the same university – Worked as a specialist at the Department of French Language Teaching, Faculty of Education at the University of Uludağ, Bursa/Turkey – He has published works dealing with the Turkish-Armenian controversy
  36. Jeremy Salt, Australian retired journalist of Middle Eastern affairs and retired professor who taught courses on Middle East history and politics at Bilkent University (Ankara/Turkey) and the University of Melbourne Department of Political Science and Public Administration
  37. John Patrick Douglas Balfour (Lord Kinross) (deceased), he was a Scottish historian and writer well-known for his biography of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and works focusing on history of Islam
  38. Justin A. McCarthy, demographer, Professor of History at the University of Louisville, in Louisville/KentuckyUSA
  39. Kalerya Antoninovna Bellova, she is a Russian Associate Professor at Moscow State Institute of International Relations
  40. Kamuran Gürün (deceased), former Turkish diplomat (BA from the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara University) and the author of The Armenian File: The Myth of Innocence Exposed
  41. Kemal Çiçek, Professor, MA and PhD from Ottoman Studies at Birmingham University, UK – He has many published works concerning the Turkish-Armenian controversy
  42. Kerim Kami Key, historian – MA in History, University California, Berkeley, PhD in History, American University, Washington D.C. – Specialized in the origins and development of Turkey – He spent his academic career giving courses on history, trade, and the Middle East in several American universities
  43. Hakan Yavuz, Professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Utah, USA
  44. Malcolm E. Yapp, Professor Emeritus, Modern History of Western Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
  45. Mark Almond, writer and lecturer in History at Oxford University’s Oriel College
  46. Mary Schaeffer Conroy, Professor of Russian History, Colorado University, Denver/USA
  47. Matthew Lippman, Professor Emeritus, the Department of Criminology, Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
  48. Maxime Gauin, French historian – MA in History from Paris-Sorbonne University – He is currently pursuing a PhD in History at the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara/Turkey – Scholar in Residence at the Center for Eurasian Studies (AVİM), Ankara/Turkey
  49. Mehmet Perinçek, Dr., Turkish historian and political scientist – PhD in History from Istanbul University – served as a research assistant at Istanbul University and as a guest research assistant at the Moscow State Institution of International Relations – has conducted significant research in Russian state archives about the First World War and Armenian insurrectionists’ activities in the Ottoman Empire
  50. Mesut Uyar, Military Historian – Professor of International Relations at Antalya Bilim University, Turkey – Worked as an Associate Professor of Ottoman Military History at the University of New South Wales, Canberra for five years – MA in Politics and PhD in International Relations, Istanbul University
  51. Metin Kunt, Professor of Ottoman History at the City University New York
  52. Metin Tamkoc, Professor of International Law & Relations, Texas Tech University, USA
  53. Michael E. Meeker, Anthropologist, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington – Ph.D. from University of Chicago
  54. Michael Gunter, Professor of Political Science, Tennessee Technical University, USA – PhD in International Relations, Kent State University, USA
  55. Michael Radu, Senior Fellow and Co-Chairman Center on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) – PhD in International Relations, Columbia University.
  56. Murat Bardakçı, Turkish journalist and historian
  57. Nedret Kuran Burçoğlu, Professor of Translation Studies & Comparative Literature, Yeditepe University, Istanbul/Turkey –
  58. Norman Itszkovitz, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
  59. Norman Stone, Professor Emeritus, Modern History at Oxford University and Director of the Center for Russian Studies at Bilkent University, Ankara/Turkey
  60. Nur Bilge Criss, Professor, retired faculty member of the Department of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara/Turkey – PhD in History, George Washington University, USA – Specialization: Modern history, Ottoman History, Turkish Foreign Policy, Contemporary History
  61. Oleg Yurievich Kuznetsov, Dr., Russian historian – Taught courses at the Tula State University, Law Institute of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, and FSB Moscow Border Institute – He has many published works on Russian history, Eastern Europe and Caucasia, Russian constitutional and criminal law, civil law and criminal law processes, international humanitarian law
  62. Olga Bykova, PhD candidate at Ural State University, Russia (Ural Federal University – UrFU) – Worked as a researcher at Istanbul University’s Institute of Ataturk’s Principles and History of Turkish Revolution and conducted research on the Turkish-Armenian controversy – Served as an instructor at Yeditepe University, Istanbul/Turkey – Gave lectures on Russian language and Russia’s history and culture.
  63. Ömer Engin Lütem (deceased) – Founder and Honorary President of the Center for Eurasian Studies (AVİM) – editor of Review of Armenian Studies and Ermeni Araştırmaları, two peer-reviewed journals on Armenian studies and the Turkish-Armenian controversy
  64. Oral Sander (deceased), Professor of Political Science, Ankara University
  65. Otto Winkelmann, Goethe University, Frankfurt/Germany
  66. Ozay Mehmet, Professor Emeritus, International Affairs (Economics), Carleton University, Ottawa/Canada
  67. Pat Walsh, Dr., Irish historian, focuses on Irish history and politics and the impact of the First World War on the UK and the Ottoman Empire,
  68. Paul Dumont, Director of the Turkish Studies Department of Marc-Bloch University of Strasbourg, France
  69. Paul Henze, Ph.D., Harvard University – Consultant for the Rand Corporation and the Smithsonian Institution
  70. Peter Golden, Professor of History, Rutgers University, Newark/New Jersey/USA
  71. Philip Stoddard, Executive Director, Middle East Institute, Washington D.C
  72. Philippe Fargues, Professor, American University, Cairo/Egypt – PhD in Sociology, Sorbonne University, France
  73. Rhoads Murphey, Professor Emeritus, Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures and History, Birmingham University, UK
  74. Robert Farrer Zeidner (deceased), was an American historian with a Ph.D. in Ottoman Military History from the University of Utah, Middle East Center
  75. Robert Mantran (deceased), was professor of Turkish studies at Aix-Marseille University and a member of the Institut de France
  76. Roderic Davison (deceased), Professor of History, George Washington University, Washington D.C.
  77. Sean Patrick Smyth, Irish researcher, MA in Turkish Studies at Leiden University, Leiden/the Netherlands
  78. Seçil Karal Akgün, Professor of International Relations, Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara/Turkey – PhD from Ankara University – Focuses on late Ottoman history, contemporary Turkish history, historiography and approaches to the interpretation of history
  79. Şinasi Orel (deceased), Turkish military officer, bureaucrat, and diplomat – co-author of the book titled The Talat Pasha Telegrams: Historical Fact or Armenian Fiction? that concretely demonstrated the forged nature of the “Andonian documents” that were being frequently used support the Armenian Genocide narrative. Note: Sociologist Taner Akçam has alleged in his book Naim Efendi’nin Hatıratı ve Talat Paşa Telgrafları (an English version of this book was recently published titled Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide) that the “Andonian documents” are, in fact, authentic. However, Akçam’s book has been demonstrated to rely on serious distortions and false assertions (see: Review of Armenian Studies, Issue 34, pages 129-156,
  80. Sohret (Shohrat) Barlas, Uzbek historian and author of “Turkestan and South Caucasus XIX–XX centuries. Dashnaks – From Karabakh to Faragana”
  81. Stanford Jay Shaw (deceased), Emeritus Professor of Turkish and Judeo-Turkish History, University of California, Los Angeles/USA – best known for his works on the late Ottoman Empire, Turkish Jews, and the early days of the Republic of Turkey
  82. Stephen Blank, Professor at the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute
  83. Stephen Kinzer, American author, journalist and academic – Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute of Brown University
  84. Stephen Pope, former modern history scholar at Oxford who has authored four well-received reference books dealing with history
  85. Süreyya Yuca, co-author of the book titled The Talat Pasha Telegrams: Historical Fact or Armenian Fiction? (see the entry for Şinasi Orel for additional information)
  86. Tal Buenos, Israeli researcher – MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, currently a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Utah, USA
  87. Thierry Zarcone, Director of Research at the National Center for Scientific Research, Paris – Expert of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE) – former visiting professor at Kyoto University, Japan
  88. William Leonard Langer (deceased), Professor of History, Harvard University – specialized in the Ottoman Empire, Near East, and Russia – served as the Chief of the Research and Analysis branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Assistant Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  89. Yitzchak Kerem, Professor of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – specializes in Sephardic Jewry – served as the section editor for Encyclopedia of the Holocaust and New Encyclopedia Judaica – Founder and Director of Institute for Hellenic Jewish Studies at University of Denver, USA – contributed to numerous encyclopedias including Encyclopedia Judaica bi-annual yearbooks, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press), and Chronology of World Slavery
  90. Youssef Courbage, Director of Research of the National Institute of Demographic Studies, Paris, France
  91. Yusuf Sarınay, Professor of History, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara/Turkey – PhD in History from Hacettepe University, Ankara/Turkey – served as the General Director of the State Archives of the Prime Ministry of Turkey – editor of the book titled Ermeniler Tarafından Yapılan Katliam Belgeleri/Documents on the Massacre Perpetrated by Armenians – Vol. I (1914-1919) and Vol. II (1919-1921), which use Ottoman archival documents to demonstrate that more than 500,000 Ottoman Muslims were massacred due to the violence perpetrated by Armenian insurrectionists between 1914 and 1919.
  92. Yves Benard, French author – author of the books Genocide Armenien, et si on nous avait menti? and Divergences turco-armeniennes that delve into the Turkish-Armenian controversy and its effects in France.

06 May

Reflections from Gallipoli

Beneath is a piece written by Ms Bianca Hambly, an Australian university graduate, following her visit to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day 2018 ceremonies.

“I was really proud to be a young Australian at Anzac Cove. I am proud of the way those boys went to battle, many of them still children in so many ways. However, what I am most proud of is the way that their story has been allowed to live on through the kindness and generosity of the Turkish government. Mustafa Ataturk has demonstrated to the world, decades before his time, the way that old enemies can become new and lasting friends. I believe that Ataturk showed the world that it is possible to put aside old differences and old wounds and set up a relationship that has not only spanned the globe but the decades.

When I was standing on the cove, looking out over the terrain, I felt a peace. I hope that it was a peace that those boys feel. I know that so much of that comes from the respect that the Turkish people have shown to our soldiers. The way that the country has supported and commemorated our sacrifice alongside theres, really is a testament to the solid and positive leadership that Ataturk showed so many years ago. In my mind, Ataturk revolutionised modern politics and demonstrated to the world that being progressive doesn’t have to have a particular long term outcome in mind.

I believe that there are so many lessons that would have learned from this man, given the chance. I learned about Ataturk only during my time away and I am so glad that I did. He has demonstrated to me that with only a few short years, it is positive to reshape modern politics. I am really humbled that the Turkish people have been so open towards us and allow us to descend on their country every year. I am grateful that they protect our soldiers and help our legacy as well as their own to continue. I hope that this demonstration of good will, mutual respect and political progressiveness can be built upon and actually be used as an example of how to move political relationships to where they should be.”