Our sons as well

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives.

You are now living 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. – Kemal Ataturk.

The compassion and forgiveness conveyed in these words always moves me.

We received a very warm welcome when we were in Turkey a few years ago. A young New Zealander who lives there told us that this was normal, the people generally welcomed kiwis.

Would we be as warm and welcoming to them had it been they who had tried to invade us, even if it was nearly  100 ears ago?

2 Responses to Our sons as well

  1. UK says:

    Kemal Ataturk, the father of the modern Turkey and, most importantly, a visionary. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. It may well be that a reason for the Turkish attitude was- and certainly is now- the need to conceal the details of the Armenian genocide. The early 1930s saw the genocide become an important political argument of the left against the centralisation of power under Atatürk.
    By making so gracious a gesture to Australia and New Zealand he was able to distance them [more realistically, Australia] from the UK in its concerns over Turkish actions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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