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.” The nations of Australia and New Zealand have learned what it means to be a sovereign nation to Turks by the experiences of Gallipoli. Unfortunately, Turkey today has forgotten the meaning of sovereignty! Turks have not embraced the value of the sacrifice of our forefathers, and do not understand that it is within its citizens that sovereignty reigns. To this day, Turks look to a leader to be guided, and refuse to embrace democracy. They fail to understand the gift that Atatürk gave to them and charged them to protect - at all costs. It is my sincere hope that all Turks commemorate ANZAC Day, and learn the lessons that the ANZAC and their nations have learned. A true sovereign nation belongs to its people, and the people shall honor the home of their forefathers, their children, and the generations to come. A sovereign nation will protect its freedom at all costs from all enemies, foreign or domestic. This is our highest oath, our most solemn promise. With gratitude,
Timur Edib, President
ASA Members and leadership during the Dawn Service Memorial Tribute to the Veterans of ANZAC.
his year, for the first time, Atatürk Society of America (ASA) was invited to play a very special role in the ANZAC ceremonies in Washington, DC. During the Dawn Service Memorial Tribute to the Veterans of ANZAC, and to those who have served their country at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Yavuz Arik, (on behalf of ASA), read Kemal Atatürk’s tribute to the soldiers killed at Gallipoli: 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 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 as well. The audience was reminded of Atatürk’s magnanimous words, which were well received and repeated throughout the day. We were often approached by participants declaring their love and admiration for Atatürk, who was a world leader, who if he were alive today, he would have played a very important role in helping resolve some of the conflicts currently experienced. Atatürk is remembered and revered for his exemplary leadership capabilities which brought together countries who had previously viciously combated each other. As in past years, a wreath presented by ASA was carried throughout the day to the different venues. ASA’s flowers laid beside those of the Embassy of Australia, Embassy of New Zealand, British Embassy, Embassy of Canada Embassy of France, Korean Embassy, and others. We were proud to see ASA’s wreath prominently displayed at different locations. As the representatives of a Turkish American non-profit organization, we were pleased to take part in such an important commemoration and contribute to Turkish-ANZAC relations. FALL’09 | VOICE OF ATATÜRK 5
The Atatürk Society of America