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. The first reference is from an interview with the former interior minister, Sukru Kaya, in 1953. It seems that in 1931, not 1934, Kaya did give a speech “drafted by, and on behalf of, Ataturk praising the Turkish and enemy troops.”
An extended version appeared in 1960, more again in 1969.
The “Mehmets” were there from the beginning, but the “Johnnies” appear to have been added in 1978 by Alan J Campbell, a Gallipoli veteran of Brisbane:
- who identified himself as “chairman of the Gallipoli Fountains of Honour Committee”. Campbell, a stalwart of the Queensland Country party, wrote that his organisation was finalising a Gallipoli memorial for Brisbane.
The oft-quoted speech that graces memorials on three continents appears to be actually wrong!
She got the gong because she provided “steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply”.
- Mrs Merkel, 61, joins an eclectic list of former winners, including Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon.
She is the first German since Willy Brandt, who as the West German chancellor was named in 1970, and the first woman since opposition leader Corazon Aquino of the Philippines in 1986.
3. Employment grows in Australia
- Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.8%, the lowest level in 20 months, following the strongest two-month period of jobs growth in 28 years.
The total number of people with a job rose 71,400 in the month, building on a gain of over 56,000 the month before, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. The surprise increase compared with forecasts of a loss of 10,000 jobs.
Too bad the ABS fine print shows 52,700 of the 71.4K increase was due to “rotation” of their sample groups.
4. Ted Cruz takes lead in poll
According to The US Today, Ted Cruz has taken over the lead from Donald Trump in the Iowa poll.
The Washington Post says Trump still leads in the polls, but Cruz “looks more like the favorite”.
Cruz, they say, has staked out a position on the far right on virtually every major hot button issue, and comes across as a less controversial and less unelectable version of Trump.
Trump is very methodical, they say, he just looks chaotic.
It remains to be seen whether the Republicans will put forward an electable candidate. Perish the thought that Americans might even do the unthinkable and elect an unelectable one!
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.