Boat to land on sa­cred shore

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way - By JON BAS­SETT

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.”

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