- Anzac Cove monument honouring Australian soldiers destroyed in restoration
- It is believe Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan was responsible for the move
- New monument will make way for Islamic inscription as per Erdoğan’s request
A renovation of an Anzac Cove memorial honouring Australian soldiers may be replaced by an inscription that reflects the Turkish Government’s Islamic interpretation of the role diggers played in the Gallipoli invasion.
A photograph shared on social media on May 19 shows a destroyed monument with words attributed by Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk scratched out.
His words compared Australia’s deceased ‘Johnnies’ to the Ottoman’s ‘Mehmets,’ and gave them his blessing to be buried in his country.
While the Turkish Government has reassured the Australian Government they are undergoing refurbish work on the memorials at Gallipoli, sources say this process could be a ploy to make a political statement to reflect Turkey’s shift to focus on religion and culture under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Anzac Cove’s monument in Turkey has been scratched out to featured a more Islamic stance
Prior to its destruction the 1985 monument bearing Atatürk’s words read:
‘Those 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 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.’
Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk words have been removed from sight in May
However, a recent photograph of the monument, taken in May shows the monument in poor form and its words scratched out.
The Australian government, the minister for veterans’ affairs, Dan Tehan had provided more understanding on the matter.
‘The Turkish government have advised the Department of Veterans’ Affairs they are undertaking refurbishment work on Turkish memorials on the Gallipoli peninsula.
‘No Australian memorials or cemeteries are affected by this work.
‘The Australian government is grateful for the work of the Turkish government in ensuring the peninsula remains in good condition and is cared for in perpetuity,’ he said.
This is how the monument once bearing Atatürk words look like destroyed with no words
In its hey days the monument provided great comfort to families of fallen Anzac soldiers