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PM In Turkey - The International Service

Tuesday 25 April 2000

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand


The International Service


10.45 am local time, Turkey

Tuesday 25 April 2000

It is moving to be here once again at Gallipoli on Anzac Day. This is a place of great significance in the history of New Zealand.

It is an honour to be part of this international service and to acknowledge the sacrifice of all those who took part in the Gallipoli campaign. I stand here as New Zealand Prime Minister and personally as a representative of the many New Zealand families whose sons were killed or wounded in the Gallipoli campaign.

We New Zealanders also pay our respects to the memories of all the other soldiers who fought here: the sons of Turkey, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Ireland, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa.

The firm friendship between New Zealand and Australia was forged here where we fought alongside each other as ANZACS. In both nations we commemorate this day, 25 April, as one of great significance in the history and development of our two nations.

I also want to pay tribute to the steadfast courage of the Turkish soldiers who, under the inspired leadership of Ataturk, fought so bravely to defend their country. I acknowledge too the generosity of spirit which Ataturk showed to the families of the allied soldiers who lie buried here. His words paved the way for a permanent reconciliation between New Zealand and Turkey.

Looking around today, I do not see former allies or former enemies, but only present friends. We have shared the tragedy of war, and we are bound together forever by what happened here.

We share memories of our losses. We mourn those young men whose lives were cut short in battle.

And we share together a responsibility for the future. We know that the lessons of the past must not be forgotten or we will repeat them in some form or other. Our cause, now and in the years to come, must be that of peace. Only in this way can we keep faith with the men who died here.

We are grateful to the Turkish Government for designating this peninsula as a Peace Park. From events so terrible has come a place of peace, reflection, and contemplation.

May we continue to come together to this place to honour those who did not return home, and resolve to spare present and future generations from the horror of war.


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