Boat to land on sacred shore
PERTH’S Turkish community donated to Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club’s Gallipoli 100 surf boat for its race around Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey this week.
There will be a commemorative centenary landing at Gallipoli Beach near Anzac Cove on Saturday.
“We decided to help fund the boat because it was good for this country and good for the community,” Turkish Islamic Association of WA President Huseyin Aksakal said.
Before the Gallipoli 100 crew flew to Turkey, Mr Aksakal welcomed organiser Tom Locke and sweep Rob Turner to the 1984- established Canning Turkish mosque in Queens Park, where a sister boat flew the peninsula’s Gelibolu flag and the club’s emblem.
The Turkish community introduced the Gallipoli 100 project to leaders in Turkey, who will host commemorations after the landing.
Mr Locke said descendants of Anzac veterans will be rowed ashore in surf boats to meet families of Turks who fought the Australian and New Zealand soldiers at nearby Anzac Cove 100 years ago. “The Turkish community gave us a direct introduction to the Mayor of Gallipoli, so it’s a highly significant connection,” he said.
Cottesloe SLSC’s two Gallipoli 100 surf boats, one of which will be given to Turkey after the race, carry the names of 46 members who served in World War I – three who were killed at Gallipoli – and the 1024 West Australians who landed on the first day at Anzac Cove, April 25, 1915.
The Turkish association gave the club a framed speech by modern Turkey founder Mustafa Ataturk, who spoke about Gallipoli in 1934 and the eightmonth-long campaign that left about 190,000 allied and at least 175,000 Turkish dead, injured or missing.
“You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears,” the speech reads.
“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.”