1. Ataturk’s ‘Johnnies and Mehmets’ ANZAC speech shrouded in doubt
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a commander of Ottoman forces at the Dardenelles during the first world war and later the founder of modern Turkey, has been quoted far and wide as saying in 1934:
- 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.
There are no contemporary references to the speech. Continue reading Saturday salon 12/12