One hundred years ago, a group of Australian and New Zealand troops (with some Indian troops as well) landed on the...

One hundred years ago, a group of Australian and New Zealand troops (with some Indian troops as well) landed on the shores of Gallipoli.

They were opposed by the troops of the Ottoman Empire, lead by a colonel Mustafa Kemal. 

Although poorly lead, the ANZAC troops fought bravely, and impressed the opposing troops and their commander - not that this made them ease up in any way. It did, however, open the path to a number of truces to recover wounded and to bury the dead.

In the end, the ANZACs were forced to retreat, but did so with great cunning - leaving the Ottoman troops thinking the area was still defended for several hours. 

The troops on both sides fought with incredible bravery, and had the respect of their enemies. After the war was over, both sides spoke well of the quality of the other.

And the Ottoman commander? He is better known as Atatürk, and founded the modern republic of Turkey. And, nineteen years later, in 1934 Atatürk wrote this tribute:
"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."

And so, every year we send our people to a remote part of Turkey to remember our fallen, and the Turks greet us with open arms, for we are their brothers and sisters now.

Our countries are forever intertwined, for all that none of us share a border, bonded by the blood of our fallen. We shall never forget them.

#ANZAC #AnzacDay #Anzac100 #LestWeForget

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